Pay Not Matched to Skills
The report notes an increasing trending in paying directly for specific skills, in an effort to get workers to market pay levels. However, this is a daunting task, because in the field of IT, titles rarely match what workers are actually doing.
Foote sees the fact that most salary surveys tie their wages to these ill-fitted titles, and show most IT pros making well under what they should be for their titles, as having disastrous effects on worker morale.
"When IT professionals are underpaid, there is tension and resentment, and theyre ripe for picking by executive recruiters."
The process of revamping and reclassifying IT titles is something few employers want to tackle, according to Foote.
"It is a nightmare… Even worse, IT jobs are changing so rapidly nowadays that youd have to repeat this process regularly. The reality is that many employers havent updated IT job descriptions in years, or have only done a few at a time."
Foote Partners noted a trend away from prior pay structures in research published Aug. 2, in which more than half of IT professionals surveyed were then earning pay for additional tech skills, not through bonuses but tucked into their base salaries.
"The predominant method for paying for skills was always through bonuses on top of salaries. But, the problem was that a lot of companies had very selective bonus programs, for which most didnt qualify. HR departments dont like to make exceptions," said Foote.
More companies are now seeing paying directly for skills not as a recruiting, but retention tactic.
"If youre trying to get someone to average market pay, their title wont help you. The question is, do you redefine what this person does and their title, or do you realize that everyone with this title in this company are not equal. You have to find some justification to pay them more, to bring them up to market pay so a recruiter cant come in and lure them elsewhere," said Foote.