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Survey puts not-for-profit sector top for staff moves in past year

Melanie May | 9 February 2022 | News

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Organisations in the not-for-profit sector saw much higher rates of staff moves last year, with a total labour turnover of 18.1% – 12.5% of which was voluntary, according to research from Cendex, part of XpertHR.

This was the highest of all sectors surveyed. Cendex’s analysis is of labour turnover between January 2021 and January 2022. The total labour turnover of all companies surveyed during this time stood at 14.4%, with voluntary labour turnover at 9.5%. 

Following the not-for-profit sector, retail and wholesale companies had the second highest voluntary labour turnover of 10.3% and a total labour turnover of 15.2%, which the survey says is likely a result of the pandemic-related restrictions placed on many retail businesses over 2021. This is followed by the transport and storage industry, with a voluntary labour turnover rate of 9% and a total labour turnover of 11.6%. Those working within the information and communication industry had a voluntary labour turnover rate of only 4.7%. This was the lowest rate of the industries examined by Cendex. 


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

People working in junior positions were the most likely to leave their roles, voluntarily or otherwise. Entry level professionals had a voluntary labour turnover rate of 13.6%, whilst those classed as ‘routine task providers’ had a rate of 12.3%. At the other end of the spectrum, senior heads with strategic roles and senior professionals were the least likely to resign with voluntary labour turnover rates of under 7% in both cases.

Sheila Attwood, XpertHR pay and benefits editor, said: 

“While many organisations had to make workforce reductions due to the effects of the pandemic, many are now finding that employees are leaving of their own accord. Replacing them may not be so easy, so to counter the effects of a tight labour market and skills shortages, organisations need to build their retention strategies to meet the needs of employees.


“Tapping into employee concerns and desires, taking regular pulse checks, and keeping an eye on competitor offerings will be key to building a strong attraction and retention strategy.”

Labour turnover results were taken from the Cendex database and cover 236 organisations, collectively employing just under 500,000 people who were recorded as being employed at some point in 12-month period ending January 2022. Employees are categorised by status – incumbent, new starter, voluntary leaver or involuntary leaver – and then aggregated to derive voluntary and total labour turnover rates.

Back in December, another survey showed that there was high job satisfaction in the charity sector but that more than half of charity workers were likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.