CIOs have a gripe: The young programmers and developers they hire and train aren’t sticking around for the long haul.
In an interview with Network World, Louis Trebino, CIO and senior vice president at the Harry Fox Agency in New York, talks about the turnover he’s seeing. Everyone on his six-person Java programming team has less than one year of tenure at the company.
It puts us in a really uncomfortable position to have this kind of turnover because knowledge keeps walking out the door. We invest in training people and bringing them up to speed to where they need to be, and boom, they’re gone. That has been my biggest struggle and concern.
Research backs up Trebino’s concerns. Lily Mok, vice president at Gartner for CIO Research, says young developers are:
Looking for much more aggressive career development opportunities and the ability to learn new things quicker. Traditionally, it took two or three years for a person to move up into the next level in an organization. They want to be on a faster track than that. They don’t want to stay in one spot for more than 12 or 18 months.
Old-fashioned notions of “corporate loyalty” no longer apply, not only because the tech arena is so fast-paced and ever-changing, but also because lean economic times force companies to be less loyal to employees who may want to be loyal but find themselves on the precipice anyway.
Trebino also notes that other than money, a major factor in a young employee’s decision to leave is likely to be flexibility. Twenty-somethings seem to expect to be able to make their own hours and work from anywhere, and while telecommuting has exploded in recent years, it’s still not the norm in most corporate environments.