Five Things IT Staff Value More Than Salary

Or: How the Government Can Attract IT Pros During a Pay Freeze.

The conversation this week has largely been around the issue of recruiting and retaining highly skilled science and technology professionals in the federal government. And with the federal pay freeze now in its third year, agencies may be interested to know that salary is not really what matters to most IT executives, according to a new study.

InformationWeek’s recent 2013 IT salary study found five items that matter most to IT executives, and all of those areas have nothing to do with compensation.

“While you might think that IT execs’ higher level of satisfaction with compensation might factor in here, digging into the data a little bit tells us a different story,” InformationWeek’s Jonathan Feldman reports.

Among the 340 CIOs surveyed, most put a higher value on aspects of their job other than compensation. The top answers were, in order: my opinion and knowledge are valued; involvement in setting company strategy and determining goals; my work is important to the company’s success; challenge of job/responsibility; and corporate culture and values.

It’s likely that if those five areas matter most to chief information officers, they also matter most to staff, particularly the most confident and employable staff, Feldman says.  

Some of those top 5 answers also spell good news for the federal government, which may be losing its competitive edge when it comes to salary, but can compete in areas like providing a strong mission and challenging work.

“HR is busy crunching numbers to make sure that your salaries are reasonably close to industry,” Feldman writes. “But only IT leadership can help with the big 5.”

Do the “big 5” matter more to you than salary? What can the federal government do to better market its strengths in these areas? 

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