During the fourth quarter of 2012, Robert Half released their annual salary guide, which I’m sure had many tech professionals smiling all the way through their morning stand up meetings. While tech salaries are already among the highest in the country, the Robert Half salary guide indicates they could see an average increase of 5.3 percent in the months ahead... nearly double that of the national average at 3 percent.
Remember your Economics 101 course? Increasing salaries must mean that the demand for these professionals is on the rise too... right? There's no doubt about that, and I can attest to the shortage of software engineering professionals firsthand. As a company that is always (and I do mean always) on the hunt for top-tier software engineering talent, we’re seeing the effects of this tough intersection between an increased demand and a talent shortage.
There’s currently a huge deficit of high-caliber tech professionals available, specifically web and mobile application developers. Now don’t get me wrong, you can still find diamonds in the rough or the occasional small window of opportunity to snatch up a seasoned pro. But when that window opens, you have to be focused and have the "know-how" to attract, vet and retain elusive top talent. And you have to move fast.
As a former coder, this is very welcome news. There have been some bumpy employment stretches over the past 10-12 years for developers at all levels. For the most part, salaries topped off for a number of years. Fortunately for our kind, that's not the case anymore. Almost every company we’re working with is looking to fill a number of IT related positions. Some companies have been looking longer than others. Typically, companies struggling to attract IT talent haven’t sufficiently adjusted to this market trend. The companies that are successfully attracting these professionals have made adjustments by paying more competitively, providing creative benefits and offering ongoing professional development opportunities.
Focusing on the Phoenix market, the Robert Half guide has assigned a salary index of 1.08 or 8% above the national average. When we apply the Phoenix index to the national averages, we get the following sample of salary ranges.
|Position Description||National - Low||National - High||Phoenix - Low||Phoenix - High|
|Developer/Programmer Analyst with Java||$64,750.00||$114,500.00||$76,223.70||$134,789.40|
|Software Developer with Java||$74,500.00||$118,250.00||$87,701.40||$139,203.90|
|Software Developer with .NET||$74,500.00||$118,250.00||$86,896.80||$137,926.80|
|Mobile Application Developer||$64,750.00||$114,500.00||$69,930.00||$123,660.00|
|Web Developer with AJAX||$65,750.00||$106,500.00||$75,270.60||$121,921.20|
There’s always been a bright future for IT professionals, but as information technology finds its way into every nook and cranny of our personal and professional lives, the demand for IT professionals is ever-increasing. So now that the salary trajectory is on pace with demand, companies will have to again adjust their recruiting approach and compensation levels, or they risk losing out to the competition again and again.
Looking forward to your comments on the Robert Half report and the Phoenix IT talent market.