Local companies and their workers lost nearly $10 billion in business costs and salaries last year as 383,500 workers switched jobs while the economy revived. According to a survey conducted by leading accounting body CPA Australia of 109 companies in the public and private sectors, employers spent at least $5.1 billion last year on advertising and commission costs in recruiting replacements - $13,290 per employee lost. But not all employees who switch jobs do better. The survey also showed that lost salaries due to job changing last year amounted to a total of $4.7 billion. Among the 383,500 workers who changed jobs last year, only 20 per cent immediately moved to a new position. Another 40 per cent took almost a month to find a new job, while 10 per cent took three to 12 months. Vivian Sun Kwai-yu, former president of CPA Australia's Hong Kong-China division, believes a disparity between employers' recruitment and retention tactics and their workers' expectations are the main reasons behind the surging turnover rate. 'Most companies are still using monetary rewards as the major tool for retaining their employees, but fewer people are leaving because of the salary. Nearly 40 per cent are actually switching jobs because they feel they lack opportunities,' she said. More than 60 per cent of employers are still putting heavy emphasis on competence during recruitment and less on value matching between the candidates and the company. 'Promotions need to have substance rather than just title inflation and a salary rise,' Ms Sun said. The accounting body submitted its findings to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and other government officials yesterday.