Australian’s job churn has taken a turn for the worse

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Job churn. Australian companies report on average 15% of their staff are currently leaving.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of employers have seen an increase in staff turnover in the last three years.
  • And a survey indicates about 1.8 million Australian workers are seeking a new job.

Australians are increasingly on the lookout for a new and better job.

Employers have noticed a marked increase in staff turnover in the past three years, according to a survey of 460 hiring managers independently commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half.

One in seven (15%), or roughly 1.8 million Australian workers based on the number of employed in Australia, are likely to seek a new job this year.

More than two-thirds (67%) of Australian employers say they have seen an increase in staff departures in the past three years with the average turnover standing at 15%.

More than half (57%) Australia’s managers say, despite the fact 96% of companies have measures to avoid staff turnover, they expect turnover to increase over the next 12 months. One in five 21% believe churn will be “significantly higher”.

Only half of organisations have employee appreciation (50%) and wellness programs (47%),

However, more than half (53%) don’t offer any training and development programs or regularly review salaries (58%).

According to global jobs site Indeed, Technology, building and construction, health and medical care are the key areas seeing demand increase.

The number one in-demand job is lead teacher, which has seen extraordinary growth over the past three years amid shortages of more senior level teachers with team leadership experience. The average base salary for a lead teacher is $92,723.

Recruiter Robert Half says staff turnover can cause significant setbacks for a business through lost productivity and revenue, and low staff morale.

Andrew Brushfield, director of Robert Half Australia, says this highlights that companies need to not only secure a steady pipeline of skilled talent but also make employee retention policies a crucial business priority.

“Employees are the backbone of any organisation, so it’s essential for employers to balance their staff engagement policy on both the acquisition and retention of top performing talent,” he says.

“While our research demonstrates that businesses do have strategies is place, increasing turnover rates suggest that these have not been effective in retaining employees.

“In such a competitive environment and with employees now preferring more flexible ways of working and being rewarded, it is important that businesses take a close look at their retention strategies to ensure they are suitable and attractive for their specific industry, company culture and team.”

The annual study by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 460 hiring managers from companies across Australia.