Hot CRM skills beating the IT downturn

Hot CRM skills beating the IT downturn

While the current state of the economy is generally having a negative impact on IT professionals' salaries, those specialising in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), enterprise application interchange and SAP are still commanding top dollar.

That is according to the results of a survey conducted by global HR outsourcing and consulting firm Hewitt Associates.

The organisation surveyed more than 100 companies and found that the average base pay increase across the IT sector in the last 12 months stood at 2.9 percent, down from an average of 4 percent the previous year.

However, employees with specific skills received increases above the norm. For example, Data Warehousing workers saw average base pay increases of 5.9 percent; professionals specializing in Microsoft Systems earned an average base pay increase of 5.7 percent; and Applications Programmers netted out at an average increase of 5.5 percent.

"We're finding that the economy is leading to a 'balancing out' of hot skills pay," says Mindy Parise, consultant for Hewitt Associates. "For example, there are a number of hot skills that have earned little if any pay increases during the last 12 months. However, generally speaking, these positions have experienced rapid increases in the past and are now moving to a range more in line with the industry."

The study also revealed that the average voluntary turnover rate for IT employees was four percent, compared with five percent in the previous year.

"Despite the low turnover rate, companies must still keep their high-performing employees engaged and interested, or risk considerable turnover of quality workers when the economy picks up," adds Parise. "Companies need to identify their 'best and brightest' employees, and chart a course for their development and advancement through the organisation."

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