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The Great Resignation - What to do About it and What Does it Really Mean?

March 18th, 2022

4 min read

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Written by Andy Co-founder and Director

It sounds very dramatic, doesn’t it? The Great Resignation. With such a powerful name, it must be the most incredible thing to have happened in recruitment since, well, ever. Everyone is talking about it, but what is it, and what does it actually mean to employers and candidates? 


Actually, it is rather a grand name for something that seems, in hindsight at least, as being an obvious result of recent events. During the latter part of 2021 and into 2022, there has been a marked increase in people resigning from their current roles to either do something new or change careers entirely. In fact, a Microsoft study showed that over 40% of workers globally were considering leaving their employer. Although it may well have been a surprising turn of events that so many people have, or are thinking about, moving on, it’s not exactly a mystical happening. Rather than some cosmic mystery, it is actually an example of the spirit of the times impacting the workplace. Amongst many other factors: 

  • The various lockdowns gave employees the breathing space to think about their careers and lifestyles 

  • Working from home and other changes unsettled the traditional idea of working 

  • Unemployment was at a very low rate 

  • Skills shortages meant that specialist skillsets were in very high demand 

  • Employers were offering exceptionally tempting sign-up deals 

  • The uncertainties surrounding covid increased the effects of burnout 

  • Fear of losing their current role as the pandemic continued to affect the workplace 

  • The more it was publicised, the more prominent it became as an option 

While nobody could possibly have predicted this list pre-pandemic, as we hopefully finally come out of restrictions and lockdowns, it’s not hard to see why the great resignation occurred. 


That 40%+ statistic is bound to affect you in some way. No matter how hard you try to hold on to the good employees, some will want to move on. Statistically, trying to counteroffer when a resignation happens is unlikely to yield great results, and the majority of successful counteroffers still result in the employee leaving soon afterwards. If you need to replace key team members, then it’s important to get the offer right. Salary or sign-on bonuses are only part of the picture, and you may want to take a good look at how a candidate will see your employer brand. Many of the reasons prompting the great resignation are lifestyle-focused, so that will probably be a major factor in the choices candidates make. 

  • Make sure the opportunities for growth, training and progression are clear and that there is a specific roadmap for candidates. 

  • Focus on wellbeing, both physical and mental 

  • Make sure your current salary offers and benefits are at market value or better. 

  • Be as flexible as possible in your offer. Working from home and hybrid working is now often an expectation rather than a request. 

  • Move quickly with offers and contracts. 

  • Refresh your job specifications and advertising to make sure they are as inclusive as possible. 


Well, only you can really answer that. As long as you have really thought through your decision and you are making the choice to move on for the right reasons, then now is a very good time to look for a new job. However, remember all that glitters is not gold. There are a lot of very tempting offers out there that may not be quite as shiny in the long run. 

  • Think about your long-term goals and make those a priority. 

  • Move to a company that matches your values. 

  • Be a little flexible in what you are looking for. There is a temptation to think this is a candidate-driven market, so you can ask for anything. Be realistic, though. 

  • Don’t knee jerk react, be logical and make this move count. 

  • If you have really made the decision to move on, then do it the right way and look at all your options. Call us, and let’s see what we can do for you. 

  • Bring your details up to date. 

If it is time to look for something new, then be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that can sometimes go with these decisions. Unless you have a major problem with your current employer (and even if you do), you are going to miss the people you work with, you need to put in your resignation, you may have a lot of moments of doubt, and you may be faced with a request to stay. It all comes down to being sure that you are doing the right thing, but if you are sure, stick to your guns and do what is right for you. 

The great resignation is slowing, but it isn’t over, and whether you are dealing with it as an employee or an employer, it is not going to settle down for some time to come. We are here if you need us in either case. It may well be an uncertain landscape when it comes to jobs, but you can be certain that a good recruitment partner will always be a benefit whatever side of the table you are on. 


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