The Great Resignation – I don’t want to talk about it!

It’s in the news and in my inbox every day. News about the Great Resignation, the Big Resignation or what some people are calling the Big Quit. But while many people in the US or elsewhere might be changing jobs leading to this so-called phenomenon, we’re not actually seeing it here. Australians are actually changing jobs LESS than before.

The brains trust at the Australian Bureau of Statistics will even back me up on this one. Their data on job mobility shows that only 7.5% of employed people changed jobs, the lowest annual job mobility rate on record.1 In the professional, scientific and technical industry the ABS reported a reduction in the number of people changing jobs from 9.2% to 8.3%.

Of course, this could change, but there are a few things worth considering about the ‘Great Resignation’ and then…I don’t want to talk about it anymore!

What do I think?

·       I think the fact that it’s being talked about will make more people think about it.
·       It was going to happen anyway.  It’s just people catching up on the last 2 years and saying to me “I want to move but I won’t as it’s too risky at the moment with COVID around.”
·       January and February is normally a transition time so if its going to happen it will be after people have had holidays.
·       People leave bosses many times, not companies. If you have looked after your staff through COVID as both a company and boss, I believe you will retain your staff. Many I speak to that are going to leave their roles are leaving their bosses, not the company.

Questions to ask yourself  

As a manager/company:
·       Did you look after your staff through COVID?
·       Have you put in place conditions where your staff will want to stay?
·       Have you asked them if they are happy?
·       What are their expectations about returning to the office versus yours?

As an employee or candidate:
·       Is it really ‘grass is greener on the other side? ‘
·       Is there still a cultural fit with the company or has this changed over time?
·       Are you letting opportunities pass you by?
·       Did my company look after me during COVID? If NOT, then move. Consider when you are looking for a new role, asking how the company looked after their staff through COVID. Ask to speak to some of the staff and or have a coffee with them to understand the culture and what the company is like.  (it’s okay to ask for this)
·       If you do decide to move, here are some reminder hints on Zoom interviews. Albeit you may finally get to do some interviews in person! If you need help, reach out as we do have an interview training program that we can assist you with.

ZOOM etiquette – some friendly reminders

Zoom/Teams/Webex interviews are quite different to those in person.  Yes, it may be more comfortable sitting at home or on the other side of the screen, but it is still a professional meeting so don’t become too relaxed.

·       No washing hanging in the background. I saw this at least 3 times last week. Use a plain or blurred background if your house is untidy!
·       Be prepared beforehand and check that your internet and video conferencing is working. This is an interview and scrambling at the last minute to get the picture right can take up valuable time for interview.
·       Please don’t wear tracksuits. This is still an interview so dress appropriately for the role you’re applying for as if you were face-to-face.
·       Don’t let me look up your nose. – have your camera at eye level so you are looking at me.
·       Be prepared the interviewer may want to take video screenshots of you during the interview.  The hiring manager may want to see you now and it does speed up the process.
·       Keep pets (and husbands) quiet in the background. I had 2 interviews recently where you could see that the candidate did not even realise that their dog barked the whole way through and at times, I couldn’t hear the candidates’ answers. Plus, it came across as unprofessional. 

Although in saying that we do have Harry as our mexec mascot. Harry belongs to our senior consultant Sue Forrest and loves to join our Zoom calls and bark when he hears my voice. It’s nice that he gets excited about our meetings!

Sue, Harry and I wish you all the best in your decision making and we are happy for you to reach out to us (well…maybe not Harry) and talk it through if you wish to.  

 1.     Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021) Job Mobility https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/job-mobility/feb-2021 (Accessed 10 November 21)

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