Myths about Salaries on the Tech Market: How Much do Tech Professionals Actually Get?

Lucky Hunter has been providing IT staffing services for over three years. Our team has been recruiting tech specialists for more than 13 years. We know what we are talking about when we provide our client with a salary range for a tech role and are confident in the reliability of the data.

Despite this, some clients don't' trust us and hold that it's profitable for recruitment agencies to show pricier candidates as our fee depends on the candidate's annual income.

In one of our blog posts, we've already explained why this approach is unprofitable for us. Today we are going to dispel the existing myths about the salaries of IT specialists: we'll talk about the real remuneration on the IT market and the factors that you should pay attention to when determining the salary.
Myths about Salaries on the Tech Market. IT recruitment agency for recruiting technoloy specialists for companies hiring developers Lucky Hunter

Myth # 1: 80k Rub is a good salary for a
strong Mid-level IT specialist

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It seems to a lot of people that 80 000 Rub is quite a decent salary for an IT specialist with 2-3 years of experience. We are ready to agree with the thesis in several cases:
If you are searching for a novice tech specialist and are ready to educate them by yourself;
If you have very modest requirements for the candidate;
If you've invented the time machine and it's January 2009 now.
In other cases, you won't be able to find a good specialist for that kind of money. The IT market is very dynamic and depends on many factors: the scarcity of the IT profession (and in IT, almost all specialities are in high demand), currency rate, technology.
Today Mid-level tech specialists receive an average of 130k rubles, and the remuneration of Senior-level professionals varies from 190k to 360k rubles. These are very approximate figures, and in order not to mislead you, let's analyze the current salaries for the most popular IT positions.
This is real data collected by our recruiters. The period we are considering is April-October 2020. The experience of specialists is no fewer than two years.

It is also worth noting that this table is not suitable for Junior developers: novice specialists have their own ranges and it is incorrect to build on the salary of Mid-level developers to determine the remuneration of junior specialists. In order not to misrepresent the statistics, we've also excluded abnormally high and low salaries from the analysis.

As you can see, the idea the 80,000 rubles is a good salary for IT specialists is out of the question. However, there are several factors that can reduce the "cost" of a candidate on the market. These factors are:
Frequent job changes (more than once a year). Especially if the specialist has been living in this rhythm for more than three years.
Mostly freelance-based work;
Only work experience in No-name companies;
Lack of experience in high-load projects;
Irrelevant technology stack.
These factors can really affect the salary of a specialist and deviate slightly from the "ideal numbers". But even in this case, the specialist's remuneration can't be significantly lower than the market one. The question is whether you are ready to hire a developer with a similar background or not.

Myth # 2: I have a cool project, which means
I can offer a lower salary

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Are you developing a useful and unique product that even Steven Jobs would like to be a part of? Do you have enough investment for the next three years? Can you offer real money, in addition to options, good conditions and basic benefits of an IT specialist (voluntary medical insurance, flexible hours, etc.)?

If you answered "yes" to all the questions, then for the sake of your project some IT specialists can really lower salary expectations, but personally, we wouldn't hold out much hope for that, since such cases can be counted on one hand.

Several factors meaning that you have really attractive working conditions:
  • An improved company HR brand
    The name of your company is on everyone's lips, you are invited to conferences and interviews, there is a lot of information about your company on the Internet and in the press.
  • Cool reputation
    You are not ashamed to show the candidate feedback on the work for your company.
  • An interesting project and ambitious tasks
    We are not talking about the absence of routine, we are talking about live projects and complex challenges that can "dilute" the daily work of a specialist.
  • Experienced team
    It is ideal when a specialist can learn from professional colleagues, grow and develop together with a cool team.
By the way, there is not only a list of attractive conditions for an IT candidate. There is also a list of companies tech specialists don't want to get hired at. We talked about this in one of the previous blog posts.

Myth # 3: Open data from
the Internet doesn't lie

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We rue the day when payroll analytics from various organizations became publicly available These data have nothing to do with reality and often mislead people who don't know about the situation on the IT market.

Such analytics provide irrelevant information since this is the same as "average temperature across the hospital". The experience of specialists, their background, the salary at the previous place of work, the peculiarities of the companies hiring personnel are not taken into account.

Think, if everything were that simple, and all you need to do is open a browser and search for "IT-sphere salary analytics", would there be specialized research centres that charge big bucks for analytics? Would recruiting agencies provide HR analysis services? Would the IT industry, in general, be as promising with salaries as indicated on these sites? We don't think so.
If you want to hedge your bets and find out about salaries - conduct a survey, order analytics, ask friends and acquaintances, but you should not trust everything that is written on the fence.

General Recommendations

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Learn to see things in a more realistic light: analyze your project, requirements for the position and specialist profile, study your competitors and find out your killer-feature.
Follow the changes in the IT market. For example, today IT specialists consider new offers unwillingly, especially if you have a startup or don't have the opportunity to relocate a candidate abroad.
Trust recruitment agencies. Remember, we are on your side and we have a common goal - to find worthy candidates for you, and help candidates find you - a cool and promising company.
Close your browser tabs with salary analytics.
Create more competitive offers.
Always keep in mind that the IT market is the candidate's market.
Contact Lucky Hunter: we'll conduct analytics for you, help with the candidate's profile and find your ideal candidate.
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