61pc of IT pros working longer hours for no extra pay

2 Dec 2011

More than half of workers in the IT sector have taken a pay cut in the last year, according to a new survey. Career progression has overtaken salary expectation as the biggest motivator for job change.

The survey by Clarion Consulting also reveals that only 12pc of workers in the sector understand the EU directive on temporary agency workers. Last night, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton announced that from 5 December 2011, all temporary agency workers (35,000 workers or about 2pc of the active workforce) assigned to a hirer are entitled to equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions as if they had been directly recruited by the hirer in the same job.  

IT recruitment firm Clarion Resourcing’s IT employment survey found that 61pc of IT workers said employers expect them to work longer than their contracted hours for no extra pay, while 53pc confirmed their salary has been cut in the last 12 months.

However, career progression has marginally overtaken salary expectation as the single biggest motivating factor in moving jobs, as cited by 29pc of respondents. Twenty-six per cent of respondents said they were motivated by a better salary or daily rate.

Confusion abounds in relation to the EU’s Agency Worker Directive, due to come into force here in December.

Some 55pc admitted they were not aware of its implications and one-third only had a “vague” understanding of the impending legislation, whereby temporary agency workers are entitled to equal treatment with regular workers in respect of certain employment rights, including working hours, annual leave and pay.

The IT employment market survey was conducted online during October 2011 and canvassed the opinions of more than 1,000 randomly-selected IT professionals from Clarion Resourcing’s permanent and contract career panel. It paints a picture of an IT industry, which is pushing for greater productivity gains from existing staff but where opportunities still exist for new IT recruits. Some 31pc of respondents said their employers will be hiring in the coming 12 months.

Commenting on the survey, Turlach McAlister, resourcing services manager with Clarion Resourcing, said: “The reality is that employers are pushing staff to deliver more. However, employees are now thinking far more strategically about their chosen career path, willing to sacrifice short-term gain for the sake of longer-term, sustainable career success.

“In fact, almost one-quarter had interviewed for four or more roles before securing a position, indicating they will only move when there is a close fit with their career expectations,” he said, adding 60pc of professionals turn to recruitment companies as a channel to market.

Recruitment agencies perform poorly in the eyes of IT pros

Opinion is split on the quality of the recruitment experience through agencies. Forty per cent of IT professionals have had their salary expectations misrepresented to a prospective employer by a recruitment agency and in 36pc of cases, a CV was submitted to an employer without the candidate’s permission.

Some 51pc of professionals said agencies were either “poor” or “very poor” in helping them with interview preparation and coaching, and 39pc cited a similar rating in relation to agencies’ ability to identify suitable career opportunities. Just 17pc of respondents said agencies were either “good” or “very good” in understanding their career aspirations, highlighting a significant disconnect between candidates and recruiters.

“Frankly, we were surprised by the high level of agency dissatisfaction,” said McAlister. “Serious issues arise in relation to the confidentiality and integrity of the recruitment process and it’s clear that trust is a major issue between candidate and recruiter.”

IT pros seek out new opportunities

The survey also highlights interesting trends in the primary channels used by candidates to seek out new opportunities.

Twenty-one per cent of respondents use online resources, such as recruitment websites, while 16pc of candidates use general internet searches and social media. Word of mouth remains popular with 17pc citing it as the key channel to find opportunities.

“Traditional advertising media such as press, radio and outdoor just don’t feature as highly as we would have expected,” said McAlister. “For example, just 5pc use press advertising and less than that again for career fairs and expos. This obviously has implications for marketing planning and advertising spend into the future,” he added.

Data also suggests that candidates are not preparing as well as they can for interviews. For example, just one-quarter obtains external help with CV preparation and one-fifth don’t prepare competency-type questions for the interview process. Sixty per cent never practise interview techniques with a friend or colleague.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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