How long workers in South Africa stay at their jobs

 ·6 Jun 2024

Those working in Telecommunications have the longest job tenure in South Africa.

Pnet has published its latest Job Market Trends Report, which states that long-term employee tenure enhances productivity, stability, and expertise and helps foster a reliable and experienced workforce.

That said, long-standing employees may resist change and become complacent, whereas short-term employee tenure introduces fresh ideas, adaptability, and ambition/

However, short-term employees result in higher turnover costs and less institutional knowledge, meaning a balance can optimise organisational success.

Pnet’s data showed that the average tenure is an average of 3 years and 1 month, but this differs across sectors.

Business & Management roles, on the other hand, demand higher expertise and offer better pay, with a long average tenure (4 years and 10 months).

Telecommunication, however, tops the charts at 5 years and 2 months, followed by marketing (4 years and 11 months):

TenureField
5 Years 2 MonthsTelecommunication
4 Years 11 MonthsMarketing
4 Years 10 MonthsBusiness & Management
4 Years 8 MonthsFinance
4 Years 3 MonthsMining
4 Years 0 MonthsSecurity & Emergency Services
3 Years 10 MonthsAdmin, Office & Support
3 Years 9 MonthsSales
3 Years 9 MonthsTransportation
3 Years 4 MonthsBuilding & Construction
3 Years 4 MonthsInformation Technology
3 Years 2 MonthsManufacturing & Assembly
3 Years 1 MonthsCleaning, Maintenance & Repair
3 Years 0 MonthsMedical & Health
3 Years 0 MonthsWarehousing & Logistics
2 Years 11 MonthsArchitecture & Engineering
2 Years 11 MonthsDesign, Media & Arts
2 Years 10 MonthsTravel & Tourism
2 Years 9 MonthsAgriculture, Fishing & Forestry
2 Years 8 MonthsSport & Fitness
2 Years 8 MonthsScience & Technology
2 Years 7 MonthsEducation, Training & Library
2 Years 6 MonthsCommunity & Social Welfare
2 Years 6 MonthsLegal
2 Years 6 MonthsPersonal Appearance
2 Years 5 MonthsRestaurant & Hospitality

Pnet also looked on a more granular level, showing that middle management tend to stay in their roles for longer than executives:

  • Middle / Department Management – 9y 4m (on average)
  • Senior Management – 8y (on average)
  • Team Leader & Supervisor – 7y 6m (on average)
  • Executive Management / Director – 6y 8m (on average)

Admin, Office & Support roles also show potentially very long employee tenures:

  • Admin Clerk – 8y 5m (on average)
  • Client / Customer Support – 6y 4m (on average)
  • Personal Assistant – 6y (on average)

Sales consultants also show potential for a very long tenure of up to 9 years:

  • Representative / Sales Consulting – 6y 7m (on average

On the other end of the scale, job roles that have short employee tenures include those in science and technology:

  • Representative / Sales Consulting – 6y 7m (on average)
  • Archivist/ Museum / Curator – 2y 5m (on average)
  • Hairdressing – 2y 5m (on average)
  • Chemical Engineering – 2y 2m (on average)
  • Agricultural / Food Scientist – 2y 1m (on average)
  • Medical Scientist 2y – (on average)
  • Agricultural / Food Technologist – 2y (on average)
  • Chemical / Materials Technologist – 1y 11m (on average)
  • UX / GUI Design – 1y 1m (on average)

Pnet also investigated job search activity regarding employees working in new job roles.

It analysed job roles in which new employees applied for at least five other job opportunities in the first six months of employment.

The analysis, which is based on the last five years, highlights the most actively job-seeking employees:

  • Finance professionals – 16% applying for jobs within the first six months of having
    started a new job.

  • Information Technology professionals – 13% actively looking for a new career
    opportunities within the first six months of being in a new job.

  • Manufacturing & Assembly professionals – 11% applying for new roles within the
    first six months of landing a new role.

  • Business & Management professionals – 11% seeking new job opportunities
    within the first 6 months of starting a new job.

On a job role level, 23% of Payroll & Wages professionals keep applying for jobs despite just starting a new job. This is followed by

  • Staff Recruitment / Selection professionals – 18%.
  • Industrial Machinery Installation / Repair staff – 18%.
  • Technical / Business Architecture professionals – 18%.
  • Cost & Management Accounting employees – 17%.
  • Bookkeeping staff – 17%.
  • Health, Safety & Environment professionals – 17%.
  • Logistics Management staff – 17%.

On the other end of the scale, the job sectors with the lowest percentages of professionals searching for and applying for jobs within the first six months are as follows:

  • Transportation – 4%.
  • Community & Social Welfare – 4%.
  • Education, Training & Library – 4%.
  • Restaurant & Hospitality – 2%.

Notably, those working as taxi drivers and chauffeurs have the lowest chance of looking for a new job in the first 6 months of starting a new job:

  • Taxi Driver / Chauffeur (4%)
  • Mentoring & Coaching (3%)
  • Merchandiser / Product Promoter / Demonstrator (3%)
  • Teacher / Training Assistance (3%)
  • Packing & Packaging (3%)
  • Counter / Waiter / Bartender (2%)

Read: Another blow for Shell in South Africa – but not game over

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