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How to Hire and Keep Top Talent Amid the Great Resignation

In a time where employees are taking power and quitting by the masses, companies need to take notice of what makes a candidate join and stay in this progressing job market.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47.4 million Americans voluntarily resigned from their jobs in 2021. It's a time many are starting to refer to as "The Great Resignation," and job seekers have shifted into a position of power for the first time in corporate America.

As the pandemic forced companies to embrace remote work, it showed that many people could not only successfully do their jobs from home, but that they enjoyed the balance. But companies still have to provide better benefits, higher compensation and more flexibility with remote work to keep good talent. The ones who do not will fall behind. Here are a few key ways things have changed in the corporate job market.

Compensation is becoming transparent

Negotiations are now in favor of the candidate. With more possibilities of jobs across the U.S., employers have to come to the table with better offers. People are no longer keeping quiet about salaries amongst colleagues and peers. Many have taken to platforms such as LinkedIn and TikTok to share salary information, career insights and negotiation advice. One of the most influential has been TikToker Frank Niu, who advises, "Don't let your company bully you into silence. There were obvious benefits to me in learning about how much my friends made, and I also hated to see others not get the pay they deserved."

Related: 4 Ways to Design a Work Culture That Will Beat the Great Resignation

And while workers might fear being threatened or fired for sharing salary information, the vast majority of employees are protected and able to freely discuss their pay with coworkers in any form.

Many states and cities are now passing bills supporting salary transparency, with New York City being among the highest-profile early adopters. "The only ones who benefit from keeping this information secret are the corporations who want to keep wages low," cautions Niu. "The stigma against sharing how much you make is outdated and only hurts workers."

Benefits have to be more than the bare minimum

While companies love to offer "fun" benefits like happy hours, free coffee and snacks and ping-pong tables, millennials have repeatedly responded by saying that is not what the average employee cares about. Offering PTO, healthcare, 401K matching, cost-of-inflation yearly raises and parental leave are the bare minimum companies should offer full-time employees.

Many companies recognize the importance of mental and physical health, offering benefits such as gym memberships, mental health days and flexible work hours. The companies with the highest-rated employee satisfaction and longevity are the ones who care about their team's health and well-being.

Remote work is normality, not an exception

Employers and employees alike have experienced both ends of the spectrum when it comes to shifting to remote work. On the one hand, employers can cut the rent costs of offices and expand their talent pool across the US. However, many people are resigning to find full-time remote positions that offer higher compensation and better benefits. In that way, employees have benefited from growing their careers; however, the talent competition is much higher, and now they are competing with that large pool of candidates.

Overall, productivity has increased for remote workers, with 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month showing increased productivity and 30% doing more work in less time. On top of that, sick days and time off for appointments have decreased as people have more flexibility in their hours working remotely and avoid taking off for minor illnesses or injuries.

Culture is king

People are not just talking about compensation, but also publicly sharing the ins and outs of everyday work-life balance at companies. Websites like Glassdoor show feedback from former and current employees, and given the added protection of anonymity, employees do not feel the need to hold back. Job seekers take notice when there seems to be many negative reviews and are savvy enough to identify a "planted" review from executives and HR representatives trying to save face.

Related: What You Should Do If a Valuable Employee Decides to Quit

Job hopping and resume gaps are no longer taboo

Even prior to Covid, job-hopping was considered less of a red flag and more of a growth pattern for many applicants. With so much access to candidates via LinkedIn and other job-searching sites, recruiters are poaching the top talent in all fields. Instead of asking why a job-seeker is looking to leave a company, they are asking what the company is not providing them in their career goals, such as growth, compensation or balance that the next company needs to provide to keep them.

As Niu sums up, now is the time more than ever for companies to take listen and progress with the times. "For the first time in a long time, the balance of power has shifted ever so slightly in the employee's favor," he says. "Many companies have grown complacent and are used to cheap, plentiful labor. Pay people what they're worth, treat them fairly, and be surprised to find out that keeping good talent isn't as hard as you would think."

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