CorSource Blog

The Short Tenure of Tech Pros: Problem or Opportunity?

by Valerie Ebinger on September 5, 2018 in Hiring Trends, Retention, Tech Industry, Technical Staffing

15-Second Overview

  • The average tenure of an IT pro in the biggest tech companies is less than two years
  • Societal and economic shifts have created a new Talent Economy, increasing mobile and independent working options
  • Employers must adapt to this new environment to maintain success in IT hiring


It’s clear that the tenure of tech pros in 2018 is shorter than ever. Take a look at the biggest names in the industry such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, and the tenure of their average employee is less than two years. What’s less clear to many organizations is why this is happening and, more importantly, how to turn this potential workforce problem into an opportunity.


Tenure in the New Talent Economy

There’s a reason turnover in tech is the highest out of every single business sector, and it has to do with the new Talent Economy. As the supply chain to the gig economy, the Talent Economy is comprised in large part by tech pros seeking work outside of traditional roles. This is made possible through societal and economic changes making mobile and independent work more prevalent. Residing within a new environment, a tech pro’s perspective of what their career can be and how long they want to stay in a single role has shifted.


IT professionals are empowered like never before, faced with their choice of many different opportunities. With the flexibility the gig economy provides and the potential to be exposed to many skills more quickly, tech pros are increasingly choosing gigs over permanent roles. Even when they do take on a permanent role they move on to their next career stop quickly, as evidenced by Paysa’s research below:


Tech Tenure


Adapting to Shorter Tenure

For employers, this clear trend presents an unavoidable conclusion: If popular companies offering the industry’s most coveted perks and benefits have this type of turnover, it means most organizations will trend in a similar direction. After all, in just four years 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. As a result, organizations must clarify their recruitment, hiring, and talent acquisition strategies moving forward. Alignment from the top down is necessary to refocus efforts across the organization.


Specifically for hiring managers, a more holistic approach to tech initiatives that can leverage a combination of internal, contractor, and distributed development resources is required. One can no longer rely solely on permanent IT roles when “permanent” positions see such short tenure. That mentality often results in unplanned hiring when an employee leaves after 18 months.


It’s critical to not just anticipate that an employee is likely to leave within two years, but to actually alter roles to match the mentality of tech pros in the Talent Economy. For most, that means changing at least some permanent roles into contracting roles in order to lean into the trend of short tenure instead of fighting the inevitable. Doing so can achieve unprecedented hiring success, as it opens the door for tapping multiple expert freelancers for the price of a single employee.


The Short Tenure of Tech Pros: Problem or Opportunity?

The question of whether the short tenure of tech pros is a problem or opportunity is ultimately up to how you respond to it. While it can be a headache to overhaul hiring and recruiting procedures, adaptation is the only way to find continued hiring success in the new Talent Economy. Tailor your efforts to today’s new workforce landscape and you can reap benefits from this industry trend.


If you’re looking for a hand leveraging the skill set of modern IT workforces, reach out to us today.


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