Close to 40 percent of employers feel they have low retention rates for regular employees hired in the middle of their careers, according to a survey.

The survey was conducted online by recruitment agency En-Japan Inc. between late January and late February on companies that have hired midcareer employees over the past three years. Valid responses were received from 693 firms.

Of the respondents, 6.9 percent said their retention rate for midcareer employees was “very low” and 29.8 percent answered “low.” On the other hand, the ratios of respondents answering “high” and “very high” were 21.6 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively.

Companies that said midcareer hires were likely to quit between six months and a year after being hired accounted for 19.2 percent, while 5.8 percent said such employees tend to leave in less than a month. One in three firms said a midcareer hire was prone to quitting in less than six months.

The percentage of respondent companies saying they plan to actively work on retaining midcareer hires stood at 62.5 percent, while 20.4 percent said they will do so for some of their overall employees.

When asked to give reasons for working on raising the retention rates for midcareer hires, with multiple answers allowed, 70.6 percent said they do not want to let go of personnel trained by them, 59.5 percent cited difficulties in recruiting new employees and 46.8 percent said they want to avoid lowering workplace morale.

Observers say retaining midcareer hires is crucial for many companies, especially in the midst of Japan’s severe labor shortage.

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