The Great Resignation: Opportunities During an Employee Exodus

The Great Resignation: Opportunities During an Employee Exodus

By Gabriel Birky Pohirieth
Published: 11/03/2022

The number of British job vacancies reached a record high of 1.24 million at the end of 2021. Categorised now as the Great Resignation, this is a trend that continues to be on the mind of many businesses as labour shortages seem to continue.

The final months of 2021 came to a close with 69% of workers saying they would feel confident to move to a new job within the next couple of months, in a survey of 6,000 by Randstad UK recruiting firm. But employers are using this as an opportunity to review what they can do to successfully bring the exodus of people back.

Turning the Tides of Resignation

The beginning of this exodus stemmed from many reasons, whether it was the financial and mental pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, job dissatisfaction, or the increasing costs of living, workers went searching for more pay and better benefits elsewhere. This happens for all stages of life, while younger workers are most likely to search for better jobs, older workers are pushed to retire early.

Employees are looking to get more out of their jobs than before, beyond better pay and benefits. As the pandemic continues and remote work is now offered by more and more companies, employees search out flexibility like this. This is on top of other factors such as an improved work-life balance and better company culture.

But as job vacancies reached 1.29 million from November to January of 2022 according to the ONS, the rate seems to slow as employers are making changes to turn the tides and bring more people back into work.

Rising Opportunities for Employers and Employees

Now that job openings are more bountiful, the trick is to find the high-quality employees out there looking for work. Employers are realising that they have the opportunity to bring in these people, but this does require some changes.

Mental health, burnout, and overall employee wellbeing have played an important role in The Great Resignation. This is a great place for employers to start making changes. Employees are looking for companies that put a focus on financial wellness programs, flexible scheduling, wellness programs providing resources for better mental health, and even something as simple as more time off.

The key is to communicate freely and understand the importance of mental health and employee wellbeing while being open to feedback from employees on their needs. By adapting recruiting practices and putting forward a person-first approach, a company can show that they care.

Employers are beginning to add more benefits as well. Some offer programs to grow skills, financial incentives through sign-on bonuses, and even trials of 4-day work weeks, as ways of attracting new workers and developing their own in-house talent.

As we can see now, possibilities are increasing for employers to gain new talent and for employees to finally find the right fit for them.

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