Programmer Sociology: Key Factors Affecting Loyalty and Motivation of IT Companies’ Employees in The World and Eastern Europe
According to the forecast by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of IT and computer technology in the United States for the period 2019-2029 will increase by an average of 11%. Thanks to this, more than half a million new jobs will be created, which is much higher than in other industries. This growth is leading to a range of challenges and problems that employers and IT recruitment companies are facing when ensuring production processes. Global Knowledge’s report shows that recruiting and retaining talents is a major challenge for IT managers. About 50% of them are currently experiencing difficulties in this area, and only 7% are not encountering any.
When commenting on the results of this 2020 report, the CEO of Global Knowledge Todd Johnstone emphasized:
“78% of IT decision-makers globally face critical skills gaps and struggle to find qualified employees, undermining security, efficiency and productivity.”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has published the results of its survey of small business owners for January 2021. Around 90% of the respondents who are actively recruiting new employees note the lack or complete absence of candidates suitable for their vacancies. This indicates a serious shortage of specialists in general.
Today, the talent shortage is considered the #1 challenge in the HR sphere. Given the rapid growth in the number of vacancies and the lack of specialists with the appropriate degrees in IT, one of the recommendations by Global Knowledge is “degree deflation” which requires employers to pay attention not to a candidates’ specialized degrees but their skills.
These challenges characterize the situation in the global information and computer technology market as a whole and indicate the state of business primarily in developed economies – IT outsourcing companies in Europe and North America. In this regard, the IT outsourcing market in Eastern Europe can be characterized as young and fast-growing, with its characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.
What are the challenges that an IT company faces when hiring employees and maintaining their loyalty and involvement? To what extent is the situation with the recruitment of IT specialists in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine in line with global trends?
Since Andersen has the main production facilities in this region and has sufficient operating experience in the IT market, we decided to share some data on the situation in this area. Also, we collected opinions and comments from our leading HR specialists.
The region’s peculiarities: hiring by IT companies and staff mobility
“The peculiarity of the IT market,” comments Teona Daushvili, the leading HR Manager at Andersen, who has ten years of experience in international and regional organizations in various industries, “is such that there is strong competition for employees. The employer’s brand and the availability of special bonuses are of great importance. This is generally not the case for most other market segments. Such competition for qualified specialists exists only among highly specialized premium-class enterprises. However, even in comparison with them, the competition in the IT field is higher. Since employees know their value, their expectations for their employer are high as well.
The IT market in the region remains insufficiently saturated with specialists, despite the high salaries and a training boom. Competition is especially high for qualified middle and senior specialists. However, even when it comes to beginners who are only completing their studies at universities or colleges, the demand for them exceeds the current supply.
There are requirements for individual companies to be featured in the databases of specialized universities responsible for training future workers in the IT industry. Educational institutions can provide guidance for promising students and help with their current employment. In other words, whether we are talking about experienced specialists or those “grown” by companies themselves, the competition for them is so high that it dictates its own rules. Of course, this situation leads to increased mobility of the workers responsible for production processes in IT companies.
This assessment is consistent with the global trends that were discussed at the very beginning. At the same time, although degree deflation and abandoning the requirement of mandatory higher education for hiring specialists has not been observed yet, the increased demand for future professionals also dictates the deferred expectations of the employer regarding the pursuit of appropriate qualifications by young employees.”
Infographic 1: Priorities of IT specialists when applying for a job according to Personal Invest
Are candidates’ hiring expectations similar depending on their jobs in a company?
“A high level of expectations can be observed in all candidates without exception,” says Lyudmila Voroshilova, a regional HR leader with six years of experience in the company. “However, programmers have higher expectations initially, and these are concerning both the size of the salary and additional bonuses – while the expectations of other candidates are generally lower and usually correspond to the level of the current job offer.
Most support specialists are willing to work at an IT company in the hope of better conditions and wages. For former employees of other organizations, especially those belonging to the public sector, a system of extended office support, including office supplies, a free food court with a rich assortment, etc. becomes a pleasant bonus, which increases their motivation and loyalty.”
Nowadays, the IT market is one of the fastest-growing and most demanding in terms of recruitment and quality of specialists. In the Eastern European region, one can observe local specificity, which is seen both when hiring new employees and further maintaining their loyalty.
Organizations investing in the IT industry today must take these characteristics into account to develop their own strategy for staying in the market. HR specialists of IT recruitment companies can use this data to improve their performance indicators.
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