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The Great Resignation – a battle for talent on two fronts

The Great Resignation

I was recently chatting with my friend Steve Mair, the VP of Talent Acquisition at Procore, about the phenomenon of The Great Resignation, and he said to me: “if you had told me the market would be like this two years ago, I would have said it was unfathomable.”

No-one could have predicted this level of volatility. Millions upon millions of workers have handed in their notice, looking to carve out new paths for themselves after the chaos of the pandemic afforded them a glimpse of clarity. With so much uncertainty for 18 months, now became the moment to strike and forge change.

Every stat I see about The Great Resignation, or insight gleaned around it, has made me do a double-take:

  • 65% of US employees are seeking out new jobs. (PWC)

  • 15 million+ workers in America have resigned since April 2021. (McKinsey)

  • Global employee engagement rates are at a dismal 20%. (Gallup)

  • 88% of executives said their company is experiencing higher turnover than normal. (PWC)

Objectively, this weaves a story of discontent. And primarily this is the case. With the mandatory exodus to remote, it showed employees that flexibility could indeed work. And as the emphasis on wellbeing and empathy rose to counter the constant threat of COVID, employees didn’t want to lose this. This realization about the importance of life urged swathes of workers to push for change. They were no longer willing to accept the shackles that had now become immaterial in the grand scheme of everything. So they left.

There is another side to this tale

As organizations and leaders look to understand the root cause of this mass exit, they are also scrambling to scale hiring. With record numbers of job vacancies, it’s becoming a herculean task for companies to not only fill these open positions, but find enough recruiters to actually facilitate this! In July this year for example, it was noted on LinkedIn that there were more job ads for recruiters (364,970) than there were for software engineers (342, 586). 

It is a perfect storm for companies as they fight a battle on two fronts by attempting to scale their hiring efforts while simultaneously optimizing their approach to talent retention. But how can organizations best equip themselves to deal with this precarious situation?

The Great Resignation

Well, luckily it forms the topic base for our next online, talent leadership event – SocialTalent Live: Hiring at scale during The Great Resignation.

Taking place on November 18, I’ll be joined by industry leaders like:

Together, we’ll discuss what is happening at the moment at a recruitment level – both from the perspective of an RPO and organization. But we’ll also have incredible insights on retention and attrition from Dr. Bev Kaye, the bestselling author and talent engagement coach, and Jason Lauritsen, a renowned leadership trainer, keynote speaker and employee engagement consultant.

This event is all about looking at best practices to tackle this current phenomenon. From expanding your TA organization through up-skilling and creating recruiter academies to optimizing your hiring practices and investing in the wellbeing and development of your current staff – this new war for talent is complex and multifaceted but it can be conquered!

I hope you can join me on November 18. It promises to be a fantastic showcase on a topic that is affecting almost every industry.

Visit us here for more information and to register for the event.

This article originally appeared in Johnny Campbell’s bi-weekly LinkedIn Newsletter called Talent Leadership Insights. Subscribe here.

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