Employers attract employees in three main ways: they offer interesting and enjoyable work; they offer competitive salaries; and they offer comprehensive and competitive benefits packages.
When it comes to salaries, from the employee perspective, bigger numbers are always better. So employees, at least, will be overjoyed to read the latest ComputerWorld IT Salary Survey. Fully two-thirds of the employees who responded to the survey received raises last year. The average increase was around four percent, but some employees have received increases of as much as 50 percent.
This reflects the increased competition for IT employees and the fact that cold cash is the main motivator for employees who changed jobs. Salary increases can also motivate employees who aren't actively looking for a new job to make a change, too, so companies who want to retain staff need to make certain paychecks are deep green.
Competitive Benefits Packages
While every employee would like a bigger paycheck, when it comes to nonsalary benefits, opinions differ. Employees have different short-term and long-term goals, as well as different responsibilities outside the office. Because of this, there are no real standards for benefits packages. Companies are free to design and modify them to meet employee and business needs.
The ComputerWorld survey found that many employers are reducing benefits. In most cases, these are benefits that made sense at one time but are no longer relevant. Company-paid cellphones, for instance, were eliminated by almost 10 percent of the surveyed employees' companies. As almost everyone has a personal cellphone by now, a company-provided device is no longer needed.
Other benefits that were reported as being eliminated, such as flextime and telecommuting options, were rated important by only 29 percent of respondents.
When companies eliminate benefits, they typically select benefits that aren't being used by employees. The savings can then be redirected into providing benefits that are more meaningful and more highly valued.
Employees Remain Satisfied With Benefits
Despite the reductions in benefits, the ComputerWorld survey also reports that most employees, over 90 percent, are satisfied with their comp package. Of employees who are looking for new positions, higher salary is the main motivator. More interesting, fulfilling work is more important than an improved benefits package. That third way of attracting and retaining employees isn't easily defined or achieved simply through spending. Companies that figure out how to both pay well and keep their employees motivated and challenged will have an advantage in the increasingly competitive IT employment arena.