One in six Australian workers are new starters

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in six Australian workers started with a new employer during the year to February 2010. As part of my daily job running and recruiting for my software development team, this made me look a little closer at the statistics as to why people leave their jobs:

  • 18% of employees (2 million) had been with their current employer for less than 12 months
  • Almost half of these (963,000) had changed their employer during the previous 12 months
  • The people that were most likely to change their employer were aged:
    • 25-34 years (55%)
    • 35-44 years (56%)
  • 51% of those who had experienced a change in work, had changed the number of hours they usually worked
  • 43% had changed employers to gain a promotion

After considering the statistics, I compared them with our employees and churn. Our current software team, excluding our new hires as part of our expansion, have all been with us for quite some time. This reassured me that we are definitely doing something right!

The things that I have found most appealing to our staff are:

  • We pay good base salaries – it allows people to feel comfortable in their role and avoids churn. Paying lower wages is a false economy – the cost of replacing an employee far outweighs the 10 or 15% that you saved on a salary
  • We have a professional development program – we allocate time to our staff to skill up in new areas and keep up to date with new technology
  • We have a strong emphasis on life work balance and keep overtime to a minimum – people have better things to do, such as keeping up with new technology, spending time with their families, and getting some much needed rest after a long week
  • We have flexible working hours
  • There are also a number of other benefits

Recruitment is both time consuming and costly. You can avoid having to recruit replacement employees by treating your employees well, and happy employees will refer their friends which also makes the recruitment process easier.

The rigid “beat with stick approach” does not work!

One thought on “One in six Australian workers are new starters

  1. Recruitment is costly, Peopleware, that i am slowly getting through as i find a spare moment here and there, makes sobering comments –

    “We all know that a new employee is quite useless on day one or even worse than useless, since someone else’s time is required to begin bringing the
    new person up to speed. By the end of a few months, the new person is doing some useful work; within five months, he or she is at full working capacity. A reasonable assessment of startup cost is therefore approximately three lost work-months per new hire. ….. The total cost of replacing each person is the equivalent of four-and-a-half to five months of employee cost or about twenty percent of the cost of keeping that employee for the full two years on the job.”

    I kind of hope that any new hires are getting to speed a little bit quicker than 4-5 months, but it does make you think about all the costs that churn brings. Obviously we are doing quite well as we can spread that cost over more than two years… once you’re in you can never leave!! I mean you never want to leave.

    We’re just like Hotel California.

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