CIOs May Struggle to Keep IT Staff on Board Next Year

Another challenge to retaining the federal tech workforce: industrywide antsiness.

Furloughs, budget cuts and three years of frozen pay already are posing challenges for federal agencies in terms of recruiting and retaining information technology workers. Those challenges may grow even greater in the next year, as more and more IT workers could potentially be on the hunt for a new job, new research suggests.

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A recent survey of U.S. chief information officers and IT workers by Robert Half Technology found that while most CIOs (72 percent) believe their workers’ satisfaction levels are high, more than one-third (35 percent) of those workers said they plan to look for another job within the next year. Another 35 percent of IT workers polled said they are unsure are about whether they’ll stay in their current job.

IT workers were fairly split on their motivations for leaving their current position. The top three motivations for seeking new worker were: needing a new challenge (48 percent), the lack of advancement potential (47 percent) and inadequate pay (38 percent).

“Skilled IT professionals in hot areas, such as mobile app development and IT networking, have many job opportunities in the current market,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. “CIOs will be more likely to keep their top performers if they make retention a priority and recognize that technology workers value opportunities to build their skills and move up in an organization.”

Are you planning to seek a new IT job within the next year? What is your motivation in seeking a new job, and what must change to keep you in your current position?