The Real Cost of Turnover

13 January 2016
Male Applicant Behind Chairs - Banner Image for The Real Cost of Turnover Blog

Like a monster lurking in the dark, there is a certain hidden place where the most painful, unexpected costs lie. That place is turnover.

The Scary, Hidden Expenses:


Advertising to fill a vacant position adds up fast. Recruiting, hiring services and temp agencies aren’t free. Neither are ads for Facebook, job posts on LinkedIn, job search platforms (Monster, Indeed, etc.), Craigslist, etc.

Interviewing, screening and hiring.

For small and medium sized businesses, the individual(s) who handle interviewing, screening and hiring are being pulled away from other responsibilities. What work isn’t getting done during this time?


For some companies this can take an entire day and sometimes weeks.

Training time:

There’s probably more time being used up than you might think. In addition to whoever is training, often management and key personnel find themselves explaining processes, procedures, answering questions and fixing mistakes. “Shadowing” slows production.

Lost productivity/opportunity

Time gets expensive, especially as opportunities are lost during turnover. Does management even know how to do the work of the position they are replacing? In most cases, they do not because managers and owners are busy handling other responsibilities. Time is once again “eaten up,” opportunities are lost. Rinse, recycle repeat.

Decreased engagement

Existing employees tend to disengage and lose productivity when they witness turnover. If the former employee was liked, performed well, or the loss of the employee created more work, this can be a real morale killer.


During the learning curve inaccuracy creates liability and work can quickly snowball as new problems exceed usable output. For some companies, especially in professional services, it exposes them to much larger problems including litigation.


Speaking of litigation… Unemployment is an expense, and let’s not forget about the time and money involved when things go to court. The more people who file for unemployment the more your unemployment insurance goes up too.

Worker’s comp

Typically environments with high turnover experience higher comp claims. This can affect your experience rating and increase your premiums. That’s more lost income and opportunity.

Training materials

While some companies train from paper, binders, or printed pamphlets (which can actually get quite expensive, especially if printed in color), others might involve investing in expensive online training platforms. It all adds up and these are expenses that are often overlooked.

Can you think of any other expenses? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Kelly Wade

Account Executive

I am building a long-term sales career utilizing my intrapersonal strengths, achievement drive, and competitive spirit to satisfy unmet customer needs and create value for my organization. I have demonstrated my ability to succeed in multiple business scenarios by quickly becoming a subject matter expert so I can offer customers unique solutions that lead to repeat business and new customers. I am currently working for Staff Boom as an Account Executive and I thrive on building dedicated teams for Insurance Purposes and watching our clients succeed. I am looking forward to working with you in the future.

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