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TEKsystems Study Indicates IT Retention Pains Largely Self-Inflicted

Oct 20, 2015 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

Hanover, Md. – October 20, 2015 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its Retention and Engagement survey. The survey explores IT leaders’ and IT professionals’ beliefs regarding the challenges and the state of engagement related to retention. Overall, results indicate that while retention is clearly an issue, organizations are doing little to address it.

The findings represent the views of more than 400 IT leaders and 1,500 IT professionals. See the full results here.

Key highlights from the survey include:

IT Leaders and IT Professionals Agree Their Organizations Struggle with Retention; Tenure Expectations, Infrastructure Lacking

  • Overall, 2 out of 5 IT leaders (42 percent) and IT professionals (43 percent) say their organization struggles to retain IT talent. Attrition seems to impact all teams equally, as more than two-thirds of IT leaders (67 percent) report retention is a challenge across all the skill sets they manage.
  • About one-third of IT leaders (34 percent) and IT professionals (29 percent) have no specific expectations for how long an employee will stay with the company. Less than 15 percent of both IT leaders (9 percent) and IT professionals (12 percent) expect people to stay with their employer for more than five years.
  • Just over 2 out of 5 IT leaders (43 percent) state they do not have the infrastructure necessary to quickly assemble or disassemble teams in order to respond to IT demands. Approximately half of IT leaders (51 percent) and IT professionals (49 percent) do not believe modular and temporary project teams are the future of work.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: While both groups acknowledge a retention problem, they have not taken action to manage the situation. Data indicates organizations are not making an effort to define expected time-in-job, nor putting infrastructure in place to extend or replace skill sets.

Compensation the No. 1 Reason to Stay or Go, but No Simple Answer to What Influences Retention Most

  • Compensation is viewed as the most influential factor for why an employee would stay with or leave their current position, according to more than 8 in 10 IT leaders (82 percent) and IT professionals (87 percent).
  • Though rankings and weighting vary, there is general agreement on what IT leaders and IT professionals believe to be the top five influential factors.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: While there is agreement between IT leaders and IT professionals, results indicate there is no simple answer as to what influences retention the most; factors span all categories: rewards, job opportunities, views toward organization and leadership, and coworkers.

Organizations Falling Short on Articulating Employee Value Proposition

  • Few IT leaders (32 percent) and IT professionals (41 percent) agree their organization has a clearly articulated employee value proposition (EVP). An EVP moves beyond compensation and benefits to encompass additional elements, such as opportunities for career development, work-life balance, company differentiators and candidate success traits.
  • Overall, IT leaders and professionals disagree on the existence of benefits, talent management and development programs. IT leaders report their organizations offer a wide variety of employee benefits programs. However, only a fraction of IT employees are aware these programs exist, indicating a lack of communication, participation or both.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: It is concerning that a higher level of IT professionals feel an EVP has been articulated – leading to a possible conclusion that IT professionals limit their definition of an EVP to compensation and benefits while discounting other factors. In addition, there are significant gaps in IT professionals’ awareness of benefits programs that could raise an organization’s standing and lead to improved retention.


IT Leaders Overestimate Implementation of Talent Management Programs; IT Professionals Not Experiencing Collaborative Development Approach

  • IT leaders consistently believe talent management programs (e.g., formal onboarding and offboarding, performance management and succession management) are being implemented at a far higher rate than IT professionals perceive. 
  • Less than half of IT leaders (43 percent) and less than a quarter of IT professionals (21 percent) say their organization approaches employee development with a philosophy that career development is shared between employer and employee. 
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The disparity between what IT leaders believe is taking place compared to what IT professionals think is concerning. It indicates either one or both groups are unaware of the existence or implementation of talent management programs. The overall feeling that career development is not a shared responsibility causes greater likelihood of attrition.



“This data indicates that when it comes to retention, organizations are their own worst enemy. While they’re experiencing the pain of attrition, they’re not doing the work to improve retention,” says TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “IT organizations have to first accept that workforce volatility is a reality. If they work to clearly articulate and implement a strong EVP that goes beyond compensation to encompass development and other factors, they can alleviate a significant portion of the pain. And if they don’t have the capability to deal with that reality, they may need to rethink their workforce planning strategy. Organizations that accept a ‘victim’s mentality’ will never progress to actually manage the situation.”

For additional results from the survey, click here. TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is also available for additional commentary. To schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin at

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.