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Long-term IT Skills Shortage Drives Tech Salaries Up, Companies Struggle to Retain Talent, Says Harvey Nash Survey

Press Release from November 10, 2015

Salary is now no. 1 primary motivator for changing jobs; work/life balance bumped to no. 2 spot

Wayne, NJ - November 10, 2015 - Four in 10 technologists changed jobs this year, according to the fourth annual Harvey Nash Technology Survey. Respondents listed a good salary as their main motivator (77 percent) behind the switch, up 16 percent from last year and pushing work/life balance out of the no. 1 spot. Almost one in four tech workers (37 percent) received 10 or more inquiries from headhunters during the past year, while 62 percent of developers and 55 percent of all software engineers reported 10 or more approaches from headhunters.

Globally, 53 percent of technology hiring managers reported skills shortages in 2015, up from 51 percent the previous year. The long-term IT skills shortage has led technology companies, both large and small, to drive salaries and incentives up with hopes of recruiting and retaining this scarce and highly sought-after tech talent. This approach has had some effect: the proportion of technologists who expect their next role to be with their current employer has risen from 22 percent in 2013 to 27 percent this year. However, that means almost three quarters (73 percent) believe the only way to progress their career is to leave their current employer.

The three top motivators for staying in a job are good salary (selected by 77 percent of respondents), work/life balance (72 percent) and opportunity to work on innovative projects (69 percent).

The report shares findings from nearly 3,000 technology professionals from more than 30 countries, and reveals that the traditional technology career path, even compared to five years ago, is being rewritten as there are far greater opportunities for flexible employment, alluring entrepreneurial projects and opportunities for advancement.

"The IT skills shortage is dire, and we are seeing companies compete more than ever for this talent," said Harvey Nash USAPAC President and CEO Bob Miano. "The technology career is changing rapidly: it's mobile, flexible and entrepreneurial. The companies that embrace these shifts will attract and retain the best talent and successfully ride this technological wave."

Additional key findings of the Harvey Nash Technology Survey 2016 include:

Tech Sector Demographics

  • More than 1 in 10 technologists work in an organization where no women are employed.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 respondents work in environments where women make up less than 20 percent of the workforce.
  • Three in 10 technology professionals work outside the country they were born.
  • One in five technologists based in the U.S. were born overseas.

Innovation and Security

  • Over half (55 percent) of respondents believe their country's position as a technology innovator will advance during the next five years; however, almost half of all technologists also worry that government over-regulation will starve innovation.
  • U.S. technologists are the most skeptical, with over 6 in 10 concerned that the government is not doing enough to advance regulation that balances personal privacy with innovation.
  • Only five percent of technology professionals think the risk of security attacks is falling.
  • 56 percent of respondents reported being personally hacked last year (up from 52 percent in 2014); only 39 percent report their company being hacked over the last 12 months.

About the Survey

2,959 technology professionals from 30 countries participated in the Harvey Nash Technology Survey 2016: Are You Ready? The survey was conducted between July 14, 2015 and October 26, 2015. A wide range of technology professionals contributed, including software engineers (10 percent), technology project managers (10 percent) and developers (seven percent), and c-level technology leaders (nine percent). A significant proportion of respondents were from the United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland and Australia, and across the European Union. For more information about the survey, an infographic of the key results and to access a full copy of the results, please visit or email

About Harvey Nash Inc.

Harvey Nash Inc. is the U.S. division of the Harvey Nash Group, a global professional recruitment firm and IT outsourcing service provider traded on the London Stock Exchange since 1997. Harvey Nash has helped over half the world's leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With 7,000 experts in 43 offices across Europe, Asia and North America, Harvey Nash has the reach and resources of a global organization, and it fosters a culture of innovation and agility that empowers all employees across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. Harvey Nash works with clients, both big and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: IT recruitment, IT outsourcing/offshoring and executive search. To learn more, please visit Follow us: and

Media contact:

Ann Warren