How can HR and hiring managers address the skills gap created by the ‘Great Resignation’?

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Across the United States and around the world, millions of people are quitting their employment, causing what has been known as the Great Resignation. While only few people are just taking some time off after two years of volatility, misery, and insecurity, others are re-evaluating their work relationships and even quitting by choice.

As we dig further into the implications of what this implies for our future economy and the long-term consequences, we’re seeing a clear picture of how the pandemic caused the global workforce to reconsider its relationship with employment. Working to live is no longer an option; instead, we must live to work. This is a positive outcome. Living to work entails being enthusiastic about one’s work and developing a better relationship with it. More work-life balance, liveable income, vacations, flexibility, and family time are all benefits.

Last April, when a record-breaking 4 million people resigned their employment – a 20-year high — the term “great resignation” was born. While the employment market has fluctuated since then, one thing has been constant: employees have the power, and right now, they’re prioritising flexibility over all else. According to a new Fiverr and Hibob poll of HR experts and recruiting managers, 30% of respondents reported that workers leaving their employers did so because of a greater need for flexibility, which trumped better compensation (27%) and a promotion (26 percent ).

As a result, HR professionals and recruiting managers are confronting unprecedented problems. Full-time employees are departing, and they’re having trouble finding replacements. These aren’t entry-level roles; they’re positions that demand years of expertise and qualified individuals. Managers and directors are departing their organisations at a higher rate than entry-level employees, according to 46% of HR professionals polled by Fiverr and Hibob’s.

People leaving their organisations are between the ages of 36 and 45, according to 56% of those who have seen staff depart in the previous six months, and between the ages of 26 and 35, according to 37%.

Given their backgrounds, it’s understandable that many of these folks are venturing out on their own. According to Census Bureau data, the United States received 4.3 million new company applications in 2020 and 3.8 million in 2021. According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the number of self-employed employees reached an eight-year high in July. Technology has transformed the way we work, making it feasible to establish a business from virtually anywhere. There are more experienced professionals than ever before, but there is a catch: they want to work for themselves.

To close the talent gap, HR experts and recruiting managers must work collaboratively. They do not, however, always agree on everything. To begin with, over half of HR professionals believe that turnover has no impact on their company’s productivity. In comparison, 65% of recruiting managers believe that turnover is a factor impacting productivity.

This may explain why HR professionals appear to be more hesitant to use freelancers to cover skill gaps in their workforces. Only three out of ten HR professionals claim they approach freelancers to cover employment gaps and execute tasks, whereas only two out of five recruiting managers say they do.

In comparison to just 37% of hiring managers, HR professionals (48%) appear to be more conscious of the fact that one of the key benefits of working with freelance talent is flexibility, which is precisely what people desire. A mixed use of freelancers can relieve current full-time team members of some of their responsibilities and allow the business to scale up and down as needed.

Companies are fighting to keep their best employees, but even more so, talent shortages are causing fatigue among those who want to stay. Both business and HR leaders must band together and promote flexibility, autonomy, and remote work. But, more importantly, they must embrace new, and potentially unusual, methods of attracting talent.

See how HealthBoxHR can help your business manage new applicants and make the hiring process automated and streamlined with our Recruitment Management tool

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