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The “Great Resignation”

July 29, 2021

By Sheila Hoover, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

The number of job openings, as well as people voluntarily leaving employers, hit all-time highs in recent months. New data finds an astounding 95% of workers say they are considering changing jobs.  The U.S. has 9.2 million jobs open, with 92% of workers saying they are willing to switch industries for a new job.

The 850,000 jobs added in the month of June 2021 were equivalent to the combined total of the two months before it. While it might be hard to sustain pace throughout the rest of 2021, the surge in job creation was a welcomed sight after recent disappointing figures. 

To fill the open roles, talent acquisition professionals are poaching from other companies at a rate we have never seen. A combined 7.6 million people quit their jobs in April and May, more than any two-month stretch on record, and most often workers are accepting a new role. The massive transition of talent will surely continue throughout the summer. 

Why are workers so interested in finding new jobs?  According to a survey, the reason is burnout.  32% of respondents stated burnout as their biggest factor driving their search for a new job.  Workers are close to their breaking point after a year of heightened stress, long hours, heavier workloads, and little to no time off.  See Mary E. Corrado’s, ASE President & CEO, recent blog, Leaders Burnout Too.

Needless to say, employers need to be thinking about retaining talent in a market that is in overdrive.  Remote work, flexible hours, and mental health are no longer concepts; they are a requirement of our workforce. 

Claire Barnes, CHRO for Monster Worldwide states, “As workers think about going back to their workplaces, they’re taking stock of what’s a priority for them now. Certainly, health and safety is a top concern but so is balancing career growth, family needs, and overall happiness. For many, that means starting over and making a change,” Barnes says. “And when they hear that there’s a labor shortage and employers are offering incentives, they start to feel confident about making a job switch.”

Businesses will feel the pressures that comes with the “Great Resignation” as it relates to employee total compensation as well as the cost of goods and services to remain operational. As organizations prepare budgets for the 2022 fiscal year, business leaders will have to face the realities of increased costs of living and the accompanying benefits / compensation demands — and what other companies are willing to give to attract the best talent in their fields.

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