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Two-thirds of tech workers would leave over poor work-life balance

Dominic Harvey

With vacancies outweighing skilled talent in the UK tech industry, firms are fighting to win the cream of the crop to fill an estimated 600,000 vacancies. Yet if they want to do so, they need to offer employees a role that creates a positive work-life balance, with nearly two-thirds (62 percent) saying they would quit their job to achieve this. Article by Dominic Harvey, Director – CWJobs.

At the same time, tech workers want the opportunity to grow as professionals, with over half (52 percent) willing to leave their jobs over a lack of career progression, while a third (35 percent) would move elsewhere for more learning and development opportunities. Meanwhile, micromanagement would drive four in 10 workers (39 percent) out of the door (rising to 50 percent of IT workers aged 45-54).

Research from CWJobs of over 1,000 IT workers has also discovered that  this is even more important to Gen Z (aged 16-24), where seven in 10 (72 percent) would leave a company if this was compromised. 

Money vs New Challenge – it’s an age thing
While salary and benefits are the biggest drivers for jobseekers when searching for a new role, with over two-thirds (71 percent) citing this, company culture is key for one in three (36 percent). Gen Z workers say a new challenge (56 percent) is more important than higher salary and other benefits (33 percent), proving interesting work is the key to attracting the next generation of talent. The focus shifts to pay as workers progress, with over two-thirds (67 percent) of millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) being attracted to salary and benefits. 

Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs comments: “Striking the right balance between a competitive renumeration package and opportunities for development is one of the biggest challenges facing employers. Clearly, there is no one-size-fits all approach to attracting the best tech talent.” 

Working with culture fit specialists Good&Co, CWJobs has undertaken extensive research to uncover six personas amongst UK IT workers in the modern workplace, and outline strategies to help companies identify how to tantalise them to their doors and hold on to the best talent. 

“The UK tech sector needs to find effective ways of addressing and solving the skills crisis. That’s why we’ve worked with Good&Co to help recognise different personality types in the workplace in a fun and playful way, to help candidates find industries and roles that suit them, and enable employers to tailor their approach for different tech personas,” added Harvey.

Six techie temperaments

The Chameleons
The chameleons are the most measured group, yet with a slight disposition towards adventure and embracing new experiences. To attract this type of IT worker, companies need to offer a new challenge to get their teeth into, alongside good salary and benefits, as this group is the most likely to leave due to a lack of career progression. 

Industries of interest = Arts & Culture

Preferred specialities = General IT, Cloud, Coding

The High Fliers
The high fliers are driven by the will to move up the career ladder and reach that senior level within a company. As a result, they’re most likely to stay in a role for over five years, as their primary aim is career progression, making them loyal to the companies that can provide that.

Industries of interest = Open to all industries

Preferred specialities = General IT, Cloud

The Curious Collaborators
This sociable and extroverted group is the perfect networking combination. Calm and less competitive, personal connections and collaborations are the biggest motivators for such individuals. To attract this persona, a job role needs to be intellectually stimulating and provide a real challenge. 

Industries of interest = Open to all industries

Preferred specialities = Cybersecurity, General IT

The Outlaws
The outlaws are the ones that are prepared to push the boundaries to get what they want. Preferring work that is relatively stress-free means this group is looking for roles that allow career progression while maintaining a healthy work-life balance

Industries of interest = Finance & Legal

Preferred specialities = Cybersecurity, General IT, Coding

The Provocateurs
The most extreme scorers are also the most interested in training and upskilling. These are the respondents who chose an extreme answer on many personality traits; e.g. absolutely yes or absolutely no in the survey.

To secure this type of individual the key is focusing on professional development and the importance of a good work-life balance. The provocateurs are the least interested in exploring different industries, prioritising a job that is serving them as an individual over brand loyalty every time. 

Industries of interest = Strongly prefers to work in IT & Telecoms

Preferred specialities = General IT, Cloud

The Diplomats
The highest scoring group for empathy, they have a knack for persuading and caring about others in the team. The diplomats’ highly protective nature means they are drawn to cybersecurity over other industry specialism, with a high proportion of these individuals occupying roles in security.  

Industries of interest = Travel & Transport, Architecture, Engineering & Building

Preferred specialities = Cybersecurity, AI, Cloud

The tech industry has the highest turnover rate compared to any other industry,” said Good&Co’s Chief Psychometrician & Co-Founder, Dr Kerry Schofield. “With this in mind, it‘s clear that simply hiring for skills and experience is not sufficient. In order to improve retention rates, tech employers need to go a step further and consider the fit between a candidate’s personality and the role in question.”

Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, added: “It’s exciting to view the tech and IT recruitment in such a new and dynamic way, by looking at personality types and seeing how employers or businesses can tailor their offering to meet the traits of individuals. This way, perhaps workers will discover new things about what they should be looking for in a role in ways that might’ve been discounted before.”

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