Your role as an HR professional includes staying on top of your company’s hiring needs and employee turnover rates. However, this has become increasingly more difficult in today’s quickly changing and unpredictable work environment. Many workers are also making significant changes, like moving to flexible work arrangements or leaving the workforce altogether. This year’s inflation and recession fears add another level of unpredictability.
Developing your annual hiring strategy can feel like a giant guessing game, in which you hope to outpace your company’s turnover rate.Although turnover is a necessary part of doing business, when is your turnover rate too high?
Mercer surveys provide turnover trends across industries, job roles, and demographics. Our survey results are your key to identifying turnover trouble spots and planning ahead for future talent needs.
The 2022 US Mercer Turnover Survey and Canada Turnover Survey provide valuable insights into which jobs and industries show the highest turnover and explore how companies plan to respond with recruitment and internal growth plans.
Let’s dig in!
Workforce turnover trends for the US
Over half of US businesses plan to hire new staff this year to keep up with increased customer demand. However, the turnover rate can prevent these businesses from meeting those expansion goals unless staff attrition is accounted for.
So, let’s look at how turnover impacts US businesses and their growth plans.
Total head count trends in the US
In planning for high turnover numbers, most companies intend to hire new staff but don’t plan to increase head count. Only 27% of organizations intend to increase their overall head count and 14% plan to reduce it.
Let’s examine what the turnover trends from 2021 to 2022 indicate.
Involuntary and voluntary turnover rates in the US
The average turnover rate among US businesses between 2021 and 2022 was 24.7%, which is up from 22% reported in the 2019 survey.
Voluntary turnover due to employee resignation (17.8%) was much higher than involuntary turnover (6.7%), where the company terminated the employee.
Retail and Wholesale saw the highest voluntary turnover percentage at 53%. The Chemicals and Energy sectors show some of the lowest voluntary turnover rates ( 16.5% and 15.4%, respectively), and include jobs that require more education and are better paid, which may contribute to job satisfaction and longevity.
Position within the company also seems to influence the turnover rate. Heads of organizations and executives across all industries have significantly lower voluntary turnover rates than entry-level positions.
The same trends are true for involuntary turnover, as executive and management roles have lower involuntary turnover rates than white- and blue-collar positions.
This survey included responses from between 200 and 400 businesses. The following is a glimpse at the average voluntary turnover rates for certain roles:
- Executives: 5.0%
- Creative, Design, and Media: 3.2%
- Customer Service and Contact Center Operations: 9.5%
- Data Analytics: 4.8%
- Finance: 8.1%
- Human Resources: 9.0%
- Information Technology: 6.1%
- Sales, Marketing, and Product Management: 10.0%
In the US, the function with the highest voluntary turnover rate (10.0%) is Sales, Marketing, and Product Management. In contrast, Real Estate Management, Property Development, and Investment has the lowest turnover rate, at 1.4%.
These findings suggest offering promotions might reduce turnover rates, as that allows entry-level workers to move up, discouraging quitting.
What roles are most difficult to fill in the US?
With high turnover rates, businesses must find new hires to fill the roles; however, 67% of organizations (based on 2,263 respondents) say they have difficulty hiring or retaining employees. The most difficult sectors in which to hire and retain employees are:
- Insurance and Reinsurance
- High Tech
- Health Care Services
- Mining and Metals
- Nonfinancial Services
Publicly traded and privately owned organizations tend to find new hires easier than state-owned enterprises and nonprofits.
Want more insights into managing turnover rates?
The full survey takes you deeper into these categories, providing more specific information on turnover rates experienced by companies this past year. Use our reliable data and real results instead of guesswork to build your 2023 hiring strategy.
For more in-depth data on this essential topic, consult the US Mercer Turnover Survey or the Canada Mercer Turnover Survey.
For the latest insights on how the workforce is changing, consult Mercer’s Workforce Movement survey.