Recruitment and retention

Turnover

The core unplanned turnover 5 rate for the Public Service in the year to 30 June 2007 was 14% (15% for women, 12% for men) and the gross turnover rate (which includes people on fixed-term employment) was 20%. These rates are similar to those in 2006 (13% core unplanned and 22% gross). Table 3 shows turnover rates for the Public Service from 2002 to 2007.

Table 3. Turnover rates in the Public Service, 2002-2007 (year to 30 June)

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Turnover rates

           

Gross turnover rate

19%

18%

17%

21 %

22 %

20%

Core unplanned turnover rate

11%

11%

12%

14 %

13 %

14%

Turnover rates - by gender

           

Male - core unplanned turnover

10%

9%

10%

12%

12 %

12 %

Female - core unplanned turnover

12%

12%

13%

14%

14 %

15 %

There is no ideal turnover rate and the overall Public Service rate is not unusual or excessive. Individual departments may be concerned about their level of turnover, particularly those departments at the extremes with either very high or very low turnover for the department as a whole, or groups within it. Core unplanned turnover by department varied between 5.0% and 33.7%.

The core unplanned turnover for females to the year to 30 June 2007 was 15% and male turnover was 12 %. The turnover rate for female staff is generally higher than for male staff because they are more likely to leave the workforce to care for dependants. Age is also a factor as younger staff tend to be more mobile than older staff, and in the Public Service women have a younger profile than men.

Turnover rates differ by occupation group (refer to Table 4 below). For the year to 30 June 2007 Public Relations Professionals had the highest core unplanned turnover rate at 29%.

Table 4. Highest and lowest turnover rates by occupation, 2007 (year to 30 June)

         
 

Occupation group - most detailed level

Core unplanned turnover rate

(minimum size of more than 100 current staff and in more than one department)

Highest

>20%

Lowest

<7%

Public Relations Professional

29%

 

Call or Contact Centre Operator

27%

 

Human Resource Advisor

28%

 

ICT Business Analyst

23%

 

Office Manager

 

6%

Corporate Service Manager

 

6%

Training & Development Professional

 

6%

   

Skills supply and demand

At the same time as the SSC undertakes the HRC Survey it also undertakes a qualitative survey, the Skill Shortage Survey. This survey gathers information about the supply and demand for skills in the Public Service.

Results from the 2007 Skill Shortage Survey were similar to previous years and are consistent with the continuation of a tight labour market.

Five or more departments reported skill shortages in the following roles or areas: policy analyst/senior policy analyst, project managers, information technology, human resource advisers, finance and accounting roles. These roles were also considered to be skill shortages in previous years, and are in occupational groups that have higher than average turnover.

The most frequently mentioned occupational group with a skill shortage was information technology.

Methods departments described for dealing with skill shortages included increasing internal capability through training and development, recruiting from overseas, and hiring at a lower level then developing the person into the role. 

Remuneration was the most commonly reported cause of recruitment difficulties. Other factors reported included working conditions. For example, the high workload and long hours required, the lack of career development prospects and negative perceptions of the organisation and the Public Service.

Factors departments reported as affecting their future capability include the impact of the generally tight labour market, an ageing population reducing the supply of skilled applicants and the pressure this may place on remuneration.

Redundancy payments

In the year to June 2007, 169 people received redundancy payments, an increase of six from the previous year (refer to Table 5 below). These payments had an average value of $45,645, up from $37,268 in 2006. Redundancy payments were made by 26 departments with four departments accounting for more than 50% of redundancies.

Table 5. Redundancy payments, 2002 - 2007

Redundancy payments

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Number of staff receiving

264

188

168

218

163

169

Average payment ($)

36,171

42,804

37,133

40,621

37,268

45,645

 

5 Core unplanned turnover is primarily due to resignations of open-term employees, but also includes retirements, dismissals, and death. Planned turnover includes cessations of staff on fixed-term employment agreements and cessations due to restructuring. The turnover rate for the Public Service is derived from the exits from departments. As a result it includes movements between departments and so the actual level of 'loss' to the Public Service through unplanned exits is below the 14% reported here.

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