The Great Resignation:
Hiring Innovators in a Tight Market

By: Carrie Charles

Millions of workers have left—and are leaving—their jobs in the Great Resignation. Over the pandemic, people had time to think about what they wanted and didn’t want from their working hours.

Most people want to commute less, spend more time with loved ones, and work somewhere they can grow and feel valued. Those were always important factors, but they’re even more so now. Priorities changed. And with talent shortages, workers can afford to be very selective.

Applicants aren’t interested in simply hitting the metrics you’ve defined. They’re looking for holistic, people-centric cultures. They want to know how working at your company makes their lives better.

We’re seeing a shift toward a human era of work, and companies that focus on productivity instead of people aren’t going to last very long.

Let’s imagine that in this environment, two companies each need five project managers. To keep the math simple, we’ll call the mid-range industry salary $100,000. So, each company budgeted $500,000 for wages.

Six weeks later, the first company has made one hire at $125,000. The hire is excellent, but if negotiations continue like this, salaries will go over budget. The hiring manager bugs HR every day because their team is swamped. But the company just can’t seem to fill those other four positions.

In those same six weeks, the second company hired five people and stayed within their budget. They’re wrapping up onboarding, and the new team has started clearing the backlog of work. The hiring manager is thrilled.

Why would one company struggle so hard to find talent while the other seems to be swimming in it?


The first company is doing what it’s always done. It budgeted for mid-level salaries even though it wants top-tier candidates. Then it sent a detailed list of requirements to three general recruiting firms. The company also posted the same ad on job websites. To save time, it’s only interviewing the most qualified candidates—and there just aren’t that many. And while the ads hint at culture, diversity, and growth, those qualities aren’t evident during the hiring process.

The second company, however, has completely changed how it hires. It knows top talent thinks about work and career paths very differently now. So this company adapted its hiring process to match that thinking, using the following five tips.

First, before it even started recruiting, our second company made sure it was a place talent would want to work.

Focus on employer branding and recruitment marketing

Companies go out of their way to court new customers or clients. And company marketing teams develop branding strategies and advertising campaigns to attract customers. They know brand perception matters. They track it, work to rectify bad reviews, and promote your brand. Your marketers understand what your ideal clients need and want. And they focus on showing clients how your company meets those needs and wants. 


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