More than Half of Employers Have Difficulty Attracting/Retaining Top Talent

October 22, 2007 ( - Two out of three companies say they are having a hard time attracting and retaining top talent, with the U.S. reporting the greatest turnover rate and Latin America, the lowest, according to a recent survey.

The survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and WorldatWork of 946 companies and about 13,000 employees found that more than half of employers reported difficulty in retaining top-performing (52%) and critical-skill (56%) workers. The U.S. had the highest median voluntary turnover rate, at 11%, while Latin America has the lowest, at 5%.

The survey also compared the reasons employees cited for leaving a company with the main reasons employers mention. Employees ranked stress levels as the top reason for leavings a job (37%), while employers didn’t not even list stress levels in their top five reasons.

Employers rated base pay as the top reason (52%), followed by career development opportunities (47%), promotion opportunity (45%), relationship with supervisor/manager (35%) and work/life balance (25%).

Thirty-three percent of employees said that base pay was the main reason, followed by promotion opportunities (26%), career development opportunities (23%) and work/life balance (22%).

The study found that when employees are satisfied with stress levels and work/life balance, 86% are more inclined to stay with their company, compared to 64% when they are dissatisfied, and 88% are more likely to recommend it as a place to work (versus 55% when dissatisfied).

More than two-thirds (69%) of employees who say their employers succeed at both promising and delivering rewards are committed to their company and motivated to help it succeed, versus about one-fourth of workers overall. These employees also are more likely to be top-performers.

To order a copy of the Watson Wyatt report, go here .