In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the business landscape for good. While some companies thrived by offering fully remote positions, others couldn’t keep up and eventually saw their workers leaving for good. The “Great Resignation” left businesses uncertain about how to rebuild their workforce. Talent became scarce and understandably demanding, and companies had no choice but to review their retaining strategies.
Now, it’s time for employers to get out there and get their talent back. But first, companies must understand the main reasons that led workers to leave their jobs amid the Great Resignation. Then they must understand what they can do now to find and retain the best talent.
The Great Resignation by the numbers
The Great Resignation refers to the massive voluntary resignation wave which happened with the pandemic. Employees began leaving their companies at a faster rate than their employers could replace them. The pandemic raised many concerns and needs that, unfortunately, weren’t met by a number of companies which eventually saw their talent leave.
6.3 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs in November 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the highest level of mass resignations ever recorded since the beginning of the millennium.
Currently, there are a lot more job openings than new hires. In July 2022, BLS recorded 11.2 million job openings and only 6.4 million new hires. At the time, resignations were still high, with 4.2 million exits.
McKinsey & Company surveyed 600 workers who left their jobs voluntarily. They reported that 44% of those workers showed no immediate interest in returning to a traditional job in the upcoming six months.
What’s different about this resignation wave?
The brunt of the pandemic is nearly over. However, as demonstrated, workers are still quitting their jobs, and the demand for talent is high. Although previous resignation waves happened, this one seems quite different.
Workers aren’t just leaving to find a better job elsewhere. Some of them are going to take on different roles, while others are quitting the workforce entirely. The pandemic forced people to prioritize their health and lives more than ever before. The pandemic is much less impactful now, but workers are still prioritizing themselves until they must go back.
Why is the talent leaving?
The last couple of years brought out some of the worst working experiences ever. Workers were exposed to many stressful and anxiety-inducing situations that burdened them heavily. Mass layoffs, job uncertainty, lack of advancement, and having to take on more work than expected left employers feeling upset and exhausted.
All of this, combined with long periods of isolation and the fear of dealing with the pandemic, took a toll on workers’ mental health, causing them stress and burnout. Other employers simply left their jobs because they realized that they could. Several couples forced to work from home concluded that they could manage fine with one income source. In return, they were able to spend more quality time with family.
How to find the best talent amid the Great Resignation – actionable tips
There are several ways an employer can find the best talent amid the Great Resignation. Clear communication, new business models, and a revamped leadership style are only a few examples of how to bring workers back and keep them for good.
Starting with job descriptions
New job openings need captivating job descriptions. The best talent is demanding, so companies should spend some time deciding how they want to come across. This is the first interaction potential candidates have with the brand, and it needs to be memorable.
Employers should be clear about salary and workload expectations for the open position. They should also take the time to describe the work environment, allowing the candidates to imagine themselves working with them. The more detailed the job description is, the more likely employers are to find the right match. Including details about benefits, compensations, and advancement possibilities is also a great way to attract new talent.
Improving employer branding
Once candidates become intrigued by a fantastic offer, they’ll do some research on the company. This is why businesses should invest in improving their branding. Candidates need to understand why they should work for that company instead of their competitors.
There are several ways to improve an employer’s branding. Some of them include making current employees happy, increasing the company’s social media presence, and improving the business image with a dedicated website and a great “About Us” page.
Getting feedback from employees
The best way to improve a business is by listening to internal feedback. No one will know what the company needs better than its current employees. Leaders must listen to their workers, take in their suggestions, and respond with clear action.
Conducting anonymous surveys to identify which aspects need improvement is a great way to start. This method allows employers to measure and monitor the overall satisfaction level within the company and pinpoint the aspects that need improvement.
Implementing new business models
Remote and hybrid business models are here to stay, and being flexible can make or break a company in current times. The best way to attract new talent is by offering opportunities in which they can choose when and how to work.
Many companies offer new positions where workers can decide whether to always work from home, at the office, or in a hybrid setting. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all jobs, but when companies have the opportunity to be flexible with their business model, they should take it.
Adapting the leadership style
As previously mentioned, talent is more demanding than ever, and they won’t tolerate simply being bossed around, especially if they have other job opportunities lined up. Employees need their superiors to lead by example, show empathy, and support them as much as possible.
Companies that rely on micromanagement, overworking their staff, and pressuring them into getting results won’t get far when it comes to retaining their talent. Instead, a company that takes its workers seriously while supporting their mental health and positively reinforces them is more likely to succeed.
There is hope
Finding the best talent amid the Great Resignation might require a bit of effort, but it isn’t impossible. With the help of some of these tips, employers are now a step closer to improving their retention strategies and getting their workforce back. Clear communication, improved leadership, and better compensation and benefits are only a few actionable examples of how to get the best talent. It’s essential to focus on each employee’s professional and personal needs.
It also pays off to be quick as soon as a great candidate appears. Not hiring high-quality talent as fast as possible will only result in a win for the competition.