What IT Workers Really Want – Stability, Plus Flexibility

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Research from IT recruitment specialist Elan on the top priorities of IT workers reveals that most want the stability of a permanent role.

Despite the reputation of the IT sector as flexible and forward-thinking, the top priority for most IT workers is the stability that comes with a permanent role, according to new research.
Commissioned by recruitment specialists Elan, it seems IT workers across the board, from those in IT business analyst jobs, to those in developer roles or support positions are all less freewheeling “guns-for-hire” and actually more “cuddly” self-aware family men and women.

Elan questioned 500 IT workers to rank their top three priorities when considering their next role. Among both permanent staff (83%) and contractors (67%) the clear priority was the stability of a permanent role. The surprisingly high number of contractors who ranked stability as one of their three key priorities could well be another clear indication of the current unsettled recessionary times we are all facing.

The second highest priority was “flexibility about working hours” – 68% of permanent workers chose this, as did 60% of those in IT contract roles.

The oft-cited demand for more “technical training” appeared in third place, with a very even split between permanent and contract workers. The freedom to customise their benefits package came in fourth, showing a similar split, as did access to non-technical training, in fifth place.

These unexpected results challenge many preconceived ideas about the needs and expectations of workers in IT and reveal two important results. That IT workers in general are unsettled by the recession and currently want more stability in their working lives just like everybody else. And IT contractors in particular are not the flexible working devotees many had assumed. In fact, most would prefer an improved work-life balance, just like everybody else.


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Stuart Carter
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