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08 December 2015

• IT salaries grew by 2.8% in 2015, some roles enjoying double-digit growth
• Yet 63% of IT employees plan to change jobs in 2016, a third because of pay
• 72% of IT employers confident that business activity will increase in 2016
• War for talent intensifies as 76% plan to increase headcount but 80% say skills shortage will be a challenge

According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016 report, IT professionals enjoyed some of the biggest pay increases of all sectors in 2015 – yet despite this, huge numbers of employees are set to leave their current positions next year and employers are going to come under increasing pressure to do more to attract and retain the best talent.

The analysis of salary data from Hays job listings, job offers and candidate registrations saw the average marketing salary increase by 2.8% in 2015, higher than the national average increase of 2.3% identified in the report. This masks double-digit salary growth for specific positions such as those working in project and change management roles. The survey of over 1,200 employers and employees in IT found a third of employers awarded their staff pay rises of over 2.5% of annual salary, the largest proportion of employers to do so of any sector.

Employers need to act fast to avoid staff exodus
Despite 71% of IT employers increasing pay this year, three in five (63%) IT professionals expect to move onto pastures new in 2016, with almost a third (31%) planning to move jobs over pay and a similar number (30%) because of a lack of career opportunities. With the increasing number of interesting and well paid IT contracting jobs currently on offer, this may come as no surprise for many in the industry.

With 72% of IT employers believing that business activity will increase next year and three quarters planning to hire new staff to meet the demand, it appears employers will need to dig deeper into their pockets and offer more opportunities for career progression to attract and retain the best talent.

With fewer employers looking to increase salaries in 2016 (66%) compared to this year (71%) many IT employers will be hoping that their roles and organisations appeal to IT professionals beyond just pay.

Sector’s skills shortage continues
A fluid jobs market and dissatisfaction with pay and career opportunities coincides with the sector’s chronic skill shortage, which has only marginally improved since last year, and is likely to further increase pressure on employers. Four fifths (83%) of employers in the sector say they are already concerned they will encounter a shortage of suitable candidates, compared to a similar number last year (85%), and a third say they don’t currently have the talent required to achieve their business objectives.

James Milligan, Director of Hays Information Technology, says:

“Economic confidence is fuelling optimism within the IT sector as we go into 2016 and staff are reaping the rewards, with many enjoying high salary increases. Activity is expected to pick up as organisations adapt their IT systems to keep pace with growth and projects that had been put on hold start again. However, IT companies face an alarming number of staff departures next year as employees move on in search of even better salaries and career progression, prompting an escalation in the war for talent which is already raging in the IT sector. Employers will need to act fast to ensure they have the right talent in place for what is expected to be a busy 2016.”

“We’re experiencing a drastic skills shortage in IT and a more fluid jobs market will only increase the value of the profession’s top talent. Firms that cannot offer substantial salaries will find it difficult to attract and retain the most skilled employees and many organisations will be working hard to ensure their appeal goes beyond pay alone.”

For further press information please contact:
Kathryn Iacono
T: 0207 200 3760

About Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016
Data compiled using data gathered during 2015 from Hays offices across the UK, based on job listings, job offers and candidate registrations. Survey responses from 20,000 employers and employees from organisations of all sizes throughout the UK.

About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2015 the Group employed 9,023 staff operating from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015:

– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;
– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA