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Recruitment and HR Blog

The Great Resignation: how your company can win the war for talent as people rethink their careers

18th August 2021

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The pandemic has led to a lot of people re-evaluating what matters in life. And for some of them, that’s resulted in the conclusion that it’s time for a significant change of direction when it comes to their career path.

It’s a situation that’s been termed by some as “The Great Resignation”. Whether it’s going to be quite that dramatic remains to be seen but certainly a lot of the research is pointing to times of change. Globally, a Microsoft Work Trend Index survey found that around 41% of workers are thinking about moving on. At the start of this year TotalJobs released UK-based research that suggested a staggering 9 out of 10 workers were planning to look for a new role. Almost half of respondents (45%) were looking to move into a different sector.

Of course, some of these moves will be to do a similar job, albeit in a new sector and with a new employer. But not all of them. One survey found that around half of employees who were furloughed were considering a complete career change. And research across various professions suggests a significant amount of talent could soon be on the move. A recent British Medical Association tracker survey found that 21% of doctors were considering leaving for a totally new career. Royal College of Nursing research suggests that over a third of nurses are considering leaving the profession. In the education sector, one in three staff are thinking about moving on from teaching – including, according to one report, 47% of English schools’ head teachers.



Employers need a new recruitment mindset for the post-pandemic world

Evidently a lot of talented people are having a career rethink and while there will be differences in terms of projected numbers, it’s apparent that a substantial proportion have concluded it’s time to move on. And that means employers who are planning to recruit need to consider the possibility of adopting a new mindset to find the opportunities that this situation could present.

Many companies recognise that attracting the right talent has become harder. But there are things employers can do to address that, including challenging themselves about exactly what the ‘right’ talent is. When employers identify a vacancy, they start thinking about the skills that person should have, what they should be like and what experiences they should offer: usually in the belief that the more precise and detailed the person spec is, the greater the chances are of finding the perfect person. Yet it doesn’t automatically follow that the more refined and prescriptive the specification, the more likely it is that they will find a high-quality candidate.

Requirements…or preferences?

While you do need to make sure that essential core skills are specified, sometimes ‘requirements’ can turn out to be more about preferences. Even though a candidate doesn’t tick all the traditional boxes of the job description, they could still have a whole host of transferrable skills that will enable them to quickly adapt to your job’s requirements. This approach doesn’t mean your standards are lower; it means your emphasis shifts more towards a person’s attitude and the genuine core skills required. And these candidates frequently bring with them skills you hadn’t even considered that could turn out to be very useful to your organisation.

Obviously the extent to which you can do this depends on the vacancy – there’s less scope to be flexible over a medical position as opposed to an office-based job for example. But there are many roles where an employer who is prepared to be more open-minded will find it works to their advantage.



Your job adverts need to reflect this

It’s important to get this approach across in your job adverts. It takes time to submit an application and a candidate will want to have the confidence that they are genuinely going to be considered. They’ll be attracted to employers who they can see are taking a more open-minded approach: as we discussed in our recent article about attracting the best talent in a candidate-driven market, adverts that keep the requirements as open as possible will appeal to more potential applicants.

You will need to think about the offer you are making from a pay perspective. But also consider the overall package such as the flexibility that’s available, the benefits that will be provided and the overall culture of the company. Given that some people will be making career moves because they’re looking for something more aligned with their values that will give them a greater sense of purpose or improve their wellbeing, highlight what it is that differentiates your business in that respect too.

There are real opportunities here for employers who are willing to rethink their approach to recruitment. There’s some incredible talent out there. So make sure your company is positioning itself effectively to find it.

Being able to articulate what it is your company offers through your job adverts will help make sure your vacancy stands out and catches the eye of job seekers. We can provide you with specialist support for your recruitment campaigns, ensuring your job advert copy attracts great candidates and is highly visible across a broad range of job boards and social media channels. We’ll guide you in capturing precisely what it is that makes your company such a great place to work and make sure it comes across loud and clear in your job adverts and throughout the recruitment process.

Please do get in touch with us if you’d like to have a chat about how our cost-effective job advertising and recruitment support can help your company.

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