Hiring During the “Great Resignation”

Jan 21 2022

The Great Resignation. The Big Quit. Whatever you call it, the labor market has reached record-high quit rates in the past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And we can expect this trend to continue in 2022, with as many as 1 in 4 workers indicating they plan to quit their jobs.


What does it mean for employers?

(Hint: It’s not as bad as you think)

While many employers are filled with concerns, we have some good news: the Great Resignation is looking more like a Great Reshuffle. As quits continue to rise so do new hires. People aren’t just calling it quits; instead, after two years of the pandemic, they are reevaluating their careers and looking for fulfilling new job opportunities.

If you play your cards right, this is the perfect opportunity to attract top talent in your industry. The key to success? Understanding what employees’ top priorities are.

Successful strategies for winning top talent 

What employees are looking for in jobs

  • Hybrid and/or remote work opportunities. The desire for work flexibility is a leading trend in the wake of the pandemic. If it’s possible for your industry, providing hybrid work models or remote positions will give you a major advantage.
  • Competitive pay and benefits packages. Now is the time to review your current pay rates and benefits, compare with your competitors, and see if you need to update them. Your HR representative or consultant can help conduct this analysis and decide if and what changes you need to make.
  • A people-first work environment. Despite the focus on salary in the headlines, burnout, toxic company culture, and lack of work-life balance are actually top reasons people are quitting. It is critical to create a caring work environment, where employees feel respected and recognized. More than ever, the pandemic has made people realize just how important the people they work with truly are.

What you should look for in candidates 

  • New key skills post-pandemic. The attributes of a good employee have not changed, but there are emerging skills that you should look for in candidates, such as:
    • The ability to work independently and consistently produce high-quality work
    • Time management skills
    • The ability to work virtually, including using software platforms, technology tools, and videoconferencing software

The best way to find out if potential candidates have these skills is by asking open-ended questions during interviews. These could include questions like:

      • Give me some examples of a time when you had to deliver under a tight deadline while juggling something else unexpected at the same time.
      • What technology and tools are you using on a regular basis? How did you learn to use them?
      • How do you stay motivated and make sure that you are managing your time effectively?
  • Commitment to the job. A major concern during the “Big Quit” is which candidates are looking to commit to a new job and which ones are serial job hoppers. A good way of parsing out the difference during interviews is asking why they left each previous position and why they took the next one.

Listen for patterns in what motivates them. Are they always negative about the places they’ve worked? They may not be the right candidate. Or are they changing jobs for factors like pay, job flexibility, or career advancement? Figuring out these motivations can help you decide if they will fit in your team.

Ask us your Human Resources and talent management questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We love helping companies align their people with their business needs, and we love to share what we know.


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