Shakespeare was wrong. All that glisters really is gold. For while work life balance is lovely, just try taking it to the bank next time the rent is due. Senior technology professionals around the world are unequivocal this year about what attracts and retains talent. Money.

That’s the finding from the latest Harvey Nash 2016 Technology Survey.

Salary is now the number one primary motivator for changing jobs and the change on last year is swift and significant. Work/life balance has been bumped into second place.

The study’s authors say four in 10 high tech workers were headhunted into a new job this year on much higher pay. “Respondents listed a good salary as their main motivator (77 percent) behind the switch, up 16 percent from last year and pushing work/life balance out of the number one spot.”

The pictured painted by the survey is one of steadily building pressure on the skills front. “Almost one in four IT employees (37 percent) received 10 or more calls from headhunters during the past year, while 62 percent of software developers and 55 percent of all software engineers reported 10 or more approaches from recruiters.”

Hiring managers are certainly feeling the pinch with a majority reporting skills shortages in 2015, and the situation has decayed from last year where they were already finding the going tough.

Folding stuff

“The long-term IT skills shortage has led technology companies, both large and small, to drive pay and incentives up with hopes of recruiting and retaining this scarce and highly sought-after tech talent. This approach has had some effect: the proportion of IT workers who expect their next role to be with their current employer has risen from 22 percent in 2013 to 27 percent this year. However, that means almost three quarters (73 percent) believe the only way to progress their career is to leave their current employer.”

The study also identified key differences between the concerns of technology leaders in Australia and overseas.

It is interesting to look at Australia’s position as an innovator, and how more needs to be done to create innovative digital teams. The good news is that the there is less staff turnover in Australia. Building product, solution or digital teams needs a stable platform to be successful, and Australia is demonstrating more stability in this regard.

Among the other highlights, Compared to the global average, Australia is;

  • Slightly less likely to suffer a skills shortage (48 per cent vs 53 per cent globally of hiring managers say they have one)
  • Slightly more likely to have tech people who consider themselves ‘integral’ to the business (46 per cent vs 45 per cent)
  • More stable in their jobs / less likely to be planning to move in the next 12 months (38 per cent vs 40 per cent)
  • Less likely to see Google as the most influential tech company (50 per cent vs 52 per cent)
  • Less likely to think that Australia’s position as a global innovator will improve (46 per cent vs 55 per cent)
  • More likely to feel their companies are doing enough to protect themselves from cyber attack (50 per cent vs 43 per cent)

The survey sought feedback from nearly 3000 technology professionals in 30 countries with the bulk of the responses coming from significant proportion of respondents were from Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland and and across the European Union.

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