How to Win During the Great Resignation so Your Business Can Grow
If you are a small business owner, you may be feeling dizzy from all the economic news of the last year. Inflation is rising. Labor is in short supply, Americans are quitting jobs in record numbers and workers are asking for more from their jobs–more money, more flexibility, and more meaning. We expect these trends to accelerate into the new year.
To help you prepare as we head into 2022, we’ve gathered the HireMyMom team to round up the most common questions we hear and the answers from our team of pros. This Q and A style blog offers a window into what we see across clients and from our mom professionals. At the end, we include our best advice to make this strange moment work for your business. With knowledge about what’s happening and a solid strategy, your business could emerge stronger than ever and with your best staff.
Are people really leaving jobs, or is the Great Resignation a media term?
According to HireMyMom’s concierge team, the Great Resignation is genuinely underway.
People are leaving their jobs in record numbers for a variety of reasons. Our recruiting team reports that people are parting ways with employers to earn more money and find better work environments. People who are being called back into an office full time or those losing work-from-home options or flexible hours are especially prone to packing up and moving on.
Kelly, who works on our recruiting team, said mom professionals tell her that working from home is no longer a perk but a requirement. She’s also seeing many highly-skilled women start a small business, so they have more flexibility to define their work lives.
Many people used the time during the pandemic to reassess properties and take a fresh look at professional ambitions.
Tesia, who also works in recruiting, recalled a woman she interviewed earlier this week. She said that had it not been for the pandemic and her experience working remotely, she never would have left her job. But, now that she’s back in the office, she misses the family connection and flexibility of her work-from-home job, so she’s looking for new opportunities.
Our team is not alone in noticing the trend. According to data released by the Labor Department, about 4.2 million people abandoned jobs in October, which accounts for about 2.8% of the U.S. workforce. In September, a record 4.4 million people left a job.
Is it really tougher to hire new people than it’s been in the past?
According to our CEO and Founder, Lesley Pyle, this is the most challenging hiring environment she’s seen in her 15 years of running HireMyMom.com. She observed that it’s truly an employee’s market. She said it’s more difficult to fill common jobs–like virtual assistant roles–than it was just a few months ago.
The National Federation of Independent Business Job Report said that 93% of small business owners reported few or no candidates for open jobs in November. And that was a slight improvement over the 95% of business owners who reported the same for October.
Tesia said she’d seen this first hand, explaining that applicants are scarce for some jobs but stronger for jobs that offer higher pay and managerial responsibilities. High-quality candidates are getting snapped up quickly, she said.
Overall, the Labor Department reported 11 million job openings in October and estimates almost 5 million more open jobs than people seeking work.
Part of the shortage is that many mothers are still on the sidelines. According to the Associated Press, when the pandemic started in the spring of 2020, about 3.5 million moms with school-age children left the workforce, lost jobs, or took leaves of absence from work.
And, many working women are still out of the workforce as child care and school schedules remain in flux. According to McKinsey & Company, one in three mothers may be forced to scale back or opt out of work because of the increased demands the pandemic puts on mothers.
What advice do you have for companies that need new employees or want to grow?
Building a team is one of the most important things you can do as a small business owner. Obviously, there are some headwinds as you start to hire.
But, there are plenty of upsides, too. If you can offer the right combination of opportunity, pay, and flexibility, you could nab a superstar who has left another employer. The first step is to make your job stand out in a crowded market.
As you prepare to hire, here are a few tips:
- Move quickly. Employers are snapping up top applicants fast. Hold off on posting your opening until you have a window of time to look at applications and move quickly on an interview and offer. It’s OK to take a few days to decide, but if you leave applicants hanging for weeks as you make your decision or get pulled in other directions, you are likely to miss out on your top choice.
- Make it easy to apply for your open role. Applicants with many options may not invest hours completing an online application or doing a skills test upfront. Save that for a final round of interviews. Also, consider if those activities actually yield better candidates and help you decide. If not–or if you aren’t sure–this may be the time to retire those practices.
- Take a critical look at pay. Offering low pay will extend the time it takes to find the right person and reduce the pool of high-quality applicants for you to consider. Paying a bit more could save you money in the long term and reduce your turnover.
Pay is tricky, but generally, higher pay attracts stronger candidates. Be realistic about the skills you are looking for and what the market is paying for those skills. You can talk with the pros at HireMyMom to help you find the proper pay range for your job.
- Be flexible. Candidates often look for flexible hours, which can mean many different things, from part-time hours to a shared job. For some applicants, it’s the ability to work different hours on different days.
Before you post a job, think about what you need and be clear in your posting about your flexibility. The more flexibility you have, the greater the number of candidates you will likely attract. If you don’t think there’s much flexibility in your role, run your thinking by others and see if you can’t find some wiggle room to make the job more attractive to candidates.
- Cast a wider net. As a small business owner offering flexible and meaningful jobs, there is a tremendous pool of workers that you can tap into–moms who are ready to leave the rat race and find work-from-home positions that meet their needs.
To find mom professionals interested in remote job opportunities, partner with a niche job site like HireMyMom to access a dedicated pool of professionals looking for remote work. Because HireMyMom charges job seekers a fee to access job listings, all our job seekers are serious about finding work. And, the volume of resumes that flow in is more manageable than the numbers that arrive when jobs are advertised on free job sites.
And, follow these tips to help you tap into that resource.
What are you experiencing as you try to hire new team members? Drop us a line and share your experiences.