What Is the Great Resignation and How Does It Affect Recruitment?

The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic completely changed the world of work. While some companies were completely shut down, others suffered heavy losses and were forced to reduce their staff. Others changed their working environment from a physical office to a completely remote one.

Now that the economy is just recovering from the dreadful effects of the lockdown and the market is opening up, managers find themselves facing a new challenge: the Great Resignation.

While there were many theories on why employees were quitting jobs voluntarily, it certainly led to disruption across the globe.

In this blog, we will look in detail at what a great resignation is, what its causes are, and how it affects the recruitment industry.

What Is the Great Resignation?

2020 saw a great deal of uncertainty, dread, business losses, and an economic slowdown due to COVID-19. As a result, organizations were forced to implement new rules and make changes in working processes and policies, resulting in severe changes in the workplace.

In 2021, when employees returned to the offices, they started to leave their jobs on their terms. This was, called “The Great Resignation,” which shifted the power balance back to the employees’ side, who were looking for more than simply a job.

Employees resigned in pursuit of better corporate culture, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, and overall, more meaningful employment.

Around 40% of employees chose to leave the workforce globally because they were no longer interested in the traditional approach of employers that lacked job security, work-life balance, and learning opportunities.

As far as India is concerned, a poll conducted by Randstad NV revealed that 63% of participants preferred to be unemployed than to be unhappy in a job.

Professor Anthony Klotz from Texas A&M University came up with the name “The Great Resignation” when he saw how the COVID-19 epidemic completely changed the employment pattern.

What Caused the Great Resignation?

After COVID-19, employees started evaluating the level of their job satisfaction and engagement. And when they did so, they realized that some aspects of their jobs no longer suited them.

One of the biggest reasons employees left their jobs was dissatisfaction with how they were treated during the pandemic. In addition, reduced salaries, overtime shifts, and the absence of work-life balance added to this dissatisfaction.

This made employees realize that it is better to chase opportunities and careers where they are in control of their situation. As the number of remote jobs and freelance opportunities grew, people found it easier to quit their jobs and start over in a place where they could find work-life balance and control their work style.

One of the biggest motivations behind the Great Resignation Movement was the dread of being hopelessly unemployed again.

Some other prevalent reasons for The Great Resignation are:

  • Demand for flexible and remote work policies
  • Job burnout
  • Need for competitive and stable compensation
  • Absence of work-life balance
  • Lack of learning opportunities for career advancement
  • Lack of appreciation for the work done
  • Toxic and rigid corporate culture

What Is the Impact of Great Resignation on the Recruiters?

All thanks to The Great Resignation, potential new hires now have expectations and requirements that need to be fulfilled before they accept a new position.

As a recruiter, this involves improving employee treatment and workplace culture. It also implies that you must consider the newfound leverage that employees have during the hiring process.

You need to tell potential employees that your company has a good work environment with lots of opportunities to learn and grow. Also, showing individuals that you can be flexible to meet their needs and offer a competitive salary and benefits package can help a lot.

Some argue that compensation is the most important part of this debate. Salary and benefits can sometimes make or break a candidate’s decision to take a new job. But in other situations, things like hybrid or remote work environments, opportunities for skill advancement, a welcoming workplace culture, free health care, and more leaves seal the deal.


The Great Resignation has created an environment in which companies must raise their game, streamline their end-to-end recruitment process, and improve their offerings in order to attract and keep great people. At its root, the only way to halt the Great Resignation is to provide employees with a great place to work. It requires companies to relook at their messaging, positioning, and whether they are taking steps enough to back it up.


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