Half of Australia’s workforce is currently looking to change jobs, a drop on levels seen earlier this year, according to a report by Leadership Management Australasia.
LMA’s survey in May showed employees across Australia were considering new job prospects at an unprecedented rate.
However, the latest survey, of 3,000 employees across Australia and New Zealand, shows 50% of employees at all levels are considering a job change, compared to 55% in May.
Twenty-two percent are actively looking for a new job, down from 30% in May, while 13% have applied for a job, compared to 22% in May.
LMA managing director Grant Sexton says the potential for a “talent war” has certainly eased, which is good news for start-ups.
“It was a scary and quite alarming scenario six months ago, but employers appear to have got the message,” Sexton says.
“Management’s lack of recognition of their employees was a key driver of workplace discontent when the economy began its recovery.”
“They are now acknowledging the sacrifices employees made during the GFC and reassuring them about their futures.”
Sexton says although the workplace has become more stable, employers still have a great deal of work ahead of them.
“Running an organisation where half its employees are considering changing jobs is an unacceptable threat to performance, and ultimately the bottom line. The challenge to continue to engage their people is still a real priority,” he says.
Vicki Crowe, managing director of Cannon Recruitment, says attracting the right staff is equally as important as retaining them.
“For example, Gen Y employees change jobs a lot more – it’s expected they will list multiple jobs on their resume and it’s looked upon favourably by some employers as an indication of their experience,” Crowe says.
“A divorced middle-aged woman has been identified as a long-serving employee. In an ideal world when businesses are looking for a [job] candidate, they’re trying to find her.”
“But it still comes back to how you’ll engage your employees and look after them because it’s much more cost-effective to retain existing employees than attract new ones.”
“If you pay an employee a salary of $50,000 and they leave within the first 12 months, that will cost your company $150,000.”
Crowe says employers must maintain open lines of communication with their staff in order to “understand your people and what’s important to them.”