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The Great Resignation or The Great Opportunity?

Between April and September of 2021, over 20 million U.S. workers left their jobs. And in November 2021, over 4.5 million people quit their jobs compared to 3.2 million in November of 2020*. Many of those leaving their jobs are mid-career workers and have been on their jobs for several years. This is happening for many reasons ranging from wanting more location flexibility to a desire for more meaningful work and better treatment. Welcome to the Great Resignation.

Being agile, fueled by the passion of their founders, and having mastered working remotely, The Great Resignation can be a Great Opportunity for startups. 

What is The Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is a phrase coined to describe the record numbers of American workers quitting their jobs in 2021 and beyond. Many experts have noted that this started happening pre-pandemic and that COVID-19 only accelerated things. 

Here are the reasons why people are quitting their jobs. 

  • Reassessment or re-evaluation of career and life – People are looking for more meaning from their work. The pandemic has forced everyone to look at their lives and prioritize what’s important. Meaningful work and finding an employer that really cares about their employees has become more important than ever. 
  • The need to care for children – Many people have had to quit their jobs due to childcare issues. Many more have opted for jobs that offer remote options so they can be at home with their kids while they’re working. 
  • The need to care for family members – Employees have also had to take time off to care for family members who are ill. 
  • Desire for better pay – As employees evaluate what they want from a job, one of the things they are looking at is whether or not they are being paid what they are truly worth. There are many people leaving their jobs in search of jobs that pay more money.
  • Burnout and the desire for better working conditions – Pre-pandemic, many companies were paying attention to work-life balance. In many industries, the pandemic made burnout worse. 

These are some of the main reasons people are leaving their jobs. We recently partnered with our new integration partner, Checkr, to do a webinar around The Great Resignation and hiring in 2022. Our speakers talk about some of the reasons people are leaving. They discussed the Great Resignation in more detail and offered up advice for startups hiring in 2022. Sign-up here for the replay!

Why Companies are Concerned about this Phenomenon

A major reason both large and small companies are concerned about record level quit rates is because of the financial consequences. Here are a few more specific reasons companies are concerned: 

  • Vacant roles lead to a decrease in revenue and productivity
  • Employees who haven’t quit are at risk for burnout 
  • Recruiting costs increase in this type of market

Situations or phenomena that can negatively impact costs and revenues are always of concern to employers. The best thing startups can do is turn the Great Resignation into a Great Opportunity. The best way to do this is to leverage their strengths and tap into the real needs of existing and potential employees.

Is The Great Resignation Really a Great Opportunity for Startups?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Startups are in a great position to score top talent during The Great Resignation. Here are a few characteristics startups have that make them uniquely positioned to succeed in this type of talent market:

  • Agile and flexible – Startups by nature are more agile and flexible. It’s easier for a startup to pivot and meet the demands of the talent they want to attract than it is for larger companies. 
  • Mastered remote work and culture – Startups have mastered hiring remotely. They tend not to limit themselves by geography, unlike many large companies. Because of this, they have a head start on building strong company cultures remotely, which is attractive to talent. 
  • Founders’ passion for products and impact helps build strong company cultures – Because founders are very active in most startup activities, their passion can be observed by both new and potential employees. This passion helps build the company culture which can be used to recruit top talent.

How Startups Can Win During The Great Resignation 

In 2022, there are several things startups can do to compete for the best talent during the Great Resignation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Focus on remote hiring and culture – Because remote work and company culture are so important now, startups need to focus on these two areas. These areas play an important role in attracting top talent in today’s market.
  • Identify the best talent for your startup – Startups can win by identifying the best talent for their companies. More often than not, the best talent includes people with the hard skills, soft skills, and passion for what the company does. 
  • Build your hiring bandwidth – Most startups don’t have adequate hiring bandwidth. Some have one or two recruiters. Others don’t have any and simply rely on employees and founders to recruit and hire. Startups that focus on building their hiring bandwidth by outsourcing some or all of their recruiting needs can win during the Great Resignation. 

Startups are in the best position to gain top talent during the Great Resignation. This phenomenon can be a golden opportunity to recruit and hire the best talent for your startup. 

Navigating this phenomenon can seem daunting, but Comeet offers resources and services to help. In addition to our webinar, 2022 Hiring: Scaling Up During the Great Resignation and our ebook, Hiring for Startups: The Ultimate Guide for Hiring to Scale Quickly, we also offer technology and services through Comeet Elastic Recruiting to help startups win more quickly and affordably. Learn more about how we can help!

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