The Shift In Post-Great Resignation Job Candidate Preferences

As companies address gaps in their talent infrastructures, it is important to understand the shifting dynamics and desires of workers in 2022. The approach to attracting workers to your company in 2021 might not work for the 2022, post-Great Resignation worker.

The Great Resignation, or the Great Realignment, catalyzed by flexibility introduced to the job market as a result of stimulus and a shifting mentality towards work triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of the most important challenges companies of all sizes faced going into 2022.

Results from a 2022 Job Market Outlook Survey we completed for a client as part of a comprehensive PR and media campaign to kick off Q1 turned in some interesting results, indicating that where workers had used 2022 and 2021 to transition into roles where their flexibility requirements (work from home for childcare, for example) were met, 2022 signaled a change in the market and a reversion back to the traditional motivation of salary being top of mind.


Shifting workforce demands after pandemic


That said, what can companies do to appeal to job seekers in 2022 as part of their growth strategy for the year? How can companies position themselves as the employer of choice in a competitive marketplace? The options break down into three broad categories.

1. Invest in compensation

Job candidates and job seekers are increasingly leaning into higher compensation as the primary motivator for a job change. The data bears this out, which means that in the short-term, as salaries and compensation measures are inflated to reflect current market conditions, employers will need to invest heavier into compensating their staff and workers as a mechanism to fight attrition. The companies with the strongest balance sheets will have a distinct advantage.

2. Highlight opportunities for growth

Younger workers today are fully invested in their own growth and career trajectory. We see this with our clients all the time – workers with 18-months of experience wanting promotions and compensation increases as a reward for their 1.5 years of work. This presents an opportunity for companies willing to invest in campaigns, programs, and the requisite infrastructure to highlight and showcase growth opportunities at their organizations. If there are clear paths for career development outlined for workers, your attractiveness as an employer increases dramatically.

3. Lean into (or work on) industry perception

The reality is that certain industries are more attractive to workers than others, typically as a function of perceptions of innovation and disruption. The good thing is that all industries, even those typically stereotyped as dying, are attractive to a certain cohort of workers. Therefore, companies that want to win the talent war in 2022 will lean into, or work on, industry perception. If you’re a young technology startup, leaning into the industry dynamics – and closing the gap by introducing competitive compensation and/or growth opportunities, can help with addressing any labor shortages. On the flip side, companies operating in less attractive industries can truly differentiate by investing in perks, benefits, and worker desires that are typically found in industries that are more attractive. Would you work for a manufacturing firm with above-market compensation and great opportunities for career growth? As a company that will help set up employees for bright futures, we’re confident that many workers would.

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