By: Emma Ross
What is “The Great Resignation”?
According to a new survey report from SHRM, over 40 percent of U.S. workers are either actively searching for a new job or plan to soon. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the US labor market are far from over and workers are reevaluating what they want out of their careers.
Job seekers are taking this unprecedented time as an opportunity to find work that aligns more closely with their personal and professional goals. Behavioral Health Advocate, Katharine Marianacci, explains why she chose to change career paths during the pandemic below:
“The pandemic made me take a step back and reassess my priorities. Prior to COVID, I worked 45+ hours a week, sometimes at nights and on the weekends. I liked my job very much, but I realized I wanted more time to cultivate other interests and enjoy my life outside of work. The pandemic also reaffirmed my value for family and I decided to move back to my hometown to be closer to them.
I now have a job close to home that allows me to start and leave on time every day. We have an extremely generous PTO policy and I even have every other Friday off through a flex schedule program.
I am very thankful for the work-life balance that is possible through my current organization. I think this is something that many job seekers are looking for from employers. I also believe that, in order to attract and retain talent, organizations should reassess their policies surrounding things like PTO, remote work, and required working hours to provide greater flexibility.”
Job seekers across Luzerne County find themselves in similar positions as Katharine. The pandemic provided them with the opportunity to reflect on how their work impacts their overall quality of life. As you craft your own job descriptions and reflect on hiring policies, consider adopting flexible schedules, closing on holidays, or offering remote work if your industry permits.
How Can You Build a Thriving Workforce in This New Labor Market?
Competitive Compensation Packages: Retaining and attracting the area’s top talent may require you to rethink your compensation packages. When you determine an appropriate salary consider factors such as the local cost of living, industry standards, and requirements for the position. Job seekers have had time to spend with their families and will no longer pick up an extra job to make ends meet. They are looking for stable, long-term employment that allows them to pay all of their bills, enjoy leisure time, and have opportunities for career advancement down the line.
Safety Measures: The pandemic put company safety measures in the spotlight, and those who did not enforce mask mandates, social distancing practices, and careful cleaning procedures now find themselves struggling to find talent. NPR reports that more than 740,000 people who quit in April 2021 worked in the leisure and hospitality industry. Employees in these industries were particularly worn down with the strain of battling with customers to wear a mask. This hits particularly close to home as 6.5% of Luzerne County’s workforce is comprised of accommodation and food service positions. You may find job seekers asking how you handled the pandemic and what your current status is regarding covid-19 protections. Evaluate how you protect your current employees and if they are able to work with peace of mind.
Flexible work arrangements: SHRM reports that workers felt a “COVID Clarity” during the pandemic, as they became more aware of what they really wanted from their work. Job seekers are now finding employment that fits into their lives, rather than shaping their lives around their work. Applicants want to see standard 40-hour workweeks, remote work options, holidays and paid time off, and flexible scheduling options. Done are the days of overtime and holiday pay. Employees have reevaluated their priorities and most and job seekers are not willing to give that up again.
Manager Training: 56% of workers looking to leave their current position cite frustration with their managers as their reason for leaving. Investing in management training can help you retain the employees you do have and improve company morale. Examine your company policies to ensure they are inclusive and serve to support your staff. Ensure your managers understand how they can be positive leaders within your workplace.
As a support system for both job seekers and employers, PA CareerLink® has the tools you need to successfully navigate what workforce development experts are calling “The Great Resignation.”
PA CareerLink® Resources
PA CareerLink® is a resource center available to help you with your hiring needs. Speak with the Business Services Team about posting your jobs on our website, hosting hiring events on-site at your local office, and learning about the latest labor market data to help you build an impactful approach to hiring eager professionals.