Recruiting Amid “The Great Resignation”

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of “Now Hiring” signs hanging in the windows of many storefronts these days.  Since the Covid-19 pandemic flipped the world’s economy upside down, workers across the globe have submitted their resignation notices in record numbers.  It’s a phenomenon being called “The Great Resignation” and even though it’s been nearly a full year since the trend began, economic forecasters across the globe are expecting the trend to bleed well into the new year.

Despite this mass exodus, almost half of the global workforce is still ready to quit their jobs - this according to a recent survey from Microsoft who cited reasons like excessive “digital burnout.”  Already, more than 24 million workers in the U.S. “gave their notice” in between April and September.  The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings in America cratered last year to 0.67.   Or three employment opportunities for every two unemployed workers. 

To deal with this talent shortage, organizations are increasing their recruitment budgets to help HR professionals adopt new strategies and technologies to compete for talent.    

What is “The Great Resignation?”

The phrase was hatched from an idea that came from a Texas A&M professor named Anthony Klotz.  Klotz had predicted that enormous swaths of employees would decide to quit their jobs after the COVID pandemic ended and then, slowly, life would “return to normal.” It appears that the professor was onto something because millions of workers did quit, but they're continuing to quit en masse.

Much of the resignation activity seems to be concentrated in the U.S. - 3% of America’s workforce decided to turn in their notices this year.  2.5 million were retirements, 1 million of which were early retirements.  From what we can tell, the pandemic unquestionably ignited a powder keg that some believe was a mass worker exodus that was just waiting to happen - an “employee revolt” more than anything else - a revolt spurred on by a festering sense of serious employee burnout.  (Feeling burnt out yourself?  Take a quiz to know for sure.)

Whatever the causes, the fact remains that talented workers are going to remain at a premium for the foreseeable future and it is changing the way recruiters approach their craft.  

How the “Recruiter” Role is Evolving

The days of posting a job online, and then just sitting back to wait for resumes to come is no longer a viable formula.  Now, instead of passively waiting for candidates to submit their interest, recruiters are proactively engaging with passive candidates consistently.  Recruiters have never experienced this much difficulty finding good talent, and they’ve never seen so many offers for employment being turned down.  

It’s causing the role of professional recruiters to evolve in the following ways:

Adoption of HR technology - the latest innovations in HR technology are being rapidly adopted to help recruiters engage job candidates at a deeper level, and to help enhance the overall candidate experience.

Extensive Empathy - Personalized candidate interactions have never been so important, and they need to be happening at every step of the hiring process.

Quality of Work Culture – Recruiters are adopting a marketer’s attitude and putting more effort into promoting their organization’s social responsibility and commitment to diversity online.  This strategy is proving to be especially effective with the younger generation of workers, like Millennials and Gen Z workers.

Understanding Millennials & Gen Z Candidates

Millennials are now pushing 40 and they make up most of our workforce.  That will change in the next decade as Gen Z (or those born after 1997) takes over that majority.  These workers may get roasted often enough for their perceived laziness and unbridled narcissism, but one thing is for sure - they don’t want their parents’ careers.

GenZ and Millennials are keenly interested in pursuing meaningful work, and they want to work for an organization that has an identifiable social purpose.  76% of millennials consider an organization’s commitments to social and environmental justice before deciding to take the job. 

Millennials put a lot of stock in their coworker relationships, and they want to feel appreciated.  They’re very committed to their work (so long as it's meaningful work), but they’re also more than willing to leave if they don’t feel appreciated for what they’re bringing to the table.  Gen Z candidates place a heavy emphasis on social responsibility and inclusivity too, and they want the flexibility of working from home.  Organizations that are rapid to adopt the latest technologies also rank very highly in the eyes of Gen Z candidates.

Flexibility and & Remote Work

The pandemic all but ended the need to be in a physical office.  History has demonstrated that most work can be done remotely, and candidates have a growing demand for greater control over when and where they work.  Because of this, 66% of the smaller and mid-sized employers in America are continuing to offer hybrid work models to employees.

The pandemic introduced swaths of new, formerly untested employee perks, including the option of working remotely or virtually.  Organizations that offer remote work to new employees are positioning themselves very competitively in terms of attracting the best talent considering that remote work is one of the fastest-growing priorities of modern job seekers.

Strengthen the Benefits Package

In this job market, the best candidates know they have the leverage to ask for a wider array of benefits. In addition to salary and flexible working conditions, organizations are broadening the spectrum in terms of what benefits to include in their newest bids to attract the best candidates in a post-pandemic world.  

Remember, the pandemic has caused much of the global workforce to re-evaluate their careers and lives.  

The job market has become so competitive that benefit packages offering the most unique and interesting incentives are even making headlines.  It’s a trend that is causing many passive job-seeking candidates to consider whether now is the time to test the market, if only just to see if they can get in on these “unique” benefits.

Some of the more interesting, but persuasive, benefits now being offered to incentivize new candidates include:

  • Automatic 401(k) contributions that reflect a percentage of a worker's pay instead of matching employee contributions
  • A reduction in health care premiums, with added gym club memberships
  • Paid caregiver leave
  • Remote Work Options (with a budget for a home office!)
  • Childcare Assistance

Professional recruiters should think seriously about adopting such benefits if they’re to compete for the best talent, or risk losing out to organizations that do.

Target Passive Candidates

The best “active” job seekers are also the most elusive because of how quickly they’re scooped up.  “Passive” job seekers are always interested in hearing about new opportunities but aren’t necessarily active in posting their resumes…and they can be absolute gold mines in terms of candidate talent.  You will find passive candidates pretty much…anywhere considering that 70% of the global workforce falls under this category.  

If only recruiters would be more proactive in connecting with them. Recruiters that combine passive recruiting strategies with their active strategies can dramatically enhance their success rate by retaining interested candidates, not to mention how well it can reduce employee turnover.

Pursuing passive candidates has a bit of a different flavor than recruiting active candidates.  For one, passive recruiting takes longer so a recruiter’s strategy must be deliberate and targeted.  Remember, passive job seekers aren’t under the same pressure as active seekers, so some courting is necessary.

Passive candidates often prioritize salary along with a desire to have a strong level of rapport with fellow co-workers, and they’re unlikely to join an organization if they feel it lacks any sensible vision.


The HR industry’s newest “secret weapon.”  Upskilling, or using education and professional development as a means for attracting and retaining new candidates, is being widely adopted across the globe.  It is very effective for hiring great talent, and it’s even better for the reduction of employee turnover.

Organizations that invest in their workforce will tell you that it helps to eliminate employee burnout and demonstrates that the organization is willing to invest in the future of their employees by contributing to their professional development.

Upskilling isn’t just about technical skills training. It includes those increasingly important “soft skills” like interpersonal communication and empathy-building skills.  Upskilling is one of the newest methods that recruiters are using to prompt candidates to give their organization a serious look.  Making a direct investment in your employees shows a commitment to their growth and can help your company get a great reputation online – where a company often lives or dies.

Build & Promote your Organization’s Brand Online

An organization with a reputation for being a place where people can do their best work and also gets recognized for achievements in inclusivity and diversity is a brand that candidates will flock to – this is the type of information that needs to be promoted online!  Recruiters can reach a global audience of potential candidates when they promote their organization’s brand.  This can be especially effective for attracting passive candidates. 

In modern society, organizations can live or die based on their online reviews.  Prospective employees care very deeply about an organization’s “story,” and they will go online to do their research.  Recruiters also need to think beyond LinkedIn when promoting events and activities that are happening where they work.  

Proactively talking about your organization on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram gets your brand out there and greatly increases the chance of engaging with high-quality, passive job seekers.  Remember, any prudent candidate should be expected to scour the internet for information on an organization before accepting an offer.  

How successfully an organization promotes its brand online and how it is perceived on social media is as important as it has ever been for recruiting success.  

Promote Organizational Diversity

Every organization should be taking steps to achieve higher levels of diversity in their hiring.  The benefits are many, and a diverse workforce can, by itself, be remarkably effective in promoting an organization as a desirable place to work.  In a recent survey, 34% of Generation Z employees say that they consider the level of diversity at an organization before deciding whether or not to apply.  Organizations that achieve greater levels of employee diversity are 81% more likely to have higher customer satisfaction rates too!  We can see in that statement how the level of diversity at an organization is directly connected to its revenues.

An organization can demonstrate its commitment to diversity by posting information on new hires online (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) or news about diversity training events that the organization may be hosting.  

These types of posts are seen online, and they matter.

Engage Candidates during Recruitment Processes

Candidates in this job market expect timely and consistent communication from an organization when they apply for a job.  Chances are very high that candidates who feel ignored or neglected by your application process will share their negative experiences with their friends and on their social networks.   

This can scare off potential candidates.

Recruiters are rapidly adopting new technical resources and strategies to help them continuously update applicants on the status of a job opening and proactively connect with passive candidates.  Some tools even let recruiters personalize their communications which are enormously useful in a recruiter’s efforts to retain candidates throughout the hiring process.  Recruiters that adopt technologies that help them engage candidates at a deeper level are likely to see immediate benefits and outstanding results in terms of talent quality.  

Be prudent and periodically follow up with all your candidates, even if they’ve removed themselves from the running.  Send them interesting HR articles or other news throughout the year.  This is how modern recruiters are incrementally building relationships with a whole new talent pool to draw on for future openings.  

Institute Technologies

In modern society, organizations need to get this one right, and it requires the right decision-makers to be involved.  Many organizations have an existing technology system in place that was designed or built to accommodate applicants who, at one time, may have been willing to spend 30 minutes applying for a job on a desktop computer.  

Not anymore.

This is 2022 (or soon will be) and we’re in a job market that heavily favors the job seeker.  61% of all job applications were submitted last year using mobile devices.  The statistics out there that demonstrate how a poor or outdated application system can lose potential candidates are overwhelming.  Frankly, if it takes more than 10 minutes to apply, most candidates don’t even bother.

Human Resources (HR) technology will continue to be a strategic investment that is essential to the success of today’s organizations.  The best talent expects that employers will adopt the most current and innovative technologies, including the HR software that they will use to apply for an open position.  HR tech spending is expected to continue accelerating in 2022 as organizations adopt new approaches to recruit the best talent.

Don’t be left behind…

Manatal - The Industry Leader in HR Technology

Widely recognized as the industry leader, Manatal is a company with a verifiable history of providing the most technically accelerated, innovative HR technology systems for both small and large companies across a wide array of industries.  Manatal has successfully applied years of expertise to develop one of the finest and resourceful Applicant Tracking (ATS) software systems on the market with an emphasis on technologies that simplify an organization’s recruitment and hiring processes.  Their ATS system is recognized for its ability to offer organizations the tools they need to select the best candidates, manage talent pools, and accelerate team collaboration. 

A driver of innovation, Manatal has designed an intuitive ATS system that can use AI recommendations, advanced processes, and automation to simplify recruitment into a handful of clicks – these remarkable results are all achieved while ensuring the highest level of candidate security and confidentiality.

Manatal is now offering a free trial of their ATS software and organizations can book a demo with a Manatal software professional who can share specifically how you can benefit from using the company’s software.  

These free trials and free demonstrations are the best way for organizations to discover how Manatal can make recruitment and talent management an organization’s strongest competitive advantage.


As professional recruiters consider and adopt these new practices, the results of their efforts will undoubtedly begin to yield higher-quality candidates and improved levels of employee retention.  It won’t be long before recruiters can once again, using these new technologies and innovations in recruitment, build sizeable pools of candidates loaded with talent.  The problem will once again become how to tell an excellent candidate that, while their interest is appreciated, a different direction has been taken.  Frankly, that’s a problem that most professional recruiters would desire.

Finally, 80% of the candidates who apply to a company are likely to re-apply to the same organization if their original applicant experience was a positive one.  Hopefully, the strategies and technologies we’ve discussed above will help your organization offer that positive recruitment experience to all candidates.

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