These Are the 5 Types of Jobs with the Most Turnover

April 12, 2018

You may not know it, but marketers are some of the most adventurous professionals in the workplace—at least when it comes to staying (or not staying) at their company.

Marketing roles had the highest turnover rate of any job function—an impressive 17%, according to our latest analysis of LinkedIn professionals. That’s more than 50% higher than the global turnover average of about 11%, as defined by the percent of LinkedIn members who indicated they left a company in 2017.

Sure, turnover can be stressful—but as we covered in our first piece on the industries and jobs with the highest turnover, being prepared can help you set expectations and plan ahead, whether you’re a recruiter sourcing candidates, an HR pro battling attrition, or a leader looking to step up your workforce planning.

(And admit it—you’re probably a little curious about where your own profession stacks up in the turnover rankings.) That’s why we decided to look at which functions—AKA professions, job types, or departments like marketing, sales, or HR—had the highest and lowest turnover rates.

So, without further ado, here are the job functions with the highest and lowest turnover rates.

Marketing and HR are among the highest turnover job functions

Marketers lead all functions with a turnover rate of 17%, with researchers (16.4%) close behind. Media and communication (14.8%) and support (14.6%) functions follow further behind—along with a role that might surprise you: HR (14.6%).

It’s a bit counterintuitive that HR professionals—the people most concerned with retention and turnover—are also among the most likely to leave. With an up-close-and-personal perspective into how companies treat their employees, maybe HR pros are quicker to spot a toxic culture or realize they’re a bad fit.

Business development, design, and accounting functions all see very low turnover rates

The biz dev function boasts the lowest turnover rate—and it’s not really close. At 6.4%, biz dev beats out the second-lowest function—healthcare services (8.2%)—by more than two percentage points.

Even though they have the third-lowest turnover rate at 11.4%, art and design professionals leave companies at almost twice the rate of biz dev employees. That just goes to show how much of an outlier biz dev is, even among the stickiest roles.

Accounting and IT round out the five functions with the lowest turnover, with 11.7% and 11.8% respectively.

The functions that are top recruiting priorities for most companies—sales, operations, and engineering—all have above-average turnover

According to our 2017 Global Recruiting Trends Report, the highest priority roles for companies to fill were sales, operations, and engineering (in that order).

That demand might explain why the turnover rates for all three are significantly, if not extremely, higher than the global turnover rate of 10.9%. The three roles have closely clustered rates between 13.1% (sales) and 12.8% (operations), with engineering in the middle at 12.9%.

Final thoughts

Of course, these trends can point you in the right directly—but when it comes to taking action, it’s far more important to know the specific turnover rates within your particular company.

Check out our recent in-depth post on industries with the highest turnover for more insights, plus examples of how companies harness their own turnover data to drive retention and guide talent planning.


Function is based on the standardized title listed on a members profiles. Those standardized titles are then mapped to one of the 26 standardized functions, e.g., a recruiter would be in the Human Resources function of a business.

Turnover rates are drawn from LinkedIn’s member data. We calculate turnover by taking the number of departures/movement in a given population (e.g., the retail sector, the restaurant industry, or the marketing function), then dividing that number by the average headcount of that given population in 2017. We consider professionals as leaving their position if they provide an end-date for their position at a company (excluding internal job changes within the same company). A member can have multiple departures and positions within the year period.

We’ve also excluded contractors and other non-full-time-employees (e.g., interns, students, etc.), along with any positions that start and end on the same date. The turnover estimates may be below actual turnover, due to a possible lag between the time someone leaves a company and when they update their LinkedIn profile to reflect that departure.

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