What is Voluntary Turnover?

Definition of Voluntary Turnover:

Voluntary turnover is a type of turnover that occurs when employees willingly choose to leave their positions. Employees might choose to vacate their jobs for a variety of reasons. They may feel dissatisfied with their position or their compensation, they may be seeking a career change, or they may have accepted another offer. While involuntary turnover usually involves employees being let go for unsatisfactory performance, voluntary turnover often involves competent employees leaving their positions. As a result, voluntary turnover can be very expensive for an organization because of the costs associated with recruiting and hiring a new employee.

One way to limit the voluntary turnover rate is to put forth effort in the hiring process to determine an applicant’s "job fit" or job suitability for a particular position. Employers should try to assess the likelihood that their future employees will feel satisfied and fulfilled in their positions. For instance, companies can administer pre-employment personality tests to job applicants to see if their personality traits are compatible with the demands of the position. Some personality characteristics are more compatible with certain types of jobs. For example, applicants who are more extroverted may feel dissatisfied in a role that involves limited personal interaction. Taking “job fit” into account when making hiring decisions may help reduce voluntary turnover for an organization overall.