PROTECH Survey Results Reveal Gloomier Outlook on Overall Economy but Tech Hiring and Product Purchase Plans Remain Robust

PROTECH Releases its 14th Annual South Florida Tech Leadership Survey and 12th Annual Tech Talent Survey Results: More tech employees than ever would leave current employer with top reasons stated as salary and work-life balance.

Boca Raton, FL, March 11, 2016 --( Two surveys released by leading South Florida information technology (IT) search and staffing firm, PROTECH, reveal insight into the South Florida IT marketplace.

Economic Outlook
According to IT Leadership, there was a downswing from a positive outlook on the economy last year with 73% of Tech leaders perceiving it as getting stronger, compared to 48% feeling this way this year. 20% perceived the economy as getting weaker compared to zero last year.

Both IT product purchases and hiring remain resilient. 68% of Tech leaders plan to increase staff this year (compared to 67% last year) with the balance saying staff levels will remain the same. Average budget increase was the highest ever at 12% (the highest before was 11% in 2013).

Turnover continues to be an issue for companies in South Florida. 56% of IT leaders (down from 69%) are concerned with losing talented IT staff members. Primary reasons cited by employers for losing staff are compensation (73%; up from 71%) followed by lack of career path (17%), benefits (6%) and company culture (4%). In response to high levels of turnover, 40% of company’s state they plan to invest more into employee training and retention programs. This is up from 33% last year.

Employers have strong cause for turnover concern. A record 90% of Tech talent said they would leave their current employer for a better opportunity. The top reason was “salary”, with 38% reporting it as the main factor in leaving a position. After “salary”, “work-life balance” (15%) was stated as the second biggest reason for leaving an employer, followed by “lack of career path” and “employer instability”which tied at 9%. “Employer instability” was not cited at all in last year’s Tech Talent survey as a reason for leaving a current employer, which could mean employees too are sensing a weakening economy with companies starting to run into financial trouble.

This is the first time “work-life balance” comes in as a top reason for leaving employers. The last time it appeared was in 2012 with only a 1% response. Further reaffirming the importance of this, in a separate question regarding top perks, “Additional vacation” was cited by 11% of employees as one of the top three perks ever received (up from 8% in 2015 and 6% in 2014).

“There may be somewhat of a disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to reasons for parting ways. Both agree that compensation is the primary reason; but the percentages vary significantly with 73% of employers citing salary as key reason, compared to 38% of employees. And employers believe ‘lack of career path’ to be the second reason for losing staff, while employees cite this as third (tied with ‘employer instability’) after ‘work-life balance’. Telecommuting and flexible work schedules are becoming more popular with the technology available today, and I believe employees see these types of accommodations contributing to a better work-life balance formula. Employers may be missing a good opportunity to reduce increasing salary pressure by providing more work-life balance incentives to attract and retain key staff,” said Deborah Vazquez, PROTECH CEO.

Other Key Findings:
The Tech Leadership survey reported a notable shift from direct hire to contract employees with IT leaders reporting 23% of their workforce balance being contract employees (compared to 13% last year). 44% of IT leaders report that IT budgets are adequate for their needs, up from 42% last year.

61% of IT employees reported a positive career experience, up from 60% last year and the number employees considering moving out of Florida has remained consistent (43% compared to 44% last year).

Employees continue to report best perk they’ve been offered by an employer has been flextime or telecommuting (43%) followed by some form of sign-on or annual bonus (15%), additional vacation was third best perk (11%) followed by education reimbursement/training (8%), equity (8%), retirement/401k (7%), company car/car allowance (4%), 100% health coverage (3%) and relocation (1%).

The top three technology-related priorities for IT leaders in 2015 are infrastructure upgrade (33%), new Large applications development endeavor (25%) and ERP upgrade (17%) which tied with web site redesign, and lastly new large software application purchase (8%).

PROTECH surveyed over 900 IT Director to CIO level executives for its 14th annual Tech Leadership Survey; and over 16000 IT professionals for its 12th annual Tech Talent survey. All participants are located in the South Florida tri-county area.

To download full survey results, visit
Elizabeth Becker
561.953.8800 ext. 27