The Great Resignation? The Great Attraction? The Great Reshuffle? What’s happening and how can you take action?

In the second half of last year, there was a great deal of buzz in the media about an impending ‘Great Resignation’ that could see up to a third of Australian employees looking for a new role. Recruiters and HR teams were put on high alert. Did this spell the end of the candidate-short market? How could organisations prepare for a talent drain?

Since then, we’ve seen this re-termed the Great Reshuffle – a time when organisations will lose some talent to the competition, while also picking up new talent from them. Or the Great Attraction, where savvy organisations can turn it on its head to attract new top talent.

So, what is actually happening? And how can recruiters and HR prepare for it?

Attrition increases may just be a readjustment

While there is certainly some movement in our jobs market, with 300,000 Australians moving jobs in the last three months, some of this is simply making up for lost time. At the height of COVID, we didn’t see many people moving jobs by choice because life was uncertain, and the opportunities simply weren’t out there.

It didn’t mean there was a paucity of employees wanting a change, it simply meant it wasn’t the right time to make one. Now, as we return to some form of normal, these employees are ready to make the change. At the same time, organisations are rebuilding and once again looking for new talent.

So it makes sense that we are seeing a little more movement, but it may just be that this is the natural attrition that would have occurred across 2020/21 happening all at once as business confidence returns.

Whatever ‘great’ term you want to coin for this, recruiters and HR teams should continue to focus on the key tenets of talent acquisition and engagement.

Look to attract (and retain) the right people

No employer, culture or working environment is for everyone. And while there is a lot of talk around significant cultural shifts as a talent attraction strategy, it’s also important to focus on reaching the candidates who will thrive in your environment.

There is discussion around personal value shifts leading to people changing jobs, but what is meaningful and important in a job remains entirely subjective. We often hear that salary isn’t a key driver anymore, but at the heart of it, we are working for an income so it’s not that simple.

The key is to consider what you can offer a candidate, from your values and meaningful work, to salary and flexibility or a chance to make a difference. Then talk to the audience who want what’s on offer.

Tap into your existing potential

That said, with some movement happening in the market, it is a good time to refine your values and what you want out of your new hires. Go back to basics – often in a period of uncertainty we don’t spend time reviewing areas like this because we are in crisis mode. As we return to business-as-usual, think about the core things that are important to your business, and focus on them.

Speak to your existing employees to find out what they really value about working for you. You can also use it as an opportunity to take the current temperature so that you can ensure you are engaging your existing staff too – the best way to lower attrition in any climate.

Put these values front and centre in your recruitment efforts – as you always should – and you will reach the right candidates.

Use your data

Lean on the data in your ATS to tell you where you are finding the best candidates and build targeted strategies to reach them. This can help you get the most bang for your buck, whatever the market is doing.

So, Great Resignation, Attraction, or Reshuffle, call it what you will. But as we return to business as usual, the key is to ensure you have a talent acquisition strategy that aligns with your values and attracts and retains the right people. And that, put simply, has always been and will always be ‘great recruitment.’