The Great Resignation: A Chance for Career Revitalization?

With 11 million job openings and 4.2 million quits in October alone, The Great Resignation continues at full throttle to the end of the year. While 2020’s pandemic-related uncertainty brought its own challenges in the workforce as firings and furloughs spiked out of necessity, 2021 offered a new obstacle.

With renewed confidence and reordered priorities employees are beginning to take the reins on their futures, and for many it means leaving their jobs in search of something more. But where does that leave employers?

We spoke with Adam Winstead, EVP, Human Resources & Operations, and Jared Cooper, HR & Recruiting Manager, about the tangible impacts of this great shift and what it means for companies. Might we suggest it isn’t all bad?

Increased Turnover Heightens Pressure for Employers

Let’s not be naive, the stats aren’t great—and it’s applied immense pressure to recruiters. Cooper even describes it as the largest paradigm shift since The Great Depression with entire industries being forced to rethink the status quo.

Employees are searching for new job opportunities just as fast as they are leaving their current positions, which is causing an almost unattainable pace for recruiters.

“It was already fast before the pandemic,” says Winstead. “Some candidates are expecting a hiring decision within a matter of a week or two. Companies are having to respond to that while also balancing an effective vetting process.”

But speed isn’t the only thing those hiring are up against. “An employee can now juggle multiple offers at once,” says Cooper. “An employee may entertain an offer from an employer not mainly for the financial aspect, but more for what resources the employer offers. Many candidates are balancing multiple offers and raising their expectations when it comes to benefits and perks, such as sign-on bonuses, that weren’t the norm for many companies.”

Opportunity for a Great Revitalization

Increased speed and raised expectations like we’ve seen with The Great Resignation have left employers and employees exhausted, but these changes may hint at a unique opportunity for greater alignment. We asked Winstead for his advice on finding a solution where job seekers and employers both win:

“Find talent that continues to align with your values, culture and work environment preferences. As candidates evaluate what is meaningful to them, this gives employers an opportunity to work to uncover that meaning and explore ways their environment can satisfy those needs,” he said.

Companies that are adapting are winning. Things like culture, work/life balance and benefits, among other aspects of a company’s support for their employees, have become top of mind for many, providing an opportunity for companies to rise to the occasion.

The current landscape demands that companies reconsider existing plans. Reevaluating does not suggest that every decision should change; rather it provides an avenue to explore necessary pivots and inform future decisions. It ultimately provides value for current and prospective members of your team.

“Consider where staying the course is appropriate or adapting to some new reality is the best long-term investment in your company’s future,” suggests Winstead. “Your organization’s guiding principles should ideally inform decision making.”

If employers and employees remain resilient amid The Great Resignation, there is an opportunity for career revitalization in which those searching for more meaning in their work may find it with a switch to a new role, company or career. This could mean employees will stay committed for longer periods of time. The disruptive nature of The Great Resignation may be paving a path for more resilient companies with greater loyalty. Time will tell—but for now we press on, stay curious and continue to adapt.

Looking for a change? Check out our open positions here.

Want more of the good stuff?

Sign up to receive our articles once every few weeks, all wrapped up in a neat little email.