As seen in the December, 2003 issue of ...
SALARY SURVEY The Search for Greener Pastures
Our annual survey reveals that while the tech salaries have held steady, some IT staffers are looking to switch jobs in an improving economy.
Good economic news might be uplifting music to the
ears of CEOs and the bean-counting CFOs, but it might be
the blues for CIOs who want to retain their staff next
year. According to the respondents of our annual Waters
salary survey, financial IT salaries overall remain
roughly the same as last year, but the improving market
might set off a round of job-hopping. The documents in
your firms printer tray might be the résumés of the
mid-tier technology director or information manager you
once counted as your most loyal employee.
Money, Money, Money
Lets start with the money. The plurality of
respondents answered that they were earning between
$100,000 and $124,999 annually. According to the
spokespeople from the IT recruitment firms we spoke
with, these figures mark our respondents as middle
managers and mid-tier technology information workers.
The second-largest group reported that they earned
$75,000 to $99,999 per year. The grass on the other side
of the conference table, to mix metaphors, was much
greener, as we expected. Of the CIOs and CTOs who
responded to our survey, approximately 40 percent said
that their base salary was between $150,000 and
$199,999. Nearly thirty percent of CIOs and CTOs
responding said their pay was a notch lower at $125,000
to $149,999, while 21 percent said they took home
$200,000 to $300,000. One respondent reported earnings
from $300,000 to $400,000 per annum.
Looking to Leave?
Our survey appears to back that up that notion. Of
the CIOs and CTOs who responded, half said that they are
staying put, while slightly less than half overall said
the same thing. Those loyal responses aside, they also
said they are willing to entertain offers and many said
they are actively looking for a new title. Of the CIOs,
64 percent responded that they are happy with their
current job but would "entertain offers," while 61
percent of our overall survey said the same thing. Of
our responding CIOs, 14 percent said they are either in
contact with a headhunter or actively sending out
résumés--or both. Only one CIO said not to bother
calling with a job offer, he or she was staying put.
The Impact of Outsourcing
One continuing challenge facing the prospective job
hunter is the lack of new financial IT jobs compared to
the number of résumés floating around Wall Street and
beyond. One major reason for this, of course, is
outsourcing, which usually climbs up from the lower
ranks and stops well before the CIOs doorstep. "Most of
the outsourced jobs at the senior level are those that
help with the transition over to the outsourcer," says
Wait. "What happens a year or two after that becomes the
question mark. Do they remain on the outsourcers
payroll? The reality is these outsourcers cant augment
these jobs with their own people so they have to utilize
the staff from their clients."
Hire and Hire
With the good economic news comes some cautiously
optimistic news at best. The headhunters we spoke with
foresee some IT hiring in the coming years even after
the past staff reductions and outsourcing initiatives.
Retention Deficit Disorder
One area in which managers may have a tough time in
2004 is employee retention. Wall Street has not
instilled much good will or loyalty in its employees
after rounds of severe layoffs, budget cuts and
outsourcing to countries where mid-tier technical
staffers saw their jobs done by someone who earns the
equivalent of a Starbucks baristas salary.
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