It’s nearly impossible to go online or open a newspaper without seeing the term “The Great Resignation” somewhere. Talk of this phenomenon is referenced in the news, videos, podcasts, and print media the nation over.
So, what is it? In short, The Great Resignation is the term that was coined by Texas A&M’s organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz to describe the historical rate at which employees are voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse. A trend that began in early 2021 and continues today.
According to the 2022 HR Industry Trends Report from TrustRadius, 76% of HR professionals believe it has changed the labor market forever. While resignations are at an all-time high, it doesn’t necessarily mean dire straits for employers. Before you hit the panic button, there may be an upside to all of this commotion.
A closer look at the data shows that it may in fact be a great reshuffle and if handled correctly, could provide you with endless opportunities to refresh your organization and make the internal changes that have been a long time coming anyway. But, before we can talk about solutions, we first have to understand what we’re working with.
What’s Driving “The Great Reshuffle”?
As with any relationship, it takes two to tango, so let’s take a look at what’s driving The Great Reshuffle. It’s easy to point the finger and say that this is a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the pandemic was merely the catalyst for underlying tensions in the workforce.
In analyzing TrustRadius’s Industry Trends Report we see that there is both employer- and employee-specific causes to account for.
Employee Related Causes
As health and safety took the front seat for the world at large, employees began reevaluating their priorities. The modern workforce is seeking a better work/life balance, more money, enhanced benefits, and better working conditions. Combine shifting priorities, with the wide-scale retirement of the Baby Boomers, then add in staffing shortages due to health concerns, and it’s not hard to see why nearly every industry is struggling to attract and retain talent.
Employer Related Causes
As for employer-related causes, according to the report, 31% of employees pointed to stressful working conditions as the single biggest contributor, followed by 16% citing low pay, 15% citing a lack of flexibility, and 13% citing company failure to address work/life balance.
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Which Industries are Most Affected?
Talks about labor shortages for service industry jobs like retail, food service, and hospitality have circled widely throughout the pandemic. However, according to a recent Harvard Business Review, there are some key trends surfacing in other demographics. Namely mid-career millennial (30-45-year-old) employees working in the tech and healthcare industries leaving shortages in the IT, Tech, Digital Marketing, and Creative Talent sectors as well as Healthcare as a whole.
The Great Reshuffle
While the term, Great Resignation implies people are leaving the workforce, that isn’t actually the case and the term Great Reshuffle is a more accurate moniker. Rather than leaving the workforce millions of people are opting instead to reconfigure what their careers look like. Some are using the current hiring crisis and talent shortage to obtain better positions. Others are shifting into new industries altogether seeking careers that offer higher wages or align more with their values or lifestyle. And, a large percentage have decided to make the move to self-employment with the number of self-employed workers in the US rising by 500,000. According to the Census Bureau, there was a surge in new business formation last year, with applications hitting a record 5.4 million.
Protecting Your Company From “The Great Reshuffle” and Preventing Employee Turnover
In today’s hiring market, the modern workforce is in a position to demand more of a work-life balance. Employees now have a greater ability to fit work into their lives, instead of having lives that fit around their work. For top talent, particularly in high-demand industries, workers are fine-tuning a better work-life balance and making deliberate choices regarding where their careers are heading next. So what can employers do to avoid more resignations? While focusing on employee retention is a great place to start, there are other things you can do to attract and retain the key employees and top-tier talent you need now.
Identify the Nature and Root of the Problem
Before you can address a problem you’ll first need to understand the nature of the problem and the depth of its impact on your organization. For example, is your company experiencing trouble recruiting employees, difficulty retaining existing staff, or both? Do you know your attrition, turnover, and churn rates? How have those numbers changed YOY (year over year)? Once you’ve identified the nature of the problem it’s time to identify its root cause.
If retention is your biggest issue, employee exit interviews or surveys are a good way to find out why employees are leaving. Or, better yet, be proactive and perform employee stay interviews to help you identify existing issues that may cause them to quit. This type of interview process can help you to identify if a key driver of employee attrition is low pay, lack of work-life balance, an unfavorable work environment, or other addressable issues so you can develop an actionable plan to address it. Some common strategies may include:
Offer Remote or Flex Work Options
Work-life balance is a key factor for the modern workforce. Not all jobs can be done remotely, but many of them can. Look to find ways that your organization can offer remote options or flexible scheduling that can be tailored to the needs of your staff. In a candidate-driven market, candidates are holding the cards and they will not hesitate to seek an employer who has adapted to the new normal and embraced the new digital world.
Get Creative With Salaries and Benefits
Not every company can afford to increase salaries across the board, but during our Hourly Candidate Viewpoint’s webinar, we’ve found that though money is often a top priority for employees, it’s not the only one. Other top satisfaction factors for candidates included benefits, perks, and bonuses as well as offered training and advancement programs. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for this one. Through write-in answers on one survey, we found that top-rated perks like ski and gym passes made a huge difference in employee satisfaction. Furthermore, this type of unique offering could be the thing that sets you apart from the competition when it comes to the talent acquisition race.
If recruiting is your biggest challenge, turn to your recruitment marketing KPIs and look back to your ideal candidate personas. Is your current recruitment marketing plan set up to reach your ideal candidates where they are? If not, create a plan to realign your marketing with your candidate personas. Some common plan components may include:
Tailor Your Tech Stack for Ideal Candidate Journeys
A positive candidate journey should be shaped by multiple touchpoints, but to accomplish this you will need to implement a robust recruiting tech stack that includes multiple channels. For example, good recruiting starts with a positive employer brand to encourage both active and passive candidates to seek you out as an employer of choice. From there, using text recruiting best practices, a thoughtfully crafted text about open positions can bring a strong candidate to your careers page or social job postings and encourage applications.
When you partner with Work4, we can help you to tailor the perfect tech stack for your organization and deliver quality candidate leads directly to your ATS, inbox, or through our own API access. Leveraging the right combination of tech, tailored to the goals and stages in your candidate journey, not only delivers a fantastic experience for the candidate but also significantly accelerates hiring speed.
Improve Candidate Follow-up
According to studies, 75% of applicants never hear back from employers after applying for a job, and 60% never hear back from employers after an interview. Lack of communication is a top cause of negative candidate experiences. While it might be impossible to personally respond to hundreds of applications, it’s still imperative to give your applicants a positive candidate experience. Utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is one way companies can manage high-volume responses. With options to automate responses ranging from “It’s not a good fit” to “This position has already been filled, but we’ll keep your summary on file.” Even if your post-interview response is automated, it can still show that your company appreciates applicants’ time and effort.
Prioritize Quality as a Hiring Success Metric
How do you evaluate the success of your recruitment strategy? Time to hire, cost per hire, offers made, and positions filled, are all great efficiency metrics to track, but what about quality of hire? To determine this, track employee longevity and retention as well as employee success and growth within the organization from the time they join: if they are doing well and are happy, you have a successful hire. Tracking the quality of hires on a regular basis can greatly improve your bottom line since the cost of hiring and training is far greater than the cost of retaining the right talent.
Build a Plan for Change and Implement it
Create and execute a plan to correct the problem, and let employees know that positive changes are coming. Consider utilizing some of the solutions we’ve discussed and look for ways that you can improve your employee satisfaction rates. Your organization’s success depends on having an actionable plan to identify and subsequently reduce the impact of the current labor shortage.
Work4 Matches Companies with the Right Talent, Right Now
If the Great Reshuffle is causing chaos in your organization, it’s time to rethink your hiring strategies and make changes that can reduce the impact of this phenomenon. Now is the time to embrace these exciting times and show how agile, adaptable and attractive you can be to candidates as they decide where to go next.
With access to over 15 million unique social media user profiles to choose from for dedicated targeting and optimized sourcing, integrations with some of the biggest platforms in talent acquisition, and over 11 years in the Recruitment Marketing industry, Work4 can match you with the hard-to-find, talent you need. We are committed to matching employers with the right talent by staying on the cutting edge of hiring trends, using our proprietary systems to increase candidate leads as well as reduce both time to hire and cost per hire. Book a meeting with one of our professionals today to see how we can help you achieve your hiring goals!