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One in six employees actively looking for another job

Australian employees are on the move, with one in six workers applying for a new job in the past six months, a workplace survey has found.

Staff Retention The survey commissioned by Leadership Management Australasia (LMA) canvassed the opinions of 4,500 employees and managers and found a staggering spike in the number of workers seeking to change jobs, up 135 percent from previous years. The results indicate that the post-financial crisis economic recovery has tipped the balance in the human resources market, restoring the ability of workers to seek alternative work as the risk of unemployment fades.

Grant Sexton, Managing Director of LMA says that a spike of this kind is unprecedented.

“There’s a dramatic change in the workplace today which should be a major concern to every HR department and boardroom.”

Many employees who have worked longer hours for less pay during the financial turmoil of the GFC, and not been rewarded as businesses recover, are now seeking new work in a favourable employment climate. Sexton believes the results point back to the 2006-08 ‘Talent War’, in which businesses were paying salary premiums of 25-30 percent more to find and retain quality workers. The L.E.A.D survey has been conducted each year since 2000, and this year’s results represent the largest spike in people actively searching to change jobs, including a 64 percent increase in workers actually applying for alternative work.

While bad news for businesses losing quality staff, the results offer an opportunity for the human resources industry. The rise in employee movement offers HR businesses to become key strategic players in business planning and management, rather than simply providing a service.

“HR can deliver quantifiable returns on investment and considerable bottom line benefits in this environment”, Sexton said.

Employers looking to retain their staff should increase their investment in training and development and consistently reward good staff, both qualities that ranked highly on a list of characteristics that made businesses ‘Employers of Choice’.

Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake is a staff writer for <i>Dynamic Business</i> magazine. Fascinated with the power of media, she's previously worked for Sky News and <i>The Jakarta Globe</i>. In her time off, she's likely cooking up a storm, haunting vintage stores on King St, Newtown or trawling design blogs for things she can't afford.

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