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Written by Lotte van RijswijkLotte van Rijswijk

The companies employees don’t want to leave

14 min read
The Companies Employees Don’t Want to Leave
Resume.io analyzed LinkedIn data on the median tenure of employees at the most prominent companies to uncover which brands and businesses struggle with staff turnover - and which employees don’t want to leave.

If the Great Resignation was really so great, everybody would be doing it. Right?

After the first year of the pandemic, one in four workers had plans to quit when things straightened out. Things had changed. The future looked different. Crucially, 80% of these restless souls were planning to move on not to escape their boss or avoid a return to the office, but because they couldn’t see how to advance their career with their present company.

Another year on and, despite the headlines, plenty of employees prefer stability to the ronin lifestyle. A contract, a retirement plan, health insurance, paid family medical leave, and a boss you know and trust all feel far more valuable after a shaky period.

As for career advancement, the ‘stayers’ are leveraging their colleagues’ departure to carve out new roles and conditions within a company where they’re quite happy to stay.

But which companies are employees happiest to stick around at? Resume.io used LinkedIn data on the median tenure of employees at the most prominent companies to rank those holding onto their employees the longest – and those with the quickest worker turnover.

Key Findings

  • HSBC Bank USA and Neutrogena are tied in first place as the companies that keep their employees longest, with an average tenure of 10.2 years.
  • Coinbase, Avelo Airlines, and Popeyes have an average tenure of 0.8 years – the shortest employment period in our study.
  • Internet & Software is the sector with the shortest ‘longest stay’ – at Baidu, where the average tenure is 5.4 years.
  • Reebok holds onto employees for an average of 7 years, the longest for any apparel company.

Airlines Most Likely to Retain Employees

A decade and a bit with the same company: that’s a job for life for some early retirees. Employees of HSBC Bank USA and skincare brand Neutrogena stay with their firm for 10.2 years on average. It helps that both companies have been around a long time – HSBC was founded in 1850, while Neutrogena started out supplying specialty cosmetics to 1930s Hollywood.

Neutrogena is part of the Johnson & Johnson corporation, so employees enjoy the firm’s thoughtful benefit program. Glassdoor reviewers note that while Neutrogena does not provide many opportunities for career advancement, there is scope for lateral moves – which could prevent less ambitious employees from getting bored.

The top 20 Companies Employees don't want to leave
The top 20 Companies Employees don't want to leave

Over half (11/20) of the companies that keep their employees the longest are airlines. The high cost of security checks and training for pilots and attendants alike means that airlines are particularly invested in holding on to them. Generous stopover allowances and flight discounts are effective retainers, especially when they accrue with long service. Research has shown that giving flight attendants greater freedom to use their initiative and ‘craft their own role’ boosts engagement and longevity.

Reddit and Zoom Among Companies with Fastest Employee Turnover

Nine out of the ten prominent companies with the shortest employee tenure are in the internet and software sector. Of course, many of these companies are too new to have their average tenure hiked up by ‘lifers.’ But for more established digital companies, the brain drain may be to do with that career advancement mentioned above:

“The market for software engineers is robust,” according to Workforce Logiq’s chief data scientist, Christy Whitehead,“ and they are smartly taking advantage of the market demand to increase compensation and move up the corporate ladder.”

Top 20: The Companies Employees Don't Stay At
Top 20: The Companies Employees Don't Stay At

Today’s workforce has developed a taste for flexible work, and many were frustrated with the commute before the pandemic catalyzed new norms. According to a recent Randstad survey, 62% of workers who switched to WFH during the pandemic don’t miss the office (although they do miss the people). Digital companies such as Hubspot – which has an average tenure of just 1.8 years despite having been established for 16 – are pivoting to hybrid or remote-first models to retain employees, with Hubspot themselves removing the ‘-ish’ from their pre-pandemic ‘remote-ish’ strategy.

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Industry Breakdown: Companies That Retain Their Employees By Sector

A classic Harvard Business Review study demonstrated that the most powerful force in employee retention is inertia. In other words, most employees don’t stay because they’re happy; they stay because they’re not unhappy enough – or hungry enough - to leave.

If this sounds like you, then your boss should be doing more to get you invested in your work. And perhaps it’s time for you to ask yourself serious questions about whether this is how you want to spend your working life. In the 2020s, your first boss is yourself – and it’s your duty to remind yourself daily that you’re worth the best conditions a workplace can offer.

To find the companies in your sector that employees don’t want to leave, check through our full data in the sortable table below.

Methodology & sources

To determine the companies employees don’t want to leave, we established 13 major industries - Airlines, Automotive, Banking, Fashion, Food Services, Healthcare, Internet and Software, Luxury Goods and Jewelry, Media, Retail, Skincare and Cosmetics, Technology and Consumer Electronics, and Video Games. 

We then built a list of the biggest employers in each category. Next, we cross-checked our list against shortlists from authoritative sources such as Brand Directory and You.Gov to make sure we weren't missing any prominent company in the sector.

The final step was to visit the company profile on LinkedIn for each of the companies and gather the median tenure of their employees from the Insights section. In cases where there were multiple profiles, we took the LinkedIn page for the HQ of the brand.

Companies that fit more than one category have been included more than once, such as Amazon.

The data on median tenure is reported by LinkedIn users and is current as of February 2023.

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