the great resignation

Recruiters: Are you ready to ride the great resignation wave?

Sarah Linney
23 Jun
Reading time: 4 minutes
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With 41% of global workers contemplating handing in their notice (according to a recent Microsoft report), economists are heralding “the great resignation” as a key challenge facing recruiters. 

The 2021 Work Trend Index report, based on a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and an analysis of trillions of productivity and labour signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn, states that “a thoughtful approach to hybrid work will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent” amid these tough market conditions.

“The great resignation” comes after a year of crisis-driven uncertainty and hesitancy, with many holding off on handing in their notice due to the crisis. Additionally (and crucially), this wave comes after a year of people reflecting on how they work, where they work and what they want for their future. 

Whether that’s a career change, an industry change, moving to a company that embraces hybrid work or moving to a company that still has office space (some people are craving that office socialising again!), people are examining their priorities and leaving environments that don’t serve them anymore. 

Surveys across the globe are seeing the same results as the Microsoft report, with a UK and Ireland survey finding that 38% of employees were planning on quitting in the next six months to a year and that 45% of HR decision makers are worried that employees will leave once the job market improves. 

In the US, the economy is seeing the highest rate of employees resigning that it’s seen in 20 years, with workers making demands for greater flexibility and autonomy, exploring more possibilities and exercising the growing leverage they have over employers.

A recent survey found that 42% of US employees would resign if their company didn’t offer remote working options long term, demonstrating how significant the shift was to remote work during the pandemic. 

The Microsoft report also supports this finding, with 73% of surveyed employees indicating that they want remote work options to remain. 

To delve deeper, we chatted with JobAdder’s CEO, Martin Herbst, about what this great resignation means for recruitment agencies and in-house human resources and talent acquisition. 

“This alarming trend should rally companies to be more attentive and adaptive to their employees’ needs. Nothing will ever be the same again after COVID-19.” 

“At the same time, this is an encouraging sign for recruiters and talent acquistion who are facing the biggest candidate shortage in years. Considering that workers are approaching their career differently, everyone in recruitment should also think and work differently to tap into this burgeoning trend by being much more resourceful and creative in how they nurture their talent pools.”

We also spoke to JobAdder’s brand new Chief People Officer, Graham Moody, about how he thinks the great resignation wave will change the recruitment landscape. 

“The level of challenge and opportunity this dynamic talent market brings will vary greatly from company to company. Those categorised as a best place to work will more than likely be in a stronger position to retain their top talent whilst also capitalising on being able to attract talent looking for different or better opportunities.” 

“Those companies that didn’t invest in building the pre-pandemic cultural equity and engagement with their people and perhaps did a poorer job navigating the challenges that COVID-19 and remote working rapidly introduced may find themselves with high attrition and a poor reputation for attracting talent.”

“For internal talent acquisition and human resources, it’s an opportunity to leverage what we’ve learned over the last 18 months in terms of how, when and where people want to work. These insights will help drive even stronger engagement with existing teams and enable TA to tap into talent pools typically underrepresented pre-pandemic but now much more accessible with the change in flexible working.”

Download our free report on global recruitment industry findings to discover more data and insights from the JobAdder team.

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