Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Staff Turnover Survey

Recruitment fees always seem to come under fire and I often can’t understand this. The more I look at it, the more it is clear that this is just short sighted thinking. It is obvious to see recruitment costs because they are on a line in the P&L and stand out like dogs bollocks.

The flip side however is the cost of staff turnover, which by all accounts costs far more than basic recruitment fees so why does this go unnoticed ? Simple because it is not a line item in a P&L and the cost simply gets absorbed. Is this right ? No it is a short term approach to things.

To this end we wanted to gain some insights and help educate our clients as to the real issues at hand and the potential for even greater staff turnover and what they can do to reduce this .

In order to help with benchmarking results, Retailworld distributed a Staff Turnover Survey (STS) to the Australian Retail Market.

An unsurprising 44.4% of respondents have noticed a change in their staff turnover rate over the past 12 months. With murmurings of a double dip recession, an increase in minimum wage and consumers gripping their purse strings, successful retailers are implementing strategies to maintain top talent within their business.

The STS found that retailers had seen around 37% of their employees leave the business within the past 12 months.

A reasonably high turnover rate is expected given the part time & student nature that makes up majority of retail businesses, so it’s promising to see that Store Manager turnover was reported at a lower 26.2%.

As the war for talent becomes more competitive, businesses are realizing the value of people and around 45% are actually looking to increase their wage budget in the upcoming 12 months – a move that is aligned with restructuring to create and secure teams of top talent.

Although these results are realistic our counterparts across the Tasman are only reporting overall turnover of 31.4% with Store Managers at 14.6%. If you’re looking for advice on your staffing strategies for the year ahead send me a message.

- John Caldwell

Stats at a glance:
  • 37% - average staff turnover percentage in the Australian retail industry
  • 26.2% - average Store Manager turnover in the Australian retail industry
  • Lowest staff turnover = Recreation & Leisure sector
  • Highest staff turnover  = Jewellery and Fashion sectors
  • 56% of respondents had noticed no change in staff turnover rates in the last 12 months
  • 35.4% of businesses plan to hire new staff above their turnover rate in the next 12 months
  • 44.4% of respondents have had a wage budget increase in the last 12 months while
  • 66.7% of respondents have plans to hire new staff (across the business) over and above their turnover rate in the next 12 months
  • The lowest staff turnover rate recorded in the survey was 20%
  • The highest staff turnover rate recorded in the survey was 60%


  1. John this information is gold, I tried to find out this type of info myself and couldn't ding it anywhere.
    You guys seem to really know your stuff, thanks for this it will help me convince my management team about what we need to do in our business

  2. Hi John, I would love to hear more about this, can I be given a copy if I contact your office? I am based in Sydney. Thanks

  3. This information would be handy if there was a little more detail around how many retailers responded and from which states they came from . I wonder if this can be answered ??

  4. John,
    Great start to typically hard to find data on retail industry turnover. It would be fantastic to get a breakdown by industry as well further to the comment made on 24 May 2012.

  5. Hi John,
    As above, would love to get some more detail on the industry breakdown, where the respondents came from etc.
    Is there any way we can obtain this?