British technology firms are being urged to reintroduce dot-com-style perks and benefits to stop their top IT talent being poached by competitors or lured into contracting.
A study by IT recruiter ReThink Recruitment has found that around a quarter of all UK IT workers are now contractors – up five per cent from a year ago – and unemployment among techies is well below the national average of 5.2 per cent at just 2.7 per cent.
Its poll suggested that, while remuneration remains the single most important factor for IT staff, organisations also needed to be looking at reintroducing the kind of perks used six years ago before the post-dot-com crash.
Jon Butterfield, ReThink managing director, said: "A lot of employers have become complacent about staff retention in their IT departments and are now paying the price as mission critical projects lose key staff."
He cited the example of one candidate who doubled his £60,000 salary at the same organisation in the space of a year as a result of the number of job offers he received from other companies.
But despite money still being the biggest motivator, Butterfield said IT directors also needed to be more creative about how they rewarded and incentivised their IT staff.
Some of the perks and benefits by ReThink included share options, time-serve bonuses, secondments, flexible and remote working.
Other options included fast-track programmes for high-achievers, training and skills development, and social activities and recreational facilities, it added.