Turnover Remains High in IT Job Market, Dice Finds

Total quits in the category in the first three quarters of 2015 averaged 508,200, the highest since 2002, according to a report from Dice.

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Voluntary quits in professional and business services continue to trend upward, according to IT job services specialist Dice's analysis of the latest turnover data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total quits in the category in the first three quarters of 2015 averaged 508,200, the highest since 2002 and a 9 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

"Companies never want to lose their best talent, especially when the market to fill those roles left open by tech professionals leaving is highly competitive," Bob Melk, president of Dice, told eWEEK. "One thing employers can do is partner with their HR departments to have a deep-dive talent assessment to discover which positions are highly valuable and which could be at risk of leaving."

Melk explained that, for example, on Dice they see positions for big data professionals growing every year, which means tech professionals with big data experience are in high demand and attractive candidates may be lured to another company.

Having regular conversations with all team members in tech departments is crucial to ensuring a company's greatest assets don't walk out the door, he said.

"Turnover in professional and business services [our proxy for technology] has been rising every year since 2012. I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future," Melk said. "There are a variety of factors that impact turnover—from competition and shortage of talent to more available opportunities across the U.S."

The market today makes it a challenge for employers who may not be offering the most competitive salaries or perks, Melk said.

"Companies that may not have the biggest budgets aren't completely in a bind," Melk said. "Tech professionals tell us having interesting or challenging projects keeps them happy and engaged."

Dice's recent survey of more than 1,600 U.S.-based tech professionals points to key areas of satisfaction for tech workers, but also key triggers for turnover.

Factors that could be driving higher-tech turnover include the desire for higher pay (59 percent said they'd move to another city for a higher-paying job) and location (50 percent said they'd move to another city for a job without pay being a factor).

"Dice customers tell us they're increasingly having to offer unique perks like free lunch or gym memberships to attract highly skilled candidates. Some companies offer free medical or dental insurance, unlimited vacation days or sign-on bonuses to get the best tech talent in the door," Melk said. "I don't know if that's due to the millennial generation or tech pros across all experience levels becoming more in-demand and therefore more in-tune with what a company will offer to be competitive."