I bet you've seen these signs and Linkedin updates a lot lately.
The pandemic has impacted all aspects of our businesses, but The Great Resignation, as Fortune calls it, has been the least expected of them. Employers worldwide are wondering why many people are quitting their jobs and what they can do to hire.
Millennials (25-39) and Gen Z (18-24) who are calling for more work/life balance and more flexibility are driving the Great Resignation. As an 'older' Millennial myself, I get it. The planet is going up in flames, there has hardly been a positive news headline in two decades, and COVID-19 seemingly has no end in sight. It was always bound to come to a head: if we are all doomed, I might as well find true purpose and value in what I will do with my life. I'm being dramatic, but you get the idea.
Five ways to harness HR marketing
If you want to fight against the trend, you have to prioritize employee experience and have an employer strategy. Don't just say you want to do it: do it. Here are some of the things you can do:
The first step is to understand what prospective employees want and need to be successful. What are their interests and priorities? Here are some priorities research says motivate employees most: purpose, skill and personal development, a coach (not a boss), and the space to achieve a proper work-life balance. Emphasize input, not output.
Pay attention to your brand as a whole. You most likely have company values that you have created to attract and cater to your customers. These are great, but they might not do much to find and keep high-quality employees in your company. You need to examine your core values and your messaging through the lens of HR branding.
Update your job postings and your website content to reflect those updated core values and messaging. Pay attention to your social media as well and how your team is featured there. The first thing any interested candidate is going to do is look at your website and your social media. Let me tell you: if I land on an outdated web page that doesn't have explicit content about their people, the working environment, and their vision for the future, I'm outta there.
Give your HR team a marketing budget to work with to reach their goals. That's not popular advice for any business owner, but you are nothing without your people. You won't grow without talent. What's most important is finding the right person for the right job. That's not always easy! Funding and supporting your hiring team will contribute to better long-term outcomes by letting them find the best fit, not the first fit. Employees who will be a great fit actively contribute to your success and will stay because of your efforts to improve their experience.
Burnout is a real thing. In 2019, Gerber reported that a significant contributor to employee burnout is manual, tedious administrative tasks. I know we all like to blame "young people nowadays," but these Gen Z's grew up with technology: they were raised with its efficiency and often know or can find better and faster ways of doing things. Ruthlessly examine your processes and evaluate which tasks can be automated or better served with technology.
Employees have reset their priorities. The Great Resignation is a call for more work/life balance and more flexibility. It's a need for belonging and happiness. Marketing just might be the answer.