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The job-hopping epidemic that’s hurting businesses

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Job mobility is at extreme highs. There are a variety of factors at play, each of which can be addressed by employers to reduce these numbers.

As of February 2023, job mobility remained at 9.5 per cent for the second year running. This figure is seen as the highest rate in a decade.

Even more concerning is a recent study from Software Advice, which revealed that half of all survey respondents had changed jobs one to two times in the last five years. Another 10 per cent said they’d switched jobs three to five times.


There were a variety of reasons for these results. The top three, however, were:

  1. For better work flexibility (48 per cent)
  2. To earn a higher salary (44 per cent)
  3. Changing work environments (36 per cent)

Ojasvini, content analyst at Software Advice, discussed the results: “Our survey results reveal a significant shift in employment loyalty among Australian employees. With half of the survey participants having changed jobs in the past five years, it is clear that job hopping is becoming more common, suggesting that they are prioritising personal growth and satisfaction.”

“Our findings shed light on the factors influencing employees’ decisions to stay or leave their current company, and a positive work environment, work/life balance, and a sense of fulfilment are key factors in retaining employees. On the other hand, SMEs should be aware that inadequate salary, stress levels, and the need for a career change are common reasons they seek new opportunities.”

Retention should always be a top priority for organisations, and with job mobility proving to be a detriment to efficiency, it’s more important than ever to enact effective policy.

Software advice revealed the top three retention factors, as voted by employees, are:

  1. Good work environment (49 per cent)
  2. Work/life balance (47 per cent)
  3. Fulfilling and meaningful work (44 per cent)

On the flip side, the top three reasons for dissatisfaction were:

  1. Salary expectations (34 per cent)
  2. High stress levels (32 per cent)
  3. In need of a career change (29 per cent)

Unsurprisingly, salary is a key concern of employees. With inflation and a rising cost of living causing immense stress for many, earning more is a top priority.

While increasing salaries may not be a viable option for businesses, creating a better culture is a more cost-effective technique that can prove useful. Reducing stress by making more manageable workloads and helping to create a culture that makes employees want to come to work can help alleviate retention issues.

Creating a comfortable work environment can be a great way to manage retention and improve employee satisfaction. According to Software Advice, the top ways to achieve this are by:

  1. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance (48 per cent)
  2. Healthy relationships with co-workers (48 per cent)
  3. Salaries that meet expectations (41 per cent)
  4. Trustworthy and positive relationship with management (40 per cent)

Designing a policy that helps maintain these themes is paramount. Software Advice gave five tips to help employers achieve this:

  1. Design an effective onboarding policy.
  2. Encourage work/life balance and provide flexibility.
  3. Offer professional development opportunities.
  4. More benefits are a win-win.
  5. Recognise and acknowledge your employees’ hard work.
Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.