Members of the American workforce are leaving their current roles to search for better opportunities, pay, benefits, and work hours. Employers have faced unprecedented challenges since the Great Resignation began, such as labor shortages, losing to the gig economy, and a lack of quality candidates.
Recruiting staff during this period is another challenge many companies face today. How can organizations change to improve their hiring and retention strategies? Learn more about the impact of the Great Resignation and what companies can do to overcome it.
When Did the Great Resignation Start?
Since the beginning of the global pandemic, millions of people have quit their jobs for various reasons, leading to a situation that’s since been coined the “Great Resignation.”
The trend is causing a slew of challenges for companies in every industry, but especially those in low-wage sectors. Employers struggle to fill roles and find staff willing to work specific hours.
The Great Resignation lost some steam in September 2022, as quitting numbers declined. Despite these decreases, the total number of American employees who quit is 4 million, which is still very high compared to historical data.
Why Is the Great Resignation Happening?
There’s no root cause to explain why the Great Resignation is happening. Recent research, however, suggests there are multiple reasons contributing to the rising number of employees quitting their jobs, including:
- The COVID-19 pandemic prompted people to reevaluate their personal and professional values.
- Some employers require employees to return to the office while employees prefer working remotely.
- Childcare and elder care became more expensive due to the pandemic, so employees quit to care for their family members.
- Employees did not want to comply with company vaccination requirements.
The “Quiet Quitting” Trend
The advent of the Great Resignation actually sparked another trend in 2022 within the American workforce: “Quiet quitting.”
What is quiet quitting? In simple terms, the quiet quitting trend encourages employees to remain in their existing roles but do the absolute bare minimum for their employers. It’s essentially doing the job just well enough to not get fired.
Employees who feel they’re being mistreated, undervalued, and disconnected from their colleagues are often the ones most likely to quietly quit. Rather than start a job hunt, employees would rather lessen the expectations at work and perform at an average or below-average level.
Best Hiring Practices to Incorporate During the Great Resignation
Recruiters want to prevent quality employees from quitting or quiet quitting, and their leaders want the best candidates to endure the hiring process. To start reaching these goals, companies would benefit from reviewing and improving their HR department’s hiring practices. Here are some of the best practices HR professionals and recruiters can use to hire and retain high-quality candidates.
Offer Flexible Working Hours and Locations
The remote work trend is here to stay, so many companies are becoming remote-friendly or remote-first organizations. Some industries cannot allow employees to work from home because being in-person is required for the job. Take the construction sector, for example. Workers cannot build new projects or structures from the comfort of their own homes.
If possible, organizations should offer flexible working hours and locations for their employees. Companies can experiment with a hybrid schedule, where employees can come into the office a few days a week or a month.
Focus on Improving Company Culture
Many of the reasons for quitting outlined above could’ve been avoided if companies prioritized fostering a positive, supportive culture.
Every employee and employer should strive to create a welcoming culture where everyone’s voice is heard and views are respected. Before any new hires come aboard, companies should ensure their missions and values align with potential candidates.
Keep the Interview Process Short
The average interview and hiring process involves three to five steps: First contact, a phone call, a virtual or in-person interview, and the offer. Every organization is different, so there could be more or fewer steps in their unique hiring process.
One important trend in IT recruiting is to conduct remote interviews as much as possible and create a good interviewee experience.
It’s critical for employers to keep the interview process short and to the point. Generally speaking, candidates shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or attend six or seven interviews to see if they’re a good fit for the role. Long, drawn-out interview processes can make employers less attractive to members of the talent pool.
Market Roles to the Diverse Talent Pools
Most businesses know that hiring a diverse team of employees is good practice. However, if every company prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), a greater variety of perspectives would exist in today’s business world.
Research from Deloitte shows that companies with a diverse workforce have 22% less employee turnover. Hiring people of different races, ethnicities, ages, and sexualities can create a more diverse workplace and a more inclusive company culture.
Provide Desirable Salaries and Benefits
Adding to employee benefits or increasing salaries might not be in every company’s best interests or budget. However, the job market is competitive right now, particularly because of the Great Resignation.
While offering more to employees can have positive effects, some companies decided to do the opposite and make a number of layoffs. Take Twitter, for example. After Elon Musk bought Twitter, he laid off around half of its employees – around 7,500 people. Offering better benefits and pay will retain existing employees, entice new employees, and attract top talent.
Use the Right HR Technologies
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in HR nowadays, with as many as 80% of employers using AI in employment decisions. Companies can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to support hiring decisions or adopt a new applicant tracking system (ATS) to streamline the hiring and interviewing process. Be sure that the use of AI does not violate state or local law (in 2019, Illinois became the first state to require disclosures and obtain consents from applicants when using AI during the hiring process).
Organizations should be willing to explore the use of these new and emerging technologies. The world is becoming more data-driven and tech-savvy than ever before, so now is the time to invest in AI, machine learning (ML), and software solutions to gain a competitive advantage.
Adopt New Hiring Strategies
There’s no doubt that the Great Resignation has paved the way for several challenges to impact small, medium, and large businesses. It’s crucial for employers to put themselves in the shoes of their employees to understand where they’re falling short. By using some of the outlined strategies above, organizations can attract top talent, retain new hires, and keep veteran employees satisfied in their roles.