It is now a certain fact that in many Western employment ecosystems, the United States foremost, recruiters and companies face significant difficulties in their recruitment activities. A recent article from McKinsey analyzes this situation: the authors have identified this phenomenon as “The Great Attrition.”
It is a trend of people quitting their jobs and switching to different ones or industries: switching from traditional to nontraditional roles, retiring early, or starting their own businesses.
Employers struggle to fill positions because of a mismatch between the demand for talent and the number of people willing to supply it. The traditional factors used to attract and retain employees are no longer adequate. Salaries and job titles are not enough anymore.
Data show that there are now different pools of employees with other priorities. Such a scenario means companies must implement an adaptable strategy in their quest for talent. Many workers want more than just compensation and job advancement. The Mc Kinsey study looked at economic and labor statistics and found these motivating factors:
- job satisfaction
- work/life balance
- company culture
- training and development opportunities
Research also identified different groups of workers with different priorities. Some prioritize workplace flexibility, while others prioritize mental health support or meaningful work. This means a business cannot follow a traditional static approach. On the other hand, it doesn’t even say they have to change their missions and values. It is necessary to present them from different angles.
Considering the Great Resignation as a prodrome of this frame, many things have changed economically. Despite this, the percentage of workers considering leaving their jobs remains at 40 percent. However, some new nuances are now present:
Reshuffling: employees quitting their jobs for new ones in different industries.
Reinventing: employees leave traditional employment for nontraditional ones or start their own businesses.
Reassessing: people leaving businesses because of the demands of life (children, elders, or themselves).
The study also found that workforce discontent is a global issue. More than 60 percent of respondents in India expressed a desire to leave their current posts, well above their counterparts in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Workers in Singapore showed the second-highest level of job discontent, at 49 percent.
Furthermore, most respondents showed a strong desire for either better paid or more satisfying work. Most feel confident that they could easily find a comparable (or better) job if they left their current one.
The data also show that workers are increasingly leaving their jobs for different industries or not returning to the workforce at all. In finance and insurance, for instance, 65 percent of workers changed industries or did not return to the force. The exodus was even more significant in the public and social sector, at 72 percent. This may have long-term effects on industries hit hard by the pandemic, such as travel, healthcare, and consumer retail.
Lastly, there are some bright spots for workers in this ecosystem. Those possessing sought-after skills, such as data scientists and programmers, face lower hurdles. Furthermore, companies are more focused on hiring people for their abilities rather than their industry experience. The stigma of job hopping has gone down, and workers can quickly join companies in other areas without needing to relocate.
These factors make recruitment more complicated than it has been in the past since employers are now competing with other industries as well.
The five personas’ model
To operate in such a scenario, entrepreneurs must consider what different segments of workers want and how best to engage them. The survey shows that uncaring and uninspiring leaders are a big part of why people leave their jobs and lack career development. On the other hand, flexibility is a top motivator and reason for staying.
Five types of “persona” emerge from the data analysis regarding workers’ preferences:
The majority of the full-time employed workforce can be classified as traditionalists. They are motivated by factors such as a competitive compensation package, a good job title, and career advancement. They have been more risk averse during the Great Attrition and less likely to quit without another job lined up.
Employers find it easier to hire traditionalist employees because common recruitment strategies make these workers easier to see. Traditionalist workers also want what companies have historically offered to hire and retain people.
They represent the largest group of respondents and value workplace flexibility, meaningful work, and compensation as the top motivators. They tend to be 25 to 45 years old. During the pandemic, they left their jobs because of workload-related stress, toxic managers, a desire for autonomy, and a feeling of not being appreciated. In the United States, many of them submitted start-up applications or opted for part-time or gig opportunities.
Attracting this group can be challenging because companies need to demonstrate that their proposals are better than what these workers have created for themselves. They also have to offer them freedom and a sense of purpose. To do this, the management is exploring different forms of radical flexibility, such as allowing employees to work from anywhere and abolishing the idea of location-based pay.
The caregivers and others
Members of this group are motivated by remuneration. Still, they have many other priorities for returning to their jobs: workplace flexibility, support for employee health and well-being, and career development. The predominant age group is between 18 and 44, with more women than men, many of whom are parents or other caregivers: this is why they need more flexibility and support. For these employees, workplaces that are inflexible and don’t provide a pathway to advancement aren’t worth the sacrifice of going back to work. Many organizations recognize this cohort of potential workers. They are responding accordingly with benefits such as on-site childcare, physical therapy, and subsidized housecleaning services.
The “idealist” persona is most likely found among younger workers aged 18 to 24. They prioritize career development, meaningful work, and solid organizational culture. They also value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. To attract and retain these workers, companies must offer flexibility, opportunities for development, and a sense of purpose. Anchoring these measures in purpose and investing heavily in the day-to-day interactions that build a high-quality culture can help create an even more enticing recruitment package.
Also known as “Gronks” (referring to American football player Rob Gronkowski, who retired but returned at the request of former teammate Tom Brady), they are individuals who have retired but might be willing to return to work under the proper occurrences. They are the largest segment of the latent workforce and need the promise of significant outcomes. Organizations have not courted these seasoned but experienced workers as hard as they might. Still, they should evaluate reaching out to notice if it is possible to encounter the proper equilibrium to win people back. In any case, it is estimated that only one in five of the people who retired during the pandemic is looking to return to work.
Companies’ pressure in attracting and retaining workers is due to the metamorphosis in how people view their jobs and employers. They now see their occupations as a source of fulfillment and a way to improve their lives. With job openings increasing, businesses struggle to fill them.
Automation and increased immigration can help, but companies must also look within the existing employee pool. This may mean lowering or changing job requirements and reaching out to groups traditionally underrepresented. With such an approach, businesses can keep the true value proposition and extend the pool of workers.
To resolve the attrition-attraction issue once and for all, companies can take four steps:
- – improve their EVP (employee value proposition) by focusing on factors such as title, career paths, compensation, benefits, and company prestige. In doing so, they will be able to attract and retain top talent.
- – Implementing a flexible company culture offers mental and behavioral health benefits and different forms of career progression. This will attract prospective employees looking for more than just a paycheck.
- – broadening the company’s talent-sourcing approach to attract non-traditionalist candidates not actively looking for work might come back for the right offer.
- – making jobs more attractive by investing in factors contributing to a sense of meaning, belonging, and team cohesion. This will keep employees linked to their employer.
If things go well, it will be possible to talk about the “Great Renegotiation.”