Post-pandemic, we had the Great Resignation — the movement where hundreds of thousands of people changed or left their jobs. While the dust left in its wake continues to settle, 2023 is on the verge of yet another mass job movement. Here, Ross Slogrove, UK and Ireland country manager at business phone system provider Ringover, explores what’s causing the Great Resignation 2.0 and what this means for recruiters.

Between July and September 2021 in the UK, over 400,000 workers left their jobs. By December 2021, vacancies reached a record high, with approximately 1.3 million positions available.

More than two years on, it’s prompted the question of whether we have overcome the challenging period of the Great Resignation. But according to research conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it appears unlikely. The ONS found that approximately one fifth of the UK workforce will actively seek alternative employment in 2023, meaning that the question of retention is more business critical than ever.

Remote working
The pandemic spurred the transition from full time in office work to majority remote and eventually hybrid work. What was originally thought to be a temporary fix to ensure businesses and employees remained productive, has turned into a deal or no deal working requirement for employees.

A recent survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of flexible office experts Space32 revealed that almost a quarter of respondents would turn down their dream job if it didn’t offer hybrid working. With that in mind, Microsoft also found that more than 50 per cent of UK workers who currently have a hybrid working environment would consider leaving if flexible working was removed.

For many, going into the office full-time should not be seen as a requirement for success. Employers need to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and realise that employee mindsets and expectations have changed. If they don’t take notice of this, it could trigger a retention disaster.

What’s causing the Great Resignation’s rebound?
The cost-of-living crisis is taking a toll on the British public in many ways. Rising inflation, greater costs and more expensive bills to pay has put strain on both employee and employer finances. Consequentially, this means the job market faces a growing challenge in attracting and retaining top talent as business struggle to offer salaries that match the escalating cost of living.

As a result, people are looking for jobs that offer higher salaries. In fact, CV-Library has reported that 75 per cent of UK professionals have considered looking to change jobs because of rising costs. This is having a knock-on effect in the recruitment process, with employers struggling to fill roles and having to offer higher salaries and more benefits to attract the right people.

The combination of the need to work flexibly and cost of living crisis is a cause for concern. With many employees fixated on the ability to work hybrid and, currently, no end in sight for those affected by the cost of living, recruiters should prepare for the second wave of resignations.

The impact on recruitment
The Great Resignation 2.0 is not expected until the last quarter of 2023, however this can be an uneasy and challenging time for recruiters. Especially, when you consider the combination of the necessity of hybrid working and the cost-of-living crisis.

But where there is challenge, there is opportunity. Firstly, there will be an increased demand for new talent. As more people leave their jobs, companies will have a higher need to replace these vacant positions. Recruiters will experience increased demand for their services as organisations seek to fill the gaps.

Additionally, with candidates having more options at their fingertips, recruiters must prioritise the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. This means ensuring clear communication, speedy responses and a positive overall experience to help recruiters attract and convert high-quality candidates.

As the recruitment landscape evolves, recruiters should also leverage technology to streamline their processes, improve sourcing methods and engage with candidates more effectively. For agencies dealing with an influx of candidates and vacancies for several different companies, recruiters need to be organised, with a simple system for keeping track of their work.

Talking is a key part of a recruiter’s job, so a business phone system that works with and not against them is crucial. Ringover offers businesses an integrated phone system, packed with features to help recruiters manage their increasing workload. With free and unlimited local and international calls to over 110 destinations, the ability to call from any device connected to the internet to support working on-the-go and integration with other recruitment CRM software, recruiters can fill vacancies quicker and more successfully, whilst providing a streamlined candidate experience.

As the Great Resignation 2.0 looms, businesses must reconsider the way their recruit and retain. The pressure from the cost-of-living crisis in combination with this could spell disaster for the job market. By adapting to the changing dynamics, candidate expectations, and leveraging technology can help recruiters thrive in this new landscape.