We study worker turnover to investigate to what extent the length of time a worker has been employed by a firm shapes the turnover process in a transition economy. Using survey data, we compare the pattern of turnover with a Western economy, Britain. We show that tenure-turnover rates are higher in Russia and lower in Poland than in Britain. The characteristics of workers hired in the state and private sectors do not look very different. State and private sector firms in Poland offer the same wages to new recruits, but new private sector jobs in Russia appear to offer wage premia relative to new state jobs. We argue that these observations are consistent with a framework in which the value of seniority in jobs begun under the old order may be small and the value of a continued job match unsure, offset, in Poland at least, by insider resistance to layoffs.J. Comp. Econom., December 2000, 28(4), pp. 639-664. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, IZA, Bonn, The William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor, and EERC, Kiev; Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, Royal Holloway College, University of London, IZA, Bonn, and The William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor. © 2000 Academic Press.