Flexible remote working was the first shift in work patterns triggered by the pandemic, but its impact continues. As the last restrictions are lifted and the new way of working becomes normal, the Great Resignation has begun. With so many people quitting, what does this mean for businesses and what can companies do to mitigate its impact? This is Doug Mulvihill, UK and Ireland Marketing Manager at a business phone system provider Alarminvestigation.
The Great Resignation has swept through the UK labor market over the past year in the final quarter of 2021 as job-to-job movements hit a new record high. According to data released in February 2022 by the Office for National Statistics, job vacancies have also continued to rise, with nearly 1.3 million vacancies between November 2021 and January 2022. So the number of people quitting outweighs the number of people changing jobs. .
This trend became so influential that the Great Resignation spread around the world. According to NCC Business, a record 47.8 million Americans quit their jobs voluntarily in the past twelve months. Besides, LinkedIn January 2022 data showed a significant increase in the number of people changing occupations in Spain, the Netherlands and Italy compared to the previous year.
The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic would lead us to believe that companies would have no trouble filling vacancies. However, it has actually become reality and it continues to get worse. So why are so many quitting in a time of unprecedented unpredictability?
Restrictions lifted, fresh start
There are several reasons behind the big en masse resignation. First, there is a group of people who were unhappy with their jobs and were looking to quit when the pandemic hit, but kept their jobs for economic security.
As the labor market recovers, the furlough scheme comes to an end and working practices return to a new ‘normal’ across the UK, disgruntled employees have found the confidence to quit. The Future Forum report published in January 2022 revealed that 53% of workers in France and 55% in Germany and Japan are also open to looking for a new job in the next twelve months.
The second group is made up of those who have reflected on their job satisfaction throughout the pandemic, reassessed their happiness, and decided they needed a career change. With more free time, many people have had the opportunity to develop a passion project that has potential as a full-time job. Realizing the importance of doing something enjoyable, many realized that their work no longer fit the bill.
The latest round of resignations comes from those affected by changing work practices. The pandemic has amplified the pace of work, with most people working longer days, having a worse work-life balance and losing their designated office space, blurring the lines between work and personal life. For many, this has resulted in burnout and left a permanent mark on the job. According to Microsoft‘s Work Trend Index, at the height of the pandemic, 54% of employees felt overworked and 39% felt burnt out.
More flexibility, more satisfaction
Preventing the big quit from leaving your company in hot water requires a two-pronged attack of retention and recruitment. It is important to be attentive to the new demands of the workforce regarding the way we work. Since the end of mandatory teleworking in January 2022, a survey conducted by The temperature found that only 9% of people have returned to the office permanently, and 71% now prefer to work from home.
Everyone has a different preference on how they would like to work, so it’s important that companies have a policy that’s flexible enough to keep everyone happy. If the policy is too rigid and doesn’t match an employee’s preferred work style, they may decide to leave.
Supporting flexible hours as well as flexible locations also helps promote greater gender equality. According to Trades Union Congress, 75% of part-time jobs are held by women. In the past, the lack of quality flexible work opportunities has forced mothers to work part-time to balance career and childcare. But more flexible hours give women the opportunity to adapt their work to other commitments. Employees not only express a preference for extremely flexible working, they demand it. So an ultra-flexible policy means companies are more likely to have a satisfied workforce that doesn’t feel pressured to quit.
Vacancies, modern technology
The other side of the Great Resignation resolution concerns recruitment. Whether a company chooses to manage its own recruiting process or hire an agency, the pressure is on recruiters to find talent to fill vacancies and to do so quickly. However, if a company offers a flexible, hybrid or even completely remote position, it needs a recruitment process guided by the same principles.
It’s impossible to hire entirely in person for a position that’s partly or even entirely remote, so recruiters must rely on video conferencing software to emulate an in-person interview. Location is no longer a requirement to apply for a job, but it is still important for recruiters to interview thoroughly and get as much information as possible from the candidate to guide the hiring process.
For agencies that simultaneously process hundreds of applicants and job openings for multiple different companies, recruiters need to be organized, with a simple process to track their work. Talking is a key part of a recruiter’s job, so a business phone system that works with them, not against them, is essential.
Ringover offers businesses an integrated phone system, packed with features to help recruiters through these busy times. With free international calls to over 110 destinations, the ability to call from any internet-connected device to support working on the go, and integration with other recruiting software like Bullhorn, recruiters can master their workload and fill vacancies faster and faster. with more success.
The big resignation shows no signs of abating, with more resignations being handed in across the UK and around the world, every day. It’s impossible to prevent people from quitting altogether, and it’s a key part of the job market, but companies can mitigate its negative impact on their operations by ensuring that retention and recruitment and the technology that supports it lets are ready for the future of work.
The author is Doug Mulvihill, UK and Ireland Marketing Manager at Ringover.