The pandemic initiated what is now being called the “Great Resignation.” The world is undergoing the biggest shift of human capital seen in decades, as skilled workers start to re-evaluate careers and life choices. Priorities are being reoriented on a massive scale, and more workers than ever before are thinking about leaving their current positions. The Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index showed that 41 percent of the global workforce are considering resigning this year—nearly double what was seen in the years preceding the pandemic.
Candidates now have many choices, and in the era of the Great Resignation, recruiters have become more important than ever. An effective recruitment process is often the first—and best—opportunity for organizations to stand out, to listen to what employees really want, and ensure they can attract top talent from a rapidly changing global workforce.
What Employees Want
Better compensation continues to motivate candidates and recruiters agree that wage increases remain a top way to attract and retain staff. But the flexibility offered by remote and hybrid work opportunities is turning into a major perk sought by many candidates, with many even willing to take lower-paying jobs if they offer remote options. This shift in worker priorities demands creative solutions from organizations that wish to attract top candidates. Potential solutions to attract employees include:
- Satellite work locations: Setting up additional office locations outside major hubs can make commuting more attractive. Employees can still have the option to work remotely while not entirely losing the benefits of in-person connections as you might with a fully distributed workforce.
- Collective breaks: “A lot of people are working more furiously from home,” says speaker and writer Simon Sinek. “When we’re in a virtual state, we only see people in a meeting when everything seems to be fine, so now you need to do more to support your team. A question for leaders is can we come up with ways to force our people to take a break and take care of themselves?” For Sinek’s team, that means mandated, company-wide time off. If all your colleagues are also away, it becomes much easier to truly relax and recharge. Otherwise, it can be a struggle to take time off without feeling obligated to stay connected to the team by firing off emails from the beach during your “vacation.”
- Education benefits: Employees are putting greater value on education and personal development as a way to keep up with a rapidly changing labor market. Attracting talent by offering college credits, certifications, and internal learning opportunities is both an opportunity to win over top candidates and a way to reskill an organization’s workforce to keep up with changing business needs.
- Value alignment: Now more than ever, employees are looking for organizations that authentically share their values. Workers increasingly see diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, and companies that address environmental issues as more desirable.
Recruiters to the Rescue
Since hiring has gone virtual, it has opened up a huge opportunity for candidates looking out for new roles, as they engage with many employers simultaneously and may receive multiple offers. Employers are increasingly competing for talent.
It is not enough to rely on traditional hiring practices. Organizations can no longer default to passive recruiting techniques, with candidates finding them through online job boards or LinkedIn. Now more than ever, a recruiter’s robust networks and tested abilities are the difference between successful and unsuccessful hiring strategies.
Successfully Recruiting Top Candidates
It is now a candidate’s market. Labor shortages combined with the rise of remote work, hybrid offices, and virtual hiring processes mean that candidates not only have access to many more opportunities, they also have greater say in what they want from their workplace. Long commutes and inflexible hours are out. Working anywhere at any time, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are no longer perks of the jobs so much as they are requirements. A recent study showed that 80 percent of new hires expect time flexibility along with hybrid or remote work environments. An effective recruitment process that recognizes and embraces this new reality is now essential for organizations to attract top talent over their competitors.
Some valuable recruiting tips for the Great Resignation include:
- Make connecting easy: Get better response rates by using SMS, or refining your voicemails. Use virtual interview methods to connect with candidates anywhere, but make an effort to convey the company culture and other cues about the work environment that may be missed by forgoing in-person interviews. Be mindful and respectful of candidates’ time by confirming they are comfortable with the timing, duration, and frequency of interviews.
- Effective job descriptions: Recruiters should be able to push back if the job descriptions are too vague, ambiguous, or unrealistic. Don’t scare away great candidates by displaying expectations of a “perfect” but essentially non-existent set of competencies. Job descriptions should pique the interest of the candidate but they should also be honest and clear about what the role requires.
- Be ready to compete: Candidates need to be treated as customers in a labor shortage: you need to stand out to them over other hiring organizations. Recruiters not only need to effectively qualify candidates for a role but also qualify the role for the candidate as well, which requires selling, interviewing, and relationship-building skills.
- Focus on empathy: A people-first, smoothly executed recruitment process is your chance to stand out to top candidates and will reinforce a positive image of the company’s brand among all candidates. Show appreciation for everyone’s time and efforts, and communicate throughout the process to all successful and unsuccessful candidates.
For more recruiter tips and best practices that will allow you to attract the best candidates, download our webinar on Unstoppable Sales Growth for Recruiters.