Recently, the business space has been abuzz with talk of a ‘Great Resignation.’ Coming out of the pandemic, we’ve seen a large number of people leave their jobs. In fact, more than 1 in 4 workers left their roles without having another job lined up. Many more are looking to jump ship to other employers.
At this time, employee retention is crucial for organisations of all sizes. Out of this crisis, however, comes an opportunity for both astute employers and recruiters.
Before that though, we need to understand what is actually happening.
What is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation, coined by Associate Professor Anthony Klotz, refers to a sharp increase in employees who have left or wish to leave their jobs in the near future. April 2021 saw almost double the number of resignations compared to the year prior. And figures aren’t dropping as the months pass by.
Why you may ask?
Simply put, the pandemic has caused many to re-evaluate their priorities. Workers are looking to pursue career paths that are more exciting and fulfilling. Remote working is now a big thing, and a recent article of ours highlighted nearly 40% of workers would look elsewhere if unable to work from home.
Retention During the Great Resignation
An effective retention strategy is vital to protecting your most valuable assets, your employees. It’s also important as a way to improve productivity and manage costs. Rehiring is expensive, and losing all of the time spent training and working with your team is far from ideal.
An article by Rover stated that “Rather than asking ‘why does no one want to work?’ We can ask ‘what can I do to make my business a desirable place to commit to?’“
We recently highlighted 8 ways in which you can improve your employee retention. Competitive compensation packages, showing employees that they are valued, offering flexible arrangements, opportunities for upward mobility, a mentorship program, seeking feedback, and providing training can all help to boost employee retention.
However, the best action you can take is to ensure you hire the right people from the start. An expert recruiter can help you to find the right candidates, especially for hard-to-fill roles. Most will also provide a replacement guarantee within a certain time frame, on the off chance your new hire doesn’t work out.
Recruiting During the Great Resignation
While a drop in employee retention is never a good thing, this trend also provides an opportunity for employers who make more effort than their competitors. Now is the time to transform your approach to talent acquisition and position yourself as an employer of choice. All of these resigning employees will look for work elsewhere, and you could have your pick from the cream of the crop.
A group of workers, often overlooked, are those who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic. Obviously, when originally looking for another job, their opportunities were scarce. Many may have had to compromise with a short term role. Others may have decided to spend some time away from work. Now, as we begin to recover, they look to brighter pastures and want to get back to doing what they love.
It’s important not to write candidates off if they have gaps in employment or multiple roles in the past two years. These people would likely still have their original jobs if not for the pandemic, and can’t be blamed for taking what they can get during that volatile time.
The pandemic has hit all of us, some more than others. The Great Resignation sees many workers leaving their jobs in search of better options, and employers must ramp up their retention efforts.
Right now, a retention budget is just as important as a hiring budget.
An opportunity also exists for discerning organisations to hire some great, previously unavailable talent. A key consideration, however, is that many who lost their jobs because of COVID will have gaps in their CVs or multiple recent roles, and this does not stop them from being good candidates.
In short, organisations wishing to not only survive, but thrive during the Great Resignation must look to bolster both retention and recruitment efforts. Doing so allows employers to gain an edge over the unprepared competition and come out on top.