How Will ‘The Great Resignation’ Impact Your Agency?

Millions of workers worldwide have quit their jobs in the last two years, and the employee exodus shows no signs of stopping. Economists are calling it ‘The Great Resignation’.

The impact on the labor market is huge, so staffing and recruitment agencies need to be better prepared than ever to tackle the challenges facing them in 2022.


Record-breaking resignation numbers


Resignations hit an all-time high in the United States in 2021, with 4.5 million employees quitting in November alone. The trend is likely to continue throughout 2022. A recent report by Microsoft suggests that 41% of the world’s workforce plan to leave their current role within 12 months, with 46% looking to move to remote working.

The exodus is widespread. Corporate resignations dominate most of the headlines, but it is blue-collar industries that are being impacted the most. US Labor Department figures indicate that 7% of the country’s bar and restaurant workers quit or switched jobs in November 2021, along with 4% of the retail workforce.


What is causing people to quit their jobs?


The pandemic has led people to re-evaluate their lives. They have stepped back to assess their careers, shifting their priorities and setting new goals in the process.


Choosing a new direction

It is no longer unusual for individuals to switch directions and embark on an entirely new career path. For many, the uncertainty of pandemic life has sparked a ‘now or never’ attitude. Some people have taken the opportunity to retrain or upskill in order to land their dream job, while others have turned hobbies into side-hustles, and side-hustles into full-time employment.


Searching for a better work-life balance

Opinions differ, but a lot of workers believe that remote working has been one of the best things to come out of the pandemic. The added flexibility is priceless for parents. Not having to commute to and from work each day means that they can spend more time with their families.

Now that flexible working has become the norm, employees have decided to leave jobs that do not offer home or remote working options. In the United States, self-employment has picked up a lot of the slack – over 500,000 people have become their own boss since the start of the pandemic.


Stay-at-home parenting

Home has become a comfort zone during the last two years. Remote working highlighted the benefits of being closer to your family, and a lot of parents have decided to quit work in favor of spending more time at home. Stay-at home parents have no childcare costs to worry about and more time can be made available for errands, hobbies, and household chores.


Lack of support

The majority of resignations are down to a lack of support. For poorly treated employees, the pandemic has become a tipping point. Some companies continue have persisted with harmful policies such as layoffs, leaving the remaining workforce disillusioned and insecure. As a result, a lot of workers are fleeing these toxic environments in search of better support.

Employers that have failed to acknowledge, understand and address employee concerns have suffered from high turnover. In a recent Opinium study, more than half of those surveyed stated that they were looking to quit their job. The majority of them blamed reduced benefits, worsening work-life balance or toxic work environments.


What does this mean for recruitment?


Passive job-hunting

Even employees that are relatively comfortable in their jobs will have at least one eye on new opportunities. According to LinkedIn, approximately 70% of job applicants are passive candidates.

On the surface, passive job-hunting is beneficial to recruiters. However, candidates in this position can afford to be picky. Job postings need to be as attractive as possible in order to lure in applicants. This includes making the application process as easy as possible.



Employees continue to switch industries in search of better pay, benefits and work-life balance. This kind of job-hopping has led to an employment merry-go-round. It’s difficult for staffing and recruitment agencies keep up – as soon as one vacancy is filled, another seems to pop up elsewhere.


Labor shortages

The Great Resignation has compounded the labor shortages caused by ‘Baby Boomer’ retirements. This is especially challenging for blue-collar businesses. Vacancies are on the rise but there is a lack of suitable candidates willing to fill the available positions.



Will it last?


The behaviors displayed throughout this period are becoming engrained, with a significant shift in acceptable norms.

For employers, The Great Resignation is likely to shape workplace culture long into the future, with companies changing their approach to better consider employee needs.

For recruiters, the upward trend of resignations, job-hopping and career path changes will amplify the need for accurate candidate databases. Up to date profiles are essential for securing placements in an efficient manner.



Mindscope provides innovative, user-friendly staffing and recruitment products designed to facilitate a seamless hiring process. We are committed to helping our customers succeed – contact us today to see how we can transform your recruitment activities.