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Australia’s IT industry staff attrition rate “unsustainably” high

Australia’s IT industry staff attrition rate “unsustainably” high

Research shows current rate running at 21.7 per cent

Credit: Dreamstime

The staff attrition rate in Australia’s tech industry is running at unsustainably high levels, according to new research commissioned by the country’s peak member body for the ICT industry.

The data from the Australian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA) latest biannual Aon Survey of Salaries & Remuneration Packaging Remuneration Report on the local tech industry has revealed higher average salaries and staff attrition rates, compared to previous years. 

A primary concern arising from the study is the current rate of staff attrition, both voluntary and involuntary which, according to the AIIA, is running at an unsustainably higher level of 21.7 per cent. This is on par with the attrition levels currently seen in Silicon Valley, the AIIA said. 

“The results indicate healthy salary growth in the technology industry, however the high rates of attrition are certainly an area of concern,” said AIIA CEO Ron Gauci. “This issue needs to be addressed if we are to foster a stable and productive industry in Australia.”

The AIIA suggested that, although using pay to reduce attrition can be a quick fix, a broader focus on employee value propositions can lead to a longer-term reduction in attrition rates. These propositions could include benefits, financial wellness and flexibility is considered.

However, the survey found that salaries are on the rise in the industry, with total remuneration increasing, on average, by 2.9 per cent over the past 12 months. 

It should be noted, however, that there are wide variations by sub-sector, with software-related salaries higher, at 3.9 per cent. According to the data, early forecasts for 2020 are slightly tighter at 2.5 per cent, indicating some conservatism given the tightening economic environment.

While software salaries rose higher than the average, the survey found that the highest fixed pay increases appeared to be in the areas of product, research and development and graduate jobs, with the lowest seen in senior executive jobs, with the latter tied to performance rather than fixed salary increases

The survey, which drew from pay data from over 400 companies in Australia, also found that over the past two years, the technical skill-sets with the greatest supply and demand imbalance have been in the areas of digital transformation, security, data science, AI and DevOps.

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