5 essential questions for an IT salary expert
August 29, 2022
min read

5 essential questions for an IT salary expert

Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky
Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky

IT professionals continue to rank among the best-paid professions in the world.

While this poses a major challenge for employers, we thought about the list of burning questions that are giving headaches to tech recruiters anywhere.

How do you determine the market value of a position? How do I deal with excessive salary demands? What can I do to address suitable developers apart from financial incentives?

Salary expert Conrad Pramböck reveals the answers in an interview with WeAreDevelopers.

Q1: There is no right answer to how much you should pay software developers. How can employers assess what salary is appropriate?

The salaries in software development are around 35,000 euros per year, regardless of whether you are a college graduate or an academic. I recommend companies define a distribution curve internally and then see what is realistic and consistent for them.

IT salary

Then there is the large number of those who, with a few years of experience, earn around 40,000 to 60,000 euros per year. And then there are top experts, who earn extremely high salaries of up to 120,000 euros. Gurus will just say what they want, and the companies will pay for it.

Q2: It seems that developers can ask for whatever they want at the moment, right?

Many companies are struggling with the developer salary expectations, usually 30% higher than what existing employees in the company are currently earning. I have to spend a lot of money to get new people on board.

My tip: It is currently cheaper to retain employees with a salary increase than to hire new people.

As soon as people move into the market, it gets really expensive.

Q3: Salary information can differ enormously depending on the research method. What can companies look for?

Of course, if I have a sore throat - I will try to orientate myself on the internet, I will first look at Dr. Google (laughs).

The problem is that tech recruiters can find the average salary values on the internet, and some of them are contradictory and confusing. But I don't need an average person, just one person who is a good fit for the position and the company.

My recommendation would be first to look around and then form a certain impression. The market will tell you the rest. If I can't think of anything else, I can also see how far I can get with a certain salary offer. If that doesn't work, I can get the support of an experienced salary expert.

Q4: Especially in IT, salaries are increasingly being gambled up. Do companies have to play along?

Some companies can no longer afford the current prices and simply no longer hire new employees. However, leaving vacancies open is often too short-term. Right now, organizations urgently need people who generate sales.

IT salary

The problem is that anyone who is looking for a job at the same time has a job. I know tech recruiters who turn down orders for IT positions because there simply aren't candidates for them. We must familiarize ourselves with the situation that some positions simply can’t be filled at the moment - at least not with the mindset that still prevails in many companies.

Q5: Do employers also have other ways to convince IT specialists apart from high salaries?

We currently face a bidding competition for IT specialists that you can no longer win on the entrepreneurial side.

I often feel that various wishes are satisfied here, while too little attention is paid to the actual needs of skilled workers. People want flexibility, exciting projects, and interesting and well-trained colleagues - something that can’t be valued just by money.

Of course, I have to pay what is expected at the market and respond to the candidates’ financial needs. However, money can’t represent certain things in monetary terms, which is a new situation for many companies.


Conrad Pramböck carries out salary comparisons worldwide and supports clients in designing customary, motivating salary systems. As managing director of Upstyle Consulting GmbH, he supports companies in all salary issues worldwide, regardless of industry, position, or hierarchy level. More information at https://upstyle-consulting.com/ and https://conradpramboeck.com/


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