The cost of staff turnover for British businesses reaches at least £4.1 billion each year due to new employees taking up to eight months to reach optimum productivity levels, according to new research.
A departing staff member on average costs £30,614 to replace, according to Oxford Economics and Unum, with £5,433 to organise finding a new employee, and £25,182 in wages for the new worker to reach optimum productivity level.
Legal workers are the most expensive to replace at an estimated fee of £39,887, with workers normally requiring 32 weeks to reach peak performance in the workplace. Accountancy follows closely behind, with a cost of £39,230. The combined bill for both sectors is estimated to be £1.4 billion.
For the media and advertising sector, new employees take just 20 weeks to reach optimum productivity, costing businesses of £25,787 per replacement employee, contributing to an overall annual fee of £183 million for the sector.
The technology sector, and in particular IT, is most affected by staff turnover, with the overall sector figure reaching £1.9 billion per year. Workers also take more than seven months to reach their peak – at a cost of £31,808. Retail workers are the cheapest employees to hire, taking 23 weeks at a cost of £20,114.
In the three months from October to December 2012, the latest data available, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said that 2.6 per cent of workers left their jobs.
Chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Peter Cheese, told the Telegraph: “It definitely takes time to get a new employee up to speed. It depends on the nature of the job; on one end of the spectrum, somewhere like McDonald’s can get new employees up to speed very quickly, because the processes are designed in ways which optimise the ability of the organisation to take on new staff and make them productive.”
“On the other hand, there is a business development person in a professional development organisation where you’ve got to spend quite some time understanding the network and building connections to the client base and so forth, then three to six months is probably fairly typical.”