One in four workers leaves their job within a year: How to beat the odds

Australian employers come dead last on successful on-boarding of new employees, in a PwC global study that looked at 11 comparable countries.

By tracking individuals through their LinkedIn profiles as well as looking at PwC’s own database of information on 2600 employers. The accountancy firm estimates no less than one in four (23%) of new employees leave their jobs within a year.

This has costs to businesses, PwC notes: “Well-matched employees perform better, because they’re more engaged and their skills and experience are well-suited to their role.” Employees that fit well into their role tend to stick around for longer than that.

The finding comes from PwC’s Adapt to Survive report, which assigned every country a ‘talent adaptability’ score, which measures the responsiveness and adaptability of the labour market.

High talent adaptability scores are positively linked with economic growth, the accountancy firm noted. In the overall rankings, Australia came out in the middle, behind the UK, Canada, Singapore and the United States, but ahead of France, Germany, India and China.

Australia also had the second-lowest rate of employees switching industries – just 0.6% of job vacancies were filled by someone from another industry, according to PwC. In the Netherlands, which ranked the highest on the talent adaptability score, 1.1% of vacancies were filled by those outside the industry.

How to get your new hires to stay

Last year, Talya Bauer, management professor at Portland State University, told SmartCompany new employees generally decide within 30 days if their new company is worth staying in.

She’s studied employee retention, and says the difference between the best and the worst organisations can be stark.

“The best-in-class, the organisations who integrate new hires well, have 96% retention of new hires a year later. The worst-in-class keep just 27%, while the average organisation keeps 61% after a year.”

She said there were three aspects to getting hires to stay – the clarity of their role, their confidence in their ability to do it, and the social acceptance they find in a workplace.

”I find the social aspect is the most critical,” Bauer says. “A lot of people focus on clarifying the tasks right away. But by investing in the social acceptance – taking people out to lunch, figuring out what they’re good at and how they can fit in – allows people to take risks and understand things by asking more questions.”

“Traditionally, we blame the new person for not learning how to fit in when, in fact, the culture or the relational structure of the work group was part of the problem.”


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.