Calculating the Cost of Turnover

Employee turnover is a significant concern for businesses, impacting their bottom line. This article provides a basic analysis of turnover costs, including their calculation and implications for businesses.

Direct Costs

Direct costs are tangible expenses directly related to replacing an employee. They include advertising and recruiting expenses, selection and hiring costs (background checks, assessments, travel), onboarding and training expenses, and severance pay or exit-related costs.

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are less apparent but equally important. They include reduced productivity due to vacant positions, expenses related to overtime or temporary labor, costs for training new employees, and the loss of knowledge and expertise from departing experienced employees.

Factors Affecting Turnover Costs

Turnover costs vary depending on the industry, job market, employee position and level, organizational culture, work environment, employee tenure, and performance. Industries with high demand for skilled workers experience higher turnover costs. The position and level of the departing employee also impact costs. Positive work environments and employee satisfaction lead to lower turnover rates. Employee tenure and performance influence costs as well.

FAQs About Calculating the Cost of Turnover

  • Strategies to reduce turnover costs include enhancing onboarding, offering competitive compensation and benefits, providing growth opportunities, and fostering a positive work environment.
  • Turnover costs differ for each organization due to industry, job market, culture, and employee position. Organizations should assess their specific costs.
  • Accurate calculation requires analyzing direct and indirect costs, tracking recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and productivity loss. Detailed records and comprehensive cost analysis methods are advisable.
  • High turnover costs lead to decreased productivity, increased recruitment expenses, a negative reputation, and difficulty in attracting top talent.
  • Minimizing turnover costs during recruitment involves selecting candidates who align with the organization’s culture and values, and have long-term commitment and growth potential.
  • While complete elimination is unlikely, organizations can minimize turnover costs through employee retention strategies, positive work environments, and addressing underlying causes of turnover.


Calculating turnover costs is crucial for understanding the financial impact of employee departures. By analyzing both direct and indirect costs, businesses can make informed decisions to reduce turnover costs and improve organizational performance. Each organization should conduct its own calculations and prioritize employee retention to build a stable and productive workforce.

About the Author: Joe Rooney

Joe Rooney
Joe Rooney is the Cofounder and CEO of EPG, a staffing and recruiting company that is focused on helping electric and autonomous vehicle companies attract and hire the best industry people. If you have questions, you can contact him directly at