Great Resignation 2

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Since Covid, the employment market has been all over the place, culminating in the Great Resignation of 2021. In the United Kingdom between July and September 2021, over 400,000 workers left their jobs, up from 270,000 two years prior. Between October and December 2021, the rate of U.K. workers aged 16 to 64 moving job-to-job was at an all-time high of 3.2%.

Covid meant people had the chance to rethink their careers, address burnout and particularly younger works, look at their work life balance

However, by August 2022, many British workers have returned to the employment market after quitting and some elderly Britons have opted out of retirement to pay their bills in the wake of high inflation. Workers had not thrown their laptops out the window and given up work – they had moved on to new positions with higher salaries, better work life balance, training opportunities and more support.

What now?

Are we looking down the barrel of The Great Resignation 2 – The Return?

At som3 we speak to over 600 customers and are noticing a trend – Businesses are preparing to face another Great Resignation. Inflation, greater costs and more expensive bills to pay has put strain on both employee and employer finances – the cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll on all of us. There are concerns about reorganisations and redundancies – prompting people to jump before they are pushed.

Head of People and Organisation at PwC UK Sarah Moore commented, it’s clear that workplace dissatisfaction looms large – with pay, workload and overall fulfilment at the top of employees’ minds.

CV-Library reported 75% of UK professionals have considered changing jobs due to the need for a higher salary because of rising costs. The knock-on effect is companies are struggling to fill roles and having to offer higher salaries and more benefits to attract the right people.

Employers need to address their staff attrition rates, looking at how to retain top talent as well as attracting new employees – if someone leaves you, look at why. If its salary, don’t necessarily expect to back fill their position on the same package.

Counteroffers are less common – employers may think there is a pool of tech resources ready to join them and they can have the pick of the market. In some areas this may be the case. For senior roles (CTO / Head of / MD) we can see upwards of 200 applicants and many of them are not expecting to achieve previous basic salary levels.

Employees are looking for work life balance – part of which is the ability to work from home. Since 2022 we have seen a shift towards hybrid working and employers expecting employees to come into the office on a more regular basis. Some companies are happy to take the chance of losing staff to these changes and feel replacing them will be easy while the market is candidate rich.

Although there may be an increase in resignations in 2024, these people are not resigning with nothing to go to – they will be moving jobs. Maybe the Great Game of Musical Chairs would be a better term to use!

At som3 we speak to hundreds of candidates per week and are happy to speak to employers about general trends, market rates and noises from the talent pool – get in touch with us if you want to discuss in more detail!