GETTING "IT" – Hewitt Survey Indicates New Strategies to Find, Attract IT Workers

August 13, 2000 ( - According to a recent survey, employers are offering more benefits and greater flexibility, in addition to higher salaries, to hold information technology workers.

The Hewitt Associates 2000 US HOT Technologies Survey found that IT employees often average base pay increases of 10% compared with a national average of 4% for other salaried workers.

Nearly two-thirds of IT workers received some form of bonus pay this year. Thirteen percent of “hot skill” employees were granted stock options this year, up from 10%. 

However, just 1% of information technology workers were so rewarded, down from 7% last year.  Respondents attributed the decline to the completion of Y2K projects.

Flex “Fix”

The survey also found:

  • Flextime programs – 83% of respondents now offer versus 57% last year
  • Telecommuting now offered by 62%, up from about 40% a year ago
  • Casual dress policies – now offered by 73%, up from 58% in 1999.

And the new approaches appear to be working. Turnover among hot skills employees now averages just 12% – down from about 16% a year earlier, and lower than the 13% average turnover rate among non-IT employees.

Respondents say it is taking 2-3 months to fill information technology positions, while more than a quarter (26%) say that at least 10% of their IT positions are currently vacant.

Still, most say that contract workers are less than 10% of their workforce.

“This study shows that while hot skills compensation is still growing, it is doing so at a slower rate than we’ve seen in years past,” said Faye Lott, a Hewitt Associates IT compensation consultant. “However, there continues to be rapid pay movements for skills with the highest demand, which is a trend that should continue well into the future.”

What’s Hot

Network Engineering and Data Visualization top the pay scale, according to the study. Network engineers are typically responsible for client/server and Internet/Intranet network development, while data visualization professionals apply techniques such as virtual reality to scientific and engineering projects.

Also high on the list were skills in:

  • Web Infrastructure
  • Data Warehousing
  • Numerical & Non-Numerical Research
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Voice Systems Engineering
  • Web Security

Hot Tomorrow

Respondents say the next wave of “hot skill” demands will include:

  • Web Content Development – directs, oversees, reviews and edits all Web content, establishes links and flow of information on and between pages
  • Web Design and Development – designs, prototypes, develops and implements applications using a number of Web programming languages
  • Web Infrastructure – designs, implements and supports Web servers and applications servers
  • Web Security – manages the selection, implementation and maintenance of firewalls, application of security patches and updates/modifies security design.

The survey was based on results from 216 large companies, reporting data on more than 38,000 information technology workers with “skills in short supply, high demand and experiencing rapid changes in market value.” 

The survey is conducted twice a year.