If you ask a HR person one of the measures that they are generally concerned about is staff turnover or churn. That is what is the percentage of of the workforce that leave the company in a 12-month period. This means that there is a higher cost of acquisition of talent within a business and a lot of knowledge walking out of a business. It is inferred that the company is a bad place to work.
I worked in my first agency some ten years ago for two and a half years during that time I went from having no contacts in London to a Rolodex full of cards and a Palm Vx with 1,500 names in it. It was the go-go years of the telecoms boom / linux bubble / dot.com era and my colleagues moved on to work inhouse and for found successful agencies like Rainier. Heather who sat next to me is now an interior designer making over the pads of some of Silicon Valley’s finest engineers.
During my time at Yahoo! I made a series of contacts who now work for some of Europe’s hottest start-ups and media companies from Moo to Guardian Media Group. A number of them have bootstrapped together start-ups including health and fitness experiential marketplace Wahanda.
In businesses with high churn rate, there was also a high degree of entrepreneurship and career advancement. So whilst, going and working for a high-churn organisation maybe a risky and unpleasant experience; it could also the best thing that ever happened to your network and the current economic status could be an unprecedented opportunity.