What Tech Professionals Are Looking for in Their Next IT Opportunity

by Resource 1 on March 5, 2024


Professional working by desk


Even after 2023’s big tech layoffs from companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, unemployment in the technology sector remains low. Skilled IT professionals are in high demand and can be very selective when looking for their next IT opportunity. When it comes to finding and hiring top IT talent in 2024, tech professionals often have the upper hand.

Our 40 years of experience in the IT consulting industry gives us unique insight into what tech professionals seek in their next role. Topping the list, compensation remains critically important when IT professionals are considering a move. But salary alone is not enough to attract or retain top talent. Remote flexibility and skills development are also key factors when evaluating future opportunities.

Competitive Compensation

In recent years, many workplace experts have been suggesting that purpose and workplace happiness are more important than an employee’s pay package. While it’s true that these factors are influential—and that employees are highly likely to leave toxic work environments regardless of their salary—it doesn’t negate the critical importance of compensation and traditional benefits.

IT professionals know their skills are in high demand and they are simultaneously trying to keep up with the high levels of inflation they have experienced over the last few years. As a result, we have seen that compensation remains a key consideration as tech professionals evaluate new job opportunities. Companies must stay up to date in market rates—or partner with an IT consulting firm who can help them understand what it takes to be competitive.

It’s important to note that salary transparency is also of growing importance for IT professionals, according to a Dice report. A majority of surveyed professionals would be discouraged from applying to a company that doesn’t disclose a position’s salary range. Many say that not sharing a salary makes them think the compensation is less competitive.

Skills Development and Leadership Opportunities

More than anyone else, IT professionals know how fast technology evolves—and they want to keep their skills and experience relevant in this changing IT landscape. Dice reports that many professionals, anticipating future growth, are seeking to upskill in technologies such as AI/machine learning, cloud, cybersecurity, and big data. Trying to keep up with these rapidly evolving technologies can be challenging, which is why employer-offered training opportunities, courses, and certifications can be attractive.

We find that many IT professionals also look for opportunities to develop their career towards management and leadership. Career growth of this caliber requires superior soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, problem solving, and leadership, as well as opportunities to work on projects in which to gain experience. Giving IT professionals access to soft skills development training and providing ways to put these skills into practice is an effective way to attract top talent.

Location Flexibility

When it comes to remote work, technology professionals were always ahead of their time. Pre-pandemic, many tech workers were in roles that were partially or fully remote, so they were well-prepared when the pandemic shut down offices and workplaces worldwide. Location flexibility remains essential in the post-pandemic era; 73% of tech professionals say that remote work is an “extremely” or “very” important consideration in their next job opportunity. Recent research has also shown that less than half of surveyed professionals would even apply to a job if remote or hybrid was not an option. Given the continued importance of remote and hybrid work opportunities, return to office mandates are unlikely to attract top tech talent. If your organization cannot offer tech professionals the flexibility they seek, you will have a hard time finding and retaining the IT talent you need.

Hiring Tech Professionals Despite Evolving Employee Expectations

Compensation, career development, and remote flexibility all top the list of what IT professionals are looking for in a new opportunity. If these factors are fulfilled, professionals will also consider work-life balance and a positive work environment. These additional factors are especially important following the pandemic, when many professionals began to reflect on their core values and prioritize trust, collaboration, growth, and belonging in their chosen places of work. Employers that are able to build a reputation for meeting employee expectations across the gamut of these considerations are more likely to attract top talent. 90% of IT professionals agree that an employer’s brand is an important consideration when looking for a new opportunity.

Ultimately, expectations have evolved, and it is up to organizations to understand these motivations and respond in ways that proactively address what tech professionals are looking for in their next opportunity.  Doing so will ensure that companies can attract and retain top technical talent for their critical projects and technology initiatives.

Are you looking to hire top IT talent for your business? Partner with Resource 1 for all your talent needs. Reach out to us today to get started.