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Perspective

While preparing for a presentation I am giving this week at the ULI Fall Meeting, I uncovered an interesting factoid from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job tenure for men between the ages of 45 and 54 is 9.6 years, versus an average tenure of 5.2 years for 35-to-44-year-olds. (Women in general showed a shorter tenure, and their retention habits will be treated in a future column.) That translates into a more than 50% longer tenure for the “more mature” professional population. On one hand, this was not terribly surprising because one would expect that by the time men are 45-ish, their careers are beginning to reach a plateau and moves are less necessary or attractive. However, the shorter tenure for the 35-to-44-year-old highlights an issue on which employers are increasingly focused: retention. It costs a bundle to replace well-established and top performers, and they are the ones most highly sought after by competitors. All too often, employers do not address what keeps the “keepers” on the job, beyond the dollars. At the top of the list is growth potential and challenge. Is your organization on top of this issue and focusing on retention, or are you feeding the turnover statistic?

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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