Future of Work

How to Transform Your Hiring Strategies to Combat the Great Resignation

The last thing you want to do is lose great people during the Great Resignation. But unless you take responsibility for revitalizing outdated hiring and retention processes, you won’t see the changes you need to succeed.

Do you see the Great Resignation as a human resources challenge or a company problem? So far, leaders are placing it in the former category, leaving the HR department to figure things out.

At first glance, this makes sense. There must be a problem with recruitment and onboarding if HR can’t find talent. But when 3% of working professionals quit in a single month, there’s something wrong with the bigger picture. The Great Resignation, along with its short- and long-term ramifications, should concern everyone — especially C-suite members.

To be sure, some money-motivated individuals are taking advantage of sign-on bonuses and better wages. But many aren’t. Millions of adults are opting out of the workforce because they want better work-life balance. They want to be seen as more than commodities. Employers can’t just increase salaries and hope that works. Hope is not a strategy.

As a leader, it’s time for you to intervene and get involved before the situation gets worse.

Moving Beyond ‘Hiring as Normal’

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Still, lots of businesses follow the same traditional hiring processes they’ve used for decades. They fail to realize that the same old job postings, interview questions, and benefits repel today’s candidates.

When the pandemic accelerated workplace trends, such as remote work and flexible schedules, employees realized they could have it all. Now that the power has shifted into the hands of employees, HR needs to focus on candidate-centric hiring practices. Achieving this requires C-suite support.

For example, a PwC survey found that 71% of HR leaders felt like they didn’t have the budget to keep up with the changes they wanted to make. Additionally, these leaders have had to balance new responsibilities, leaving them with little time to solve the retention crisis.

Because the Great Resignation affects the entire company, you must get involved in the talent recruitment process. Here are five strategies to help you find a solution and improve retention:

  1. Encourage hiring managers to experiment with the recruiting process.
    If your job descriptions haven’t changed in the past two years, they deserve a reset. Job postings won’t gain much traction if they sound dry and boring. However, a job post that’s fresh, exciting, and maybe even edgy can convey enthusiasm and showcase your culture. It can capture people’s attention and their imagination.

    Polishing up your job descriptions means more than swapping out a couple of adjectives. Try something new, and don’t be afraid of quirky ideas. At HPWP Group, we worked with a client to create a poem for an entry-level position. Guess what? They received triple the number of submissions they usually received. That’s a sign of progress.

  2. Encourage managers to own their teams’ hiring, turnover, and retention rates.
    Too often, the only people charged with resolving high turnover are HR professionals. But they shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for ideating clever solutions. Department managers and executives should participate in recruitment and retention discussions, too.

    Any person who manages someone else is responsible for solving the issue at hand. Sharing ownership of this corporate concern prompts more people to share ideas on how to attract and keep talented staff members.

  3. Include team members in the hiring and selection process.
    Rather than expecting HR leaders to evaluate résumés, interview candidates, and discuss top choices alone, you should involve team members in the hiring process. They know what it takes to be successful at your organization. Let them have a say from the beginning so they can help you find the right fit.

    Additionally, when team members have a say in the process, they’re more committed to the person who gets hired. This creates a connection and a sense of belonging right out of the gate.

  4. Make the hiring experience fun.
    Hiring tends to be seen as a chore. It’s a job to get done. Unfortunately, having this attitude and mentality causes applicants to feel like they’re just a number.

    Remember: Job seekers have choices. As of November 2021, there are 1.5 jobs available for every person who’s looking. Making your hiring process more exciting could sway a great candidate’s opinion, prompting them to accept your offer over a competitor’s.

  5. Be deliberate in your onboarding process.
    Improve your onboarding process by building connections between new and existing employees right away. Why? The most likely people to call it quits are your newest workers. They haven’t developed the same connection with your company as long-term employees. When you involve people in the hiring process, they become a successful part of the onboarding process.

    Think about the way you convey your company’s culture. You have the opportunity to create a memorable experience. No matter what you choose to do, ensure your onboarding process is meaningful. This is the first step in retaining workers.

The Great Resignation doesn’t have to tank your company’s productivity, morale, or profitability. Once you start taking responsibility for hiring and retention, you’ll see a difference.


Written by Gloria St. Martin-Lowry.

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Gloria St. Martin-Lowry
Gloria St. Martin-Lowry is the president of HPWP Group, a company that promotes leadership and organizational development through positivity, coaching, and problem-solving.


Gloria St. Martin-Lowry is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn.