Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Conventional wisdom tells us that when the economy is good, people change their jobs, and when the economy is bad, people stay put. So, you’d think that while we recover from the economic disaster caused by COVID, we wouldn’t see many people quitting their jobs. But people are quitting and quitting in unprecedented numbers. As of the start of 2021, The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that four million Americans quit their jobs in April alone. This is the highest number of resignations the Bureau has recorded since they began tracking those statistics in December of 2000. And, according to Morning Consult, one in four Americans are planning to quit their jobs in the coming weeks.
Why are so many people changing jobs now?
Delayed Resignations, Changing Priorities
Much of the “wave of resignations” is due to the fact that, during the pandemic, people put off resigning from their jobs. People largely sheltered in place over the last year rather than walk into a job market that had largely evaporated overnight. Now that things are beginning to look up for job seekers, resignations are also increasing.
Of course, the pandemic itself was a sobering reminder that life is short. Over 600,000 Americans have died of COVID and many more were made seriously ill. Under the circumstances, who could blame someone for deciding that the end of the pandemic was the right time to make major changes in their life?
One good thing that came out of the pandemic is the realization that employees can be just as effective, and possibly even more effective, working from home rather than working in an office. But some companies are still insisting that their employees return to the office. The negative feedback on this from workers has been loud and clear, with nearly 40% of all employees, and 50% of employees who are millennials or Generation Z, saying they would resign rather than return to the office full-time.
The wave of resignations has had an opposite reaction, resulting in a marked increase in hiring. Employers who are willing to re-visit their talent acquisition strategies have found their talent pools reinvigorated as the economy begins recovering from the pandemic. At the same time, employers who are taking their engagement strategies seriously have seen fewer resignations.
What Can Employers Do?
The talent crunch we had before the pandemic is still a problem. The only difference is now that so many people are resigning, you have a fresh talent pool. Now is not the time to weaken your talent acquisition efforts or hiring incentives. You’ll also need to put extra energy into employee engagement and retention – after all, it’s less expensive to keep your seasoned employees rather than finding new ones.
Re-evaluate your job requirements
Take a look at your job requirements. Companies shouldn’t lower their standards due to the current employment market, but at the same time, there may be requirements that are more than you need for your open positions, such as a four-year degree for a customer service representative.
Commit to employee engagement
Having a strong employee engagement program will give you happier, more productive employees. Your employees will also be less likely to quit and can help you find other employees through referrals. Making sure your employees feel valued will go a long way toward making sure your company can survive any drastic changes to the talent market.
Establish, or re-establish your relationship with talent acquisition firms
Now is the time to re-establish, or form, relationships with talent acquisition firms. These companies are uniquely positioned to help your company find better hires more quickly, and a good talent acquisition firm can be worth its weight in gold.
Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You
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