IT talent war driving ‘unsustainable’ wage growth, report says

Yet Halcyon Knights survey finds no correlation between salary and job satisfaction

A shortage of IT professionals in the region is driving ‘unsustainable’ wage growth and leaving smaller firms unable to compete for talent, says a report from tech role recruiter Halcyon Knights

A survey of 2185 tech professionals from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore found nearly half command salaries of more than $120,000 a year.

“Businesses are finding themselves hamstrung by the market. Without insight into untapped areas of transferrable skills, they’re battling for a shallow talent pool with only their wages as arsenal,” said Halcyon Knights co-founder, Lincoln Benbow.

“The biggest driver of this tech mercenary culture is large enterprises. Top tier brands that can afford to pay large teams extreme wages are winning bids for experts while everyone else loses out,” he added.

However, there was an opportunity for smaller firms to attract skilled candidates with other, non-financial drawcards like flexibility, work-life balance and culture the report indicates.

Although salary and bonus scheme was a ‘top five factor’ in taking a role across every age group surveyed (except for 18- to 25-year-olds who prioritised career growth) – having a good leader and ‘culture fit’ were also of high importance.

The value of non-salary related factors increased with age, the report found.

Satisfaction slips

The study found no correlation between salary and job satisfaction. Those earning the least – between $50,000 and $69,000 – had low levels of job satisfaction but at similar levels as the top earners on $200,000 or more.

A sweet spot emerged, with workers on a salary of $90,000 to $120,000 reporting they were the most satisfied in their role.

Across the board in every type of role and salary band, job satisfaction was found to decrease with age.

Under 25s were found to be the most satisfied in their roles (79 per cent) compared to over 45s who have the highest levels of job dissatisfaction (24 per cent).

Developers on average enjoyed the lowest levels of job dissatisfaction (10 per cent) and highest levels of job satisfaction (68 per cent), just ahead of design, consulting and strategy professionals (66 per cent). That’s despite developers being among the lowest earners, earning the least apart from those in tech support.

CIOs were the highest earners, with half earning more than $200,000 a year and a quarter on more than $150,000.

Data, analytics and business intelligence professionals were the second highest earners, followed by those working in security roles.

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