How to build and retain a strong IT team

Info-Tech Research Group has released its 2022 trends report on the IT talent market. This research contains insights and strategies on how organizations can incorporate new ways of working to build and keep the best team.

IT talent trends

The report findings are based on insights from 245 IT professionals who participated in an industry survey. The survey data for the 2022 report is diverse, with representation from 12 countries and 18 industries, including manufacturing, government, financial, education, telecom, and health care.

While the pandemic forced the world to work differently for the past two years, looking forward, the research indicates that to compete, successful organizations will need to incorporate new ways of working into their business models – beyond simply having a remote work policy. The IT talent market will never be the same, and organizations must reevaluate their employee experience from the bottom up to weather the shift to the new normal successfully.

Five IT talent trends

What employees are looking for is changing. The biggest change from 2019, pre-pandemic, to today is an increase in the importance of culture, flexible or remote work, and work-life balance.

Organizations that fail to keep up with this shift in priorities will see the greatest difficulty in hiring and retaining staff. The five trends that the research has revealed should be top of mind for IT leaders as they build and retain the best team. The five IT talent trends for 2022 are:

  • Strategic recruiting finds good talent – As the economy has stabilized, more jobs have become available, creating a job seeker’s market. This is a clear sign of confidence in the economy, however fragile, as new waves of the pandemic continue.
  • The (not so) Great Resignation – Movement in the job market, such as new jobs posted and voluntary turnover, can indicate increased confidence in the economy. During the height of the pandemic, both employees and employers were focused on stability to ensure lifestyle or survival and managing through the uncertainty. Organizations now looking to manage retention need to provide an employee experience driven by culture and purpose.
  • Grow your DEI practices into meaningful actions­ – Having DEI policies in place is only the beginning. Meaningful change and conversations need to take place before they will have a lasting effect. IT departments must be ready to work with HR to take ownership of any shortcomings related to DEI within their department.
  • Remote work is here, can your culture adapt? – With most organizations embarking on a hybrid work model, leadership must ensure this change is supported by the organization’s culture. Not a post-pandemic fad, remote work is the natural, if accelerated, evolution of work culture in a digital world.
  • Management skills drive success in a remote world – The expansion of remote work presents new challenges for managers, from managing remote employees’ productivity to building team connectedness in the age of videoconferences. Organizations must ensure managers have the right skills to manage these new ways of working effectively.

Over the past two years, organizations have ventured into unprecedented ways of working and supporting their employees as they tried to maintain productivity through the pandemic. This has made lasting changes to both business models and employee expectations, and these effects will continue to be seen long after we return to a “new normal.”

Top takeaways

The survey found that 47% of respondents are hiring external talent to fill existing gaps, with 40% using external training programs to upgrade current employees. Survey respondents cited skill shortages in highly technical areas like security and enterprise architecture.

IT is faring better than other departments according to survey results, with 70% stating voluntary turnover is less than 10% compared to 47% stating it is above 10% at the organization level.

Salary and compensation was identified by 57% of respondents as the reason employees resigned. Professional development and opportunity for innovative work are also included in the top three reasons for resignation, which indicates that when employees feel stagnant in their role, they will look elsewhere for opportunities.

Despite being important to potential job seekers, only 33% of organizations reported that they delivered DEI training over the past year. Respondents list time and resources as barriers to implementing DEI initiatives.

Going into 2022, 76% of employees rate remote/flexible work as being “very important” in choosing an employer. And most respondents believe that the majority of roles in IT are capable of being performed remotely. 91% of organizations plan to offer remote work, but 23% of leaders are not open to the idea at all.

72% of respondents report their IT department is very effective at managing remote staff. However, front-line staff rate remote management effectiveness lower than managers or senior leaders.




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