The Great Resignation isn’t over yet

With employees feeling burned out and uncertainty around the job market in general, nearly half of all workers in a recent survey indicated they're actively looking for a new job for the new year.

head in clouds hiring in the future jobs by gustavofrazao and peopleimages getty images
gustavofrazao / PeopleImages / Getty Images

One in four employees don’t feel secure in their current positions and almost half  of them plan to explore new job options in 2023, according to a new report that indicates  the Great Resignation remains in full swing.

Over the past year, more than 4 million workers have quit their jobs every month, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The report, by human resource management software provider isolved, says the top way employers can improve company culture and retain their workers is by paying their employees market value.

“This comes as no surprise, considering pay transparency laws have jumped to the forefront, and the pressure is on employers to eliminate pay inequality within their organizations,” isolved said in its report.

“Data shows employees are more anxious, burnt-out and financial security-driven than ever," James Norwood, isolved’s chief strategy officer, said in a statement. "To combat these concerns, HR departments of all sizes must evaluate what they can automate and gain efficiencies in, enhance what they can to improve employee experience, and extend the impact of their team."

The isolved research dovetails with two other reports by online job site Hired and global business consultancy Robert Half. Those studies found that attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent has proven to be challenging — especially in the last six months of 2022 as volatile market conditions brought sizable changes to the hiring landscape.

In the U.S., 46% of professionals are looking or plan to look for a new role in the first half of 2023, up from 41% six months ago, according to a survey by Robert Half.

"Noise around hiring freezes and layoffs at some companies hasn't seemed to faze workers — many are just as confident in their job prospects as they were six months ago," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. "The labor market remains tight, and professionals are curious about exploring new and more fulfilling career paths."

isolved graphic 1 isolved

According to Hired, inefficient hiring processes rife with disjointed steps and redundancies have plagues companies for years, exacerbating hiring problems by undermining recruitment pipelines and causing candidate attrition. And as more companies slow or pause their hiring, broken processes could allow top talent to be overlooked.

Hired also cited employee burnout as a key challenge, placing the blame on rapid changes in the employment environment and angst over mass layoffs and hiring freezes.

In November, nearly a dozen big-name companies announced layoffs — with Amazon, Meta, Cisco and HP announcing cuts affecting thousands of workers. Experts believe the layoffs, which have been ongoing for the past three months, are mainly due to poor hiring strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those being laid off now  were hired by panicked managers worried about a dearth of talent caused by the Great Resignation and increased digitization efforts.

Hired CEO Josh Brenner said his company’s data shows the market for tech talent is still incredibly strong for companies who are actively growing and hiring. “What’s key is that these companies remain committed to equitable, efficient and transparent hiring practices in this ever-changing macro environment,” he said.

Unemployment in the tech industry is near an all-time low; last month, it decreased from 2.2% in October to 2%, according to CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce.

“The hotter-than-anticipated tech jobs report confirms there are still many more employers hiring tech talent than shedding it,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s chief research officer. “It’s certainly premature to dismiss concerns over the health of the economy, but this should be a reassuring sign for the tech workforce.”

For its report, isolved surveyed just under 1,000 full-time US employees in various industries during the fourth quarter to discover how employers can improve the employee experience in 2023. isolved, which has about 145,000 employer customers worldwide, said corporate HR teams need to improve internal communications, invest in better employee-training opportunities, and provide more flexible work conditions.

isolved graphic 3 isolved

This is the third annual isolved survey looking at worker concerns and attitudes. In last year’s study, almost half of employees (47%) said they were tempted to apply for a new job in 2022, roughly the same as in 2021 (52%).

“One logical reason for the persistence of The Great Resignation is that employees don’t feel financially and emotionally supported at work,” isolved said.

Of the 37% of respondents who did actually apply for a new position last year, 60% went on to change jobs, isolved said. The number one reason: 62% wanted a higher salary; 32% were seeking better benefits (32%); and 25% wanted more work flexibility.

isolved graphic 2 isolved

One possible reason for continued high turnover is that employees don’t feel supported to rise through the ranks of their organization. According to isolved, 21% feel there isn’t room for growth within their company and 59% feel their employers could do more to advance their careers.

“Employers are recognizing that the best way to get the most from employees is to invest in the development of their skills," isolved said. "While 46% of employees say their employer offers opportunities for upskilling — expanding upon their current skillset — there is room for improvement."

The attraction of remote work

About seven in 10 employees (68%) who can work remotely say they hope to work from home more often than they did pre-pandemic, according to a Future Of Work Survey performed by Forrester Research earlier this year.

Even so, some firms, including big-name companies such as Goldman Sachs, are forcing a return to the office. Those kinds of moves could lead to conflict.

“In 2023, we predict acute confrontations within companies that don’t listen to and collaborate with employees in shaping hybrid-work policies,” Forrester said. “Adherence to in-office policies is already sketchy at best, and the threat of attrition looms large.”

job search plans by demographic Robert Half

As economic uncertainty from a possible future recession enters the “anywhere-work” calculus, Forrester is expects 40% of hybrid-working companies will try to undo their remote work policies — essentially telling employees to come into the office more frequently.

“Don’t be one of the 50% of companies that will battle their employees and suffer a loss of productivity due to labor unrest,” Forrester warned in its report.

Hired’s report, “2022 List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent” highlighted companies in the US and UK that have gotten hiring and employee retainment right.

Here are the top small, medium-sized, and enterprise companies across North America and UK, according to Hired.

In North America:

  • Top small company: Path
  • Top medium-sized company: Devoted Health
  • Top enterprise company: Google

In the UK:

  • Top small company: Thriva
  • Top medium-sized company: Zopa Bank
  • Top enterprise company: EF Education First

“We evaluated all active companies on our platform based on three core values identified as critical for employers to attract, hire, and retain top talent: equity, efficiency, and Ttansparency,” Hired said.

North American companies — from startups to enterprises — were more equitable and efficient this year than in 2021, with many reducing the time it takes to hire and on-board an employee. 

Remote hiring, including finding workers outside of traditional tech hubs, widened the talent funnel for companies and bolstered their ability to source and quickly extend offers to job-seekers before competitors; that was especially ture in previously saturated markets.

North American small-to-medium-sized (SMB) companies in the top 10 stood out in their use of diversity goals, with companies sending 15% more interview requests to under-represented candidates than in 2021.

Hired noted the following issues and recommended companies address them in the year ahead:

  • Transparency: Several states across the US, as well as in the UK, have or will enact legislation requiring companies to disclose or publish salary ranges. Better salary transparency could help close wage gaps between under-represented candidates and their white male counterparts.
  • Equity: Mass layoffs have disproportionately affected HR employees and DEI teams, threatening to undo years of progress for more equitable company cultures and hiring practices.
  • Efficiency: Inefficient hiring processes have long threatened recruitment efforts. Hiring pipelines and a company’s employer brand are still at risk in 2023.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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