When will the Great Resignation end?


“Leaving rates are significantly higher than before, but if we had looked at a lot of the data we would have absolutely predicted what’s going on,” said Tami Simon, senior vice president of global corporate consulting at Segal, a benefits and human resources consulting firm.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics as of April 2019, Receipt numbers were 3.5 million. In April 2020 however The churn rate dropped to 1.8 million. That’s not very surprising, says Simon, noting, “The whole world has shut down.”

The rise of teleworking also affected voluntary separations. “Before the pandemic, if you weren’t happy with your job, you had to consider moving and commuting costs, and those were really the determinants of your job market,” says Evelyn McMullen, research manager at Nucleus Research, a global provider of ROI-focused technology research. “For the first time, people could attribute their skills to a position without the need for such a cost estimate.”

But when will it end?

Simon compares this time to what happens before a tsunami. The water in the ocean recedes to create what appears to be a very low tide. But eventually that water tumbles back into a tsunami of activity.

“In a lot of ways, that’s what’s happening now,” she says. “The question is, is this a moment, a movement, or some kind of mirage? Is only the labor market correcting itself? Once there is a bit more consistency in terms of economic stability and stability amid the social and political upheaval we are seeing, the labor market will return to a more even rhythm.”

When the economic crisis hits, many job seekers may not find themselves in the same advantageous position or driver’s seat that they have enjoyed for the past 18 months or so, says McMullen. “Re-entering the workforce may not be as compelling when the market inevitably corrects and employers have less freedom to offer competitive pay and benefits,” she says.

While she expects the Great Resignation to end, McMullen says it’s difficult to predict when. “If inflation continues, we see a contraction in the market, which could weaken the advantage of job seekers because the higher cost of living will definitely help them get a job faster than usual,” she says.

What employers can do in the meantime

Ultimately, Simon believes that most work is still a commodity. “I think we have to be a little careful when we say to a person, ‘The world is yours, go out there and ask for anything you want. Tell those employers exactly what you want to earn, request any benefits you want, get as much paid time off as you want because you’re the one making the rules,'” she says. “I’m concerned that this person is in for a harsh wake-up call.

“My hope is that we start being proactive rather than reactive and wait for a tsunami to drown us all before we start paying attention to economic labor indicators,” adds Simon. “The good news for individuals is that employers are really listening and leadership is trying to be more transparent in communicating and having a conversation rather than just going in one direction.”

Major upheaval is a great opportunity to step back and regroup. Almost everywhere, every company has made some changes to their business strategy. “Now take this new business strategy and align it with your HR strategy,” says Simon. “Make sure you have all of the rewards, compensation, benefits, flexibility, perks and anything else that’s there. When you find and keep people, you ultimately move your business forward.”

If this era has done anything, it has brought about a better balance, McMullen says, noting, “Even though job seekers don’t have the advantage of picking and choosing their job, the pandemic has brought out a louder side. Employees and job seekers have expectations about how they will be treated during the application process and how they will be treated as employees. That was a positive result.” When will the Great Resignation end?


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