Why isn’t salary the most important part of a job for IT professionals?

When it comes to looking for a new IT job, people working in the sector will be looking for a number of aspects to be a part of the next step in their career, depending on their personal circumstances. Factors IT professionals will be looking for as a part of their job search will range from flexible work hours, remote working and the latest tech stack to an exciting range of projects to work on, a reasonable commute and of course, salary.

I know what you’re thinking; surely everyone’s sole purpose of finding a new job is for a better salary? Apparently not. Research has shown that 75% of IT professionals said that salary is not the main reason they would accept a job offer. This may come as a surprise to some people, given that The Graduate Market in 2017 report states that starting salaries in IT are the same as the national median of £30,000. In addition to this, the number of entry-level positions available for graduates in IT has more than doubled in the last ten years – so why is it that salary isn’t the most important part of a job for IT professionals?

Job satisfaction

There are a variety of reasons as to why this might be the case. Of course, being paid is important to anyone, no matter which sector you’re working in; that goes without saying. However, for some, salary may be the most vital part of a job offer – but this isn’t the case with people working in IT. Other forms of compensation may be an important asset, such as a gym membership or bespoke benefits package, which a number of employers are now taking into account as a part of their recruitment process. However, we come back to the same question – why isn’t salary the most important part of a job for IT professionals? What could possibly be more significant?

The answer is job satisfaction. Enjoying the work that you are doing is not only beneficial to your day-to-day mood, but also to your overall wellbeing – in the UK, over 11 million days are lost at work a year because of stress at work. In addition to this, 49% of IT professionals would prefer flexible work or hours, a realistic commute/location they are happy with, or exciting projects and challenges, as apposed to a big salary. This means that when it comes to those working in the IT sector, if they find themselves with two job offers at the same time, the likelihood is that they will accept a job where they will enjoy their day-to-day tasks, or be able to work from home occasionally, as opposed to the role with the biggest salary.

Job offer details

The thing for employers to be aware of when they’re preparing a job offer for a candidate that they are keen to hire, is to consider what they may want in detail. A salary, pension and 25 days’ holiday simply won’t cut it for most IT professionals – aside from the basics, ask them during the interview stage what they’re looking for. Then, when you’re preparing to offer them a job, you will be able to consider specific details that they mentioned – such as weekly remote working, or incentivised projects – to include.

What else do IT professionals want?

Look out for our next blog about the benefits that IT experts do, and do not, want.

Gareth Morris

Managing Director, UK & Europe

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