Let’s face it: the Australian job market is as dynamic as ever, and retaining top talent is a constant challenge. With job switching behaviour fluctuating year-on-year, this year there's been a notable increase in both switching (+5%) and plans to switch (+4%), according to the 2024 Randstad Employer Brand Research Report. Gen Z (30%), males (25%), and the higher educated (23%) exhibited higher rates of job switching and showed the highest inclination for future switches. In fact, 21% of workers changed employers in the last six months, and 28% are planning to change jobs within the next six months. Combined with economic shifts, evolving employee expectations, and competitive job offers, it’s important to understand your best people might be eyeing the exit door, and sooner than you think. 

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These are the top five reasons why you might be losing talent and what you can do about it.

1. work-life balance is out of whack

The pandemic has reshaped how we view work-life balance. Remote work and flexible hours and a focus on mental health are now critical factors. If your employees are burning out or struggling to balance their work and personal lives, they won’t stick around.

insight: 41% of workers in Randstad’s Employer Brand research claimed work-life balance as the most compelling factor for leaving a job. This is a stronger motivator for women compared to men and aligns with the top factor people see in their ideal employer profile. Additionally, 23% of workers stated they would leave their job because commuting times are too long, while 22% said it was due to having insufficient flexible work options.

action tip: Foster a culture that promotes work-life balance and supports mental health and well-being. Offer flexible working arrangements, with remote work options and flexible hours to reduce commuting time and improve overall job satisfaction. Employers who prioritise improvements in this area will achieve more immediate results.

2. inadequate compensation and benefits

Money talks, and if your compensation packages aren’t fair or competitive amidst a rising cost of living, your employees might be swayed by more lucrative offers. This doesn’t just mean higher salaries but also comprehensive benefits, bonuses, and perks that matter.

insight: The second most common reason workers leave their employer is due to receiving low compensation (32%) amidst the rising cost of living. Similarly, almost one in three workers say they would leave their employer to accept an offer they could not refuse. Randstad’s research also revealed a significant disparity between what employees think their current employer offers and what they'd like in their ideal employer, particularly in regard to attractive salary and benefits. Women scrutinised this area due to a lower likelihood of receiving adequate compensation. 

action tip: Regularly review and adjust your compensation packages to stay competitive. Consider offering flexible benefits that cater to diverse employee needs. Addressing pay equity is crucial, as only 56% of women in Randstad’s research believe they receive equal pay for equal work compared to 70% of men.

male standing next to a train. Two people getting out of a train in the background.
male standing next to a train. Two people getting out of a train in the background.

3. lack of career development opportunities

Employees crave growth. If they feel stagnant in their roles, they will look elsewhere. Professional development programs, career advancement paths, and regular feedback can keep your employees engaged and committed. Ensure that your people see a future with your company.

insight: According to Randstad’s Employer Brand Research, 27% of employees in Australia cite a lack of career growth opportunities (or a limited career path) as a reason to leave their current employer. This is particularly poignant for Gen Z, with 34% feeling the pinch. Thirteen percent of workers felt they do not receive adequate opportunities in their role. In a strained labour market, those who perceive a lack of opportunity are notably more inclined to seek new employment (45%) compared to their counterparts who feel they receive sufficient opportunities (27%). Reskilling is deemed important by 60% of the workforce, with men (77%) and millennials (80%) particularly emphasising its significance. And one in four employees (24%) stated a lack of interest in their job due to insufficient challenges or the inability to use their skill sets as key reasons for leaving.

action tip: Implement personalised career development plans and offer regular training sessions to help employees upskill and progress. Provide ample reskilling opportunities, especially for demographics that value them highly. By focusing on career development and reskilling, you can retain talent and keep your teams motivated and future-ready.

4. poor management and leadership

A good boss can be a dealbreaker. If your managers are ineffective, unapproachable, or unsupportive, your staff will be quick to leave. Leadership styles that foster collaboration, recognition, and support are crucial for retention.

insight: Randstad’s Employer Brand research reveals that 23% of respondents believe their organisation shows poor leadership, and 21% say they have a poor relationship with their manager. These are highlighted as key reasons for people leaving their employer.

action tip: Invest in leadership training and ensure your managers are equipped to lead, support, and inspire their teams. Regular feedback loops and open communication channels can significantly improve managerial effectiveness.

5. lack of equity

Equity in the workplace is crucial for fostering a fair and inclusive environment. Unfortunately, many employees still feel there are significant gaps in how equity is addressed within their organisation.

insight: There are areas warranting improvement to enhance overall equity within the workplace. Notably, Randstad’s research revealed the provision of opportunities for the most deserving employees lags behind other equity statements at 53%. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, there is a significant disparity between men and women concerning equal pay for equal work, with 70% of men believing their current employer offers equal pay compared to only 56% of women. This stark contrast highlights the persistent theme of a potential pay gap between the genders and underscores the urgent need for employers to address this discrepancy.

action tip: Conduct a thorough equity audit within your organisation to identify and address disparities in pay and opportunities. Implement policies that ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender. Promote transparency in compensation and advancement criteria, and actively work to close the gender pay gap. This will not only improve employee satisfaction and retention but also enhance your company's reputation as an equitable employer.


Keeping your finger on the pulse of your employees' needs and the broader job market is key to retaining top talent. By addressing these common issues, you can create an environment where your employees feel valued, supported, and excited about their future with your organisation. Remember, it’s not just about keeping them today, but ensuring they see a future with you tomorrow and beyond. Act now, and you might just prevent that dreaded resignation letter from landing on your desk.

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