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November 10, 2009

IT pros prepared to take pay cut to move jobs

Two-thirds will slice 10% off salary for new position

By Vinod

Four in five permanent IT staff would take a pay cut to move jobs, as tough working conditions erodes their company loyalty.

Two thirds of the permanent professionals surveyed by IT recruitment agency Abraxas said they would consider taking a pay cut of up to 10%. A further 17% said they would consider slicing 20% or more from their salary to change jobs. Contractors too were prepared to sacrifice pay: half said they would accept a 10% reduction and a third would consider a 20% drop.

“Our survey shows that many IT professionals expect to look for new work when the economy is on a more sound footing, with many of them being prepared to take a pay cut. For some this will be to secure a more career-enhancing position; for others it will be to work in a better environment. Our recommendation to organisations is to invest in their employee brands to ensure they retain their talented IT staff, as well as enhance their attractiveness to external candidates.”

Once the glimmer of an upturn turns into a full glare, 68% of the 350 UK IT professionals questioned, said they planned to dust off their CVs and look for a new job.

Permanent employees were found to have the itchiest feet – 87% planned to switch employers once the economy picks up. More than half the contractors (57%) intended to move.

Jackson said this willingness to work for less reflected the current tough working conditions, where many employees’ workloads had become heavier, with few rewards. Half the respondents said they’d been asked to take on work previously carried out by more senior personnel, while a similar number had been forced to take on the work of more junior staff. Some had already had their hours and base salaries reduced. As a result, staff loyalty had taken a serious battering.

Rather than simply wait for the upturn, the survey also found that half of the IT staff had improved their skills to make them more marketable.

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