Fatter Paychecks Come to Tech Chiefs Who Do Business Well

By Joe Mullich  |  Posted 10-31-2005
Ask IT recruiter Jon Davis about the oddest thing he's seen this year and he'll say two words that haven't been uttered much in technology circles during this decade: signing bonus.

Recently, two of the IT executives he recruited for new positions received bonuses of $5,000 to $10,000 apiece.

Davis, who leads IT recruiting and staffing for Matrix Resources' Dallas office, also had one new hire receive a whopping $25,000 relocation package—$10,000 to $15,000 is more common for the IT executive positions he fills.

Granted, Randy Mott probably lost that much under the couch cushions when he was scooping up his $15 million compensation package (along with a $1 million relocation allowance) after making the move from Dell to Hewlett-Packard a couple of months ago.

CIO superstars, like top-tier athletes and entertainers, will continue to grab pay checks with a mind-boggling number of zeros before the decimal point. But a $5,000 to $10,000 signing bonus for a garden-variety technology chief is enough to raise eyebrows among recruiters and CIOs who have become used to pinching pennies.

This hardly means that IT executives are going back to partying like it was 1999, when it seemed stock options made everyone a millionaire—on paper at least. Davis says the signing bonuses for people at the vice president and director level were primarily for bridging health insurance costs and missed pay cycles in moving from one job to another.

In fact, the primary goals of CIOs are changing significantly, according to the most recent research from CIOCentral.com's sister publication CIOInsight magazine. To read more, click on CIO Goals Shift Toward Profits, Away From Cost-Savings.

But still, experts say the frigid compensation picture of the last couple of years is slowly beginning to thaw. In the Dallas region, for instance, IT salaries jumped 3 to 4 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter alone, according to a recent Matrix study. Davis attributes that mostly to the fact that salaries were bumped so low in 2004 and doesn't expect that type of quarterly increase to continue throughout the whole year.

Read the full story on CIO Central: Fatter Paychecks Come to Tech Chiefs Who Do Business Well