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As a recruiter, I am surprised by the number of employers who are caught unawares when one of their staff quits to pursue a new job. There are many reasons why people change jobs but usually it’s because they feel they exhausted all opportunities in their current role, desire more money and/or want a new career path. 

Every day, clients come to me for advice on employee retention and acquisition – my advice to them, is to look at why their prior employees decided to change careers, and to tailor workplace culture to their varying needs, to encourage them to stay.

From my own experience, there are three reasons why people decide to look for new employment opportunities.

Reached the limit

There comes a point in everyone’s career journey that begs them to answer the questions – Can I do better than this? Is this work below my skill level? These questions regularly come up in the property industry, for instance. A degree in property development can only take someone so far, they need to upskill in order to progress or change industries, to learn new and different ways of approaching property development.


Personal situations change and as such people may require larger amounts of money. Many employees begin to question if they are in a financial position, that can sustain them long term. Starting a family or buying a new home are incentives that promote the search for higher paying positions.

Chosen Career Path isn’t for them

Sometimes a change of career can simply come down to, falling out of love with a job, or being employed into a job that wasn’t what you set out to do.  Employees may decide to go back to university or switch careers completely.

By understanding why people leave to change careers, employers can implement procedures that nurture career development and promote upskilling at University to retain valuable workers who are at risk of potentially leaving because of one or more of these three factors.

To counteract these three factors, and help your business retain valuable workers who may be at risk of leaving due to them, there are a number of procedures you could introduce.

Upskill your staff

Employers can offer in-house or TAFE training to add weight to a current employees position. This will in turn tug at the strings of loyalty. Anything an employer can do to add qualifications or depth to a current employee’s resume is always good. It makes the employee more valuable to the company but really lets the employee know that you, the company, have your employees best interests at heart.

Give them a career pathway

Talk to them about where they see themselves in 3, 5 an 10 years time and see if the company can facilitate the learning structure to get that employee where they want to be. The clients I work with that have the best retention rate are always the companies that have an in-house training budget and have a periodic career pathway discussions with their staff. Things change in an employee’s life from week to week, keep on top of their hopes dreams and desires and you will have a happy workforce.

Incentivise your workplace

There are other incentives you can offer that don’t have to be pay rises or chasing your staff with the mighty $$$$. Gym Memberships, group activities together, cab charges to and from work functions, Football memberships for top achieving staff are just a few good examples of incentives other than money that can be a great way to keep them working hard but also make them want to stick around.

Work life balance

Realise that although we spend more time at work than we do at home with our families, it’s valuable to create a family environment where husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends , kids and maybe even pets can be appreciated. You might nominate a day per month for a get-together – it might just be a BBQ or an after work Friday family get together. But by making your employees feel like you take an interest in what they hold dear will in turn endear you to your employees.

It’s important as an employer to get to know your employees, understand what they want from their career and help them grow. Then from this implementing programs and strategies to both help them reach their goals but also provide a rewarding and enjoyable workplace.

Implementing strategies like the one’s I have suggested can make all the difference in retention of employees.

About the author

Carl Paczensky is a national recruitment consultant (construction) with Kingfisher Recruitment. He has more than 15 years experience recruiting within the National Commercial & Residential Construction space.

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Carl Paczensky

Carl Paczensky

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