The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven major shifts in the labor market. Worldwide lockdowns drove record-high unemployment rates across the US in April of 2020, but now, over 18 months later, the country is seeing a different labor market entirely. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that between April and June of 2021 alone, 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. A recent study by Microsoft shows that 41% of employees are considering quitting their jobs, jumping to 54% when looking at Gen Z alone. Persio reports that 38% of survey respondents plan to make a job change within the next 6 months.
Some employees have been forced to leave the workforce altogether – due to caregiving responsibilities or relocation, among other reasons. But, many are actively choosing to leave organizations. The experience of the pandemic has pushed individuals to take a step back and rethink their situation. Surveys show many have realized they are burnt out and seeking more work-life balance, while others are dissatisfied with their employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also a great number of individuals seeking new opportunities for higher pay, enhanced career development, or remote work potential.
A study by Gallup shows that those with the highest quit rates include individuals who are either not engaged or actively disengaged. Having disengaged workers poses a problem to organizations – when your employees are actively disengaged, productivity drops, which can be costly. In order to combat this disengagement, employers should focus their efforts around retention and a positive work experience, ensuring they have the right strategies in learning and development, pay equity, work-life balance, and flexibility.
While the best way to curb the effects of “The Great Resignation” on your organization is to develop a strong retention strategy, we know that won’t entirely stop the leak. Your talent acquisition team will feel the effects, with the responsibility of backfilling leaves and hiring for new roles. This makes a strong recruitment strategy critical to your future success as an organization.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you bring in new talent:
Create a simple application process.
Make job openings easy to find through your website, LinkedIn, etc., and ensure that applicants can apply in a few clicks, with a quick resume upload and contact form.
Keep strong communication with your candidates on next steps and anticipated timelines. Make every step in the process count – get your own questions answered, and be sure you provide candidates with ample opportunity to ask their own questions and get a sense of your organizational culture.
Your own employees can be some of your best access to new talent. Incentivize employees to share job postings to their network through avenues like LinkedIn, email, and word of mouth, providing a realistic look at what it’s like to work at your organization.
Revamp your benefits plan to include perks like:
Family Benefits and Caregiver Support
Remote or Hybrid Work Opportunity
As the “Great Resignation” continues, your organization will undoubtedly feel the effects as employees leave and enter the organization. While it may seem daunting to keep up with the labor market, organizations can use this as an opportunity to pivot their strategy. Get to know your employees, their wants and needs, and build your culture around what matters - there’s a great pool of candidates out there who are looking for exactly that.