The Great Resignation is over: What it means for staffing firms

We’ve all heard of the Great Resignation. In 2021 and 2022, record numbers of employees left their jobs in the wake of the pandemic. There were many reasons for this, including a lower workforce participation rate, increased baby boomer retirements and changing social and cultural attitudes toward work.

And now, the Great Resignation is over — officially.

That’s right. In November of 2023, the quit rate dropped to its lowest point since the start of the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of US workers voluntarily leaving their jobs dropped to 3.47 million, and the quit rate (the measure of voluntary job exits as a share of total employment) hit its lowest mark since September of 2020.

In other words, employees aren’t quitting at the rates we saw in 2021 and 2022. They’re staying where they are.

What does this mean for staffing firms?

Depending on whom you talk to in staffing, the Great Resignation was a good thing or a bad thing for the industry. On one hand, as workers left their employers in droves, it created an environment for staffing firms to seek new business — companies needed the help of staffing firms to source and hire qualified people. On the other, the mass exodus from the workforce made it harder for staffing firms themselves to find candidates willing and able to take on assignments with their client companies.

Now that the Great Resignation is finished, we’re in a strange spot. Some sectors are experiencing job gains (healthcare and technology, for example), while others are not seeing that same growth. If you’re not staffing in an industry that’s experiencing growth, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your approach.

Keep Up With Your Marketing

We’re in a time of economic uncertainty, and your first instinct might be to save money by slashing the marketing budget. But it’s not the time to cut back on your marketing. Great marketing will drive qualified applications, even when employees are staying put. And when your firm can supply clients with the talent they’re looking for — especially when that talent is harder to find than ever — you’re setting yourself up for future success.

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Build a Strong Employment Brand

Why should candidates want to team up with your firm versus the competition? To entice more qualified people, you need a strong employment brand. Emphasize positive work culture, career growth opportunities and employee perks. Share success stories to provide a genuine glimpse into positive experiences within your company. Craft a compelling narrative reflecting values and mission, using social media, the company website and recruitment materials.

Focus on Passive Candidates

Fewer people are quitting their jobs. This means more of the candidates you engage with are “passive,” meaning they’re not actively seeking new employment but could be enticed by the right proposition. Even though passive candidates aren’t looking for a new job, they might be the right person for your client’s precise need — and increasing your focus on attracting passive candidates can be a smart way to build your talent pool in a time when candidates are staying put.

Craft an Irresistible Value Proposition

How should you frame your marketing efforts to attract those passive candidates? By offering a value proposition that’s irresistible. Highlight the potential for candidates’ career growth when they partner with you; showcase your firm’s commitment to candidates’ ongoing learning and skill development. Also, be upfront and honest about the competitive competition and industry-leading benefits you offer (especially attractive during a time when candidates are seeking stability!).

As a staffing firm owner, you adapted to the “new normal” during the pandemic and when the Great Resignation was in full swing. Now that it’s over, you simply have to do it again — for today’s unique conditions and challenges. Great marketing can help you do just that.

James Moul

James Moul
James Moul is a copywriter for Haley Marketing.

James Moul

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