Just when we think we’ve got a handle on what’s going on in the UK jobs market, statistics come along that throw your head in a spin. The latest come from XpertHR, whose report shows that 15.5% of employees resigned from their jobs in 2016.

These statistics were gleaned from 288 organisations who offered their labour turnover data, and show a steady increase in resignations from 2012 when the rate was at only 10.6%.

In terms of sectors, HR has had the fourth highest resignation rate out of all of the groups measured, with a rate of 8.2%, an increase on 7.4% in 2016 and 6.3% in 2015. However, this is considerably less than the first two occupational groups; distribution coming in at number one with a 12.4% resignation rate, and publishing and events at a 12.3% resignation rate.

The voluntary sector came in third at 8.8%.

On average the total labour turnover in the UK, which includes voluntary resignations, redundancies, dismissals and retirements, stands at 23%. This is only a slight increase from 2015 when the average labour turnover was 21.5%.

When it comes to labour turnover, HR was near the top with the third highest rate of 12%. Again, publishing and events, and distribution were in the top two places at 17% and 13.5% respectively.

Staff Turnover Under 1 Year

As we all know, recruiting and onboarding is a costly and time consuming process. The more you have to do it, the more it’s going to cost and the more time it’s going to waste. Taking a look at churn rate amongst employees who have been employed for less than 12 months, XpertHR found that 10% of recruits resigned before a full year’s work.

Total turnover of the same group was 11.4%.

Unsurprisingly, the services sector had the highest yearly churn rate with 11.6% of employees leaving short of 12 months, and a 13.1% total labour turnover.

Speaking on their findings, XpertHR senior HR editor Noelle Murphy, said:

“Monitoring staff turnover is important for all organisations so that they can respond quickly when levels reach a point that is damaging to the business. Our data on turnover rates among those with less than 12 months’ service shows just how important it is for HR to look carefully at its recruitment and selection strategy – and its onboarding process.

“Ensuring new starters receive ongoing support and attention, and have the opportunity to raise any concerns as soon as possible, can help to avoid staff churn among this group. Losing an average of one in 10 employees before completing one year of service is not only costly in terms of resources, but also for employee engagement among those already in post.”

This just goes to highlight the importance of a proper, considered hiring process and the value of bringing a Millennial mindset to recruitment  in order to bring this rate down.


Dealing With Resignations

When it comes to dealing with an employee’s resignation, XpertHR offer the following framework for employers:

– Check the employee’s contractual obligations (e.g. notice period and restrictive covenants).

– Accept the resignation in writing, in which you should confirm a termination data following a full notice period.

– Decide arrangements for a replacement and announce the employee’s departure to the company.

– Conduct an exit interview or a separation questionnaire in order to understand how you might improve your business operations.

– Recover any company property on the employee’s last day.