Job Tenure in Australia

Average job tenure is seven years in Australia, easily the lowest amongst developed economies.


Why is this so?

The author of a new report – Australia at Work – highlighted various likely factors, but honed in one factor:

“In terms of an employee deciding to leave, the critical determinant will be whether they think they can get a better job elsewhere; and their concept of ‘better’ might relate to, among other things: job security, pay, relations with colleagues, working arrangements, geographical location, use of skills, and development opportunities. Many of these things can be addressed in the employee’s current job if they have a ‘voice’ to bring attention to the issue and have it addressed. Freeman and Medoff’s (1984) ‘exit-voice’ asserts that employees who do not have a ‘voice’ in having their complaints redressed, either by themselves or someone else, end up leaving the workplace altogether.”

For an employee, it’s not surprising, that having a ‘voice’ is important. Being heard is part and parcel of being human. For an employer, no doubt, listening is paramount.

(On another note, low job tenure explains to a degree the high penetration rate of recruitment firms in Australia. The more fluid the labour market, the more the demand for third-party recruiters. Opponents of contingency style of recruitment failed to realised that much of its demand is driven by clients)

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