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In an industry where much is written about employee turnover I am interested in hearing it from the horses mouth as it were. The cost of employee turnover is high. If you have a turnover rate of 6 months you really only get 3 months useful work from an employee. How do I calculate that? Well roughly:

  • First you spend about 2 weeks of a current employees time finding your candidate (Google budgets 80+ hours)
  • Next you spend 4 weeks+ of a productive employees time getting the new candidate up to speed
  • When an employee decides to leave they probably invest about 2 weeks of company time either looking for new jobs or dreaming about telling the boss :-)
  • Once they have put in notice they are unlikely to do much useful work (say 2-4 weeks)
  • Finally once an employee leaves you generally have some cleaning up to do (password changes, backdoor checks, code validation, etc, etc) - Say another 2 weeks

All up this comes to about 3 months of lost work out of a 6 month employment term. You can argue about the figures but there is no little doubt the there is a considerable fixed overhead in turning over staff. The longer they stay the more this can be amortized by their useful work.

Say you roughly agree with those figures and you are paying 100K per year. For your 100K you get 2 employees and 6 months productive effort, giving a real cost of production of 200K per working year.

Say the costs remain the same but the employee stays for a year. Now you have 1 employee and 9 months productive effort giving a real cost of production of 133K per working year. This is a rather significant saving.

So now the questions. What personally makes you stay where you are employed, and what makes you go? What should a potential employer do better to encourage you to stay?





In reply to (OT) Employee Retention - Why do you stay, why do you go? by tachyon

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