Chief Executive Insights

The Great Rehiring: How businesses and executives can rise to the challenge

Carolyn Betts Fleming, CEO and founder of Betts

The Great Rehiring is the result of several forces at work. It is essentially the effect of the collective pause that businesses and employees took at the start of the pandemic. Because of the changing nature of the workforce, companies were able to reevaluate what qualities they desired in their team members, while employees reevaluated what they wanted out of their personal and professional lives.

According to the BettsGreat Rehiring Report,” 66% of employees surveyed would seek new opportunities if their current job required them to go back full-time to the office. However, 74% would not take a pay cut to work remotely full time. While employees demand more flexibility, they are not willing to sacrifice their compensation.    

Most companies were also forced to implement a hiring freeze and lay off employees as a result of decreased work, company budgets, and so on to stay afloat. At the height of the pandemic in June 2020, it was estimated that approximately 30 million people were laid off. In some cases, these efforts weren’t enough, and businesses, both big and small, were unable to weather the storm and were forced to close permanently, leaving their employees without work and income.       

We are seeing people from across all job sectors participate in a parallel movement known as The Great Resignation, in which employees leave their current positions in search of a new job that will allow them to achieve a better work-life balance. According to the Labor Department, more than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs in November 2021, resulting in the highest resignation rates in the U.S. in the last 20 years. As a result, businesses are doubling their hiring efforts to fill these recently vacated positions. All of these factors have resulted in an influx of job candidates flooding the market and the rehiring movement known as The Great Rehiring.    

So, how can companies and executives rise to meet The Great Rehiring challenge? The answer is simple: pivot hiring and retention strategies to be talent-forward while continuing to innovate. Below are a few suggestions on how to accomplish both these goals.

  1. Focus on what new talent is looking for out of their next position. We’ve discovered that the vast majority of job talent want a competitive salary commensurate with education and experience, as well as the flexibility of working from home or in a hybrid workplace. The recent “Great Rehiring Report”, also shows that there has been a shift from in-market hiring to more out-of-market and work-from-home alternatives.Sixty-seven percent of people surveyed favor a combination of in-office and remote work, and 30% would like to work remotely full time. Businesses have the option of catering to these demands, or talent (both new and existing) will seek positions with companies that provide these benefits and more.
  2. Prioritize listening to the needs of current employees, including optimizing employees’ mental health and well-being, rather than just attracting new top talent. We’re seeing a lot more attrition among our partner companies that are looking to hire and retain top talent. Employers should accept responsibility for assisting employees in managing the separation between home and work environments, as it’s essential to business productivity and employee well-being.

    We see this being accomplished in a variety of ways that can be replicated by other businesses. To avoid fatigue, companies can encourage teams to take breaks throughout the day and hold “no Zoom” meeting days, or perhaps prioritize Wellness Wednesday, which allows employees to get out and exercise to take care of their physical health, as well as providing a flexible time-off policy and health and wellness and vacation stipends that encourage people to recharge and create that separation from work and home. Overall, employees need to hear from their employers that it is acceptable to take breaks and disconnect in order to take care of themselves.

  3. Maintain workplace evaluations and consult with current employees about company changes they would like to see. If they make sense, implement them to increase employee retention. Essentially, make talent requirements a top  priority.  
  4. Constantly innovate in-house strategies. Don’t rely on what got you there in the first place; instead, focus on what will get you there in the future. Keeping up to date on the most recent and cutting-edge recruiting and workplace technologies will improve recruitment and retention, ensuring the longevity of the company and the quality of talent on the team. 

As a recruiting professional and someone who hires regularly for my company, I see this shift to a talent-forward strategy as an advantage for businesses as well, not a problem. This new working style and talent-forward approach also benefits companies looking to hire by exposing them to a whole new pool of talent that they would not have access to otherwise.

Companies are able to search for candidates within their target markets as well as those with the necessary skills who are open to working remotely from other markets, providing them with a much larger talent pool to select the best hire from.

Overall, The Great Rehiring is something that shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced, as this shift brings positive opportunities for both talent looking for their next position and companies looking to welcome new team members on board.


Written by Carolyn Betts Fleming, CEO and founder of Betts.

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Carolyn Betts Fleming
Carolyn Betts Fleming is the founder and CEO of Betts, a leading nationwide recruiting technology and services firm for revenue-generating (sales, customer success, and marketing) roles. Her knack for spotting top talent and pairing them with an ideal company has led to developing a trusted marketplace in the SaaS space, ensuring that every partner, both talent and client, who comes to Betts succeeds.

Prior to founding Betts, she began her career selling advertising in the Yellow Pages book and recruiting for Andiamo! Group, where she was the top performer company-wide during her employment. From there, Carolyn transitioned into sales at CareerBuilder.com and became a top-performing enterprise sales executive working with clients including Netflix, Symantec, McAfee, and many more.

She is currently a board member at BUILD, an advisory council member at Beam Founders, and a member of Young Presidents’ Organization and Entrepreneur’s Organization. Additionally, Carolyn is a fundraiser and participant in the stand-up paddle events with Flatwater Foundation and an active pledger at Founders Pledge, an organization that enables entrepreneurs and investors to give back, give more, and give effectively, by pledging a portion of future exit proceeds to charity.

She received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is an alumna of Harvard Business School. Carolyn has provided her expertise for Austin Business Journal, Business Insider, CNBC, Fast Company, Forbes, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.


Carolyn Betts Fleming is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn.