Turning the ‘great resignation’ into the ‘great attraction’ for the tech industry

​Over the past few months there have been countless articles on Australia’s ‘great resignation’. Many have debated if and when it will happen, why it will happen, and how Aussie businesses can stay ahead of it. Movement of talent in such volumes causes huge disruption, is costly and will generate organisational change whether you want it or not. We wanted to break down what the tech industry is already experiencing and how employers can switch from the ‘great resignation’ to the ‘great attraction’.

What’s going on?

Australia has now been locked down from the rest of the world since March 2020. We have all had to change the way we work and live. Working from home is the new norm and businesses have had to fast-track their approach to flexibility. We saw a candidate shortage due to border closures with tech companies ramping up their benefits and perks to draw in top candidates. For the first time in a long time, candidates were in the driver’s seat. Now, on the announcement of borders opening, vaccine targets being reached, and life slowly returning back to somewhat normal, people have had a chance to stop and think about what they really want from their careers. Here we have ‘the great resignation’. According to research from Microsoft, more than 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their current jobs. People are wanting less responsibility and less stress, and more freedom to do things that they love.We are predicting a surge of candidates hitting the market in the new year.

Here at Talent, we are finding that the average tech candidate is now receiving 2.9 offers and are on average in process for 5.6 different roles. Candidates that were nervous a few months ago to look at new opportunities due to NSW lockdown, are now starting to consider these. As a result, the number of roles placed is increasing across both contract and permanent positions. In September Talent saw a 20% increase in roles placed compared to March, when we released our Global Digital and Tech Hiring Market Snapshot Report, which was a previous high. The market is now beyond hot, it is going nuclear.

The local market however is still strongly constrained by supply, and therefore shortages are increasing, and it will take 6 months to a year for immigration to begin to have an impact even once borders reopen. The impact of this is that contract rates and salaries for new roles are rising, which only makes moving jobs more attractive – in fact never has there been a better time to consider a move. However, in saying this, salary is normally not the top priority as to why talent may want to leave a role.

As we move into a new world of work where compassion, innovation and sustainability matter more, organisations driven by a clear, strong purpose benefit from higher productivity and growth rates, along with a more satisfied and engaged workforce that stays with the company for longer. In a recent survey that Talent conducted on contractor wellbeing, 1 in 4 contractors don’t feel their wellbeing is supported. So, the question needs to be asked of these big businesses, what are you doing to make your people feel that you truly care about them, both permanent employees and contractors?

On the flipside there are many companies who are putting in huge efforts to retain their people, and it’s paying off for them. We are seeing an increase in appetite for organisations to review their EVP’s, perks and benefits packages, parental leave schemes, offering wellbeing days, and aggressive short-term measures such as massive counter offers (as high as 40% or $100k more).

What does post-pandemic look like?

Although many companies have produced good results throughout the lockdown, we predict many will pay a big price unless they look at both their recruitment and retention strategies with equal focus. At the centre of both is your EVP which needs to align with what outcomes you are looking to achieve as a business. Those that focus on the strength of their brand, at both a market & employer level, will be the ones most desirable in market from a recruitment and retention perspective.

The biggest thing the past 18 months has proved was that more leaders need to start listening to their people and really getting to the bottom of what is making them feel happy in their roles. True leaders will stand out from the rest of the pack, and like a moth to a flame top candidates will be looking at wanting to work with them.

Let’s also not forget a killer ESG strategy is going to work wonders in retaining talent. For the Millennials and Gen Z team members, having a strong ESG plan is a core deciding factor when looking at joining an organisation, and with research from PwC revealing that millennials will be making up 75% of the workforce by 2025, there is no time like now to start putting this as a focus for your business.

Let’s talk our top 3

So, if you are keen to stay ahead of the game there are three key themes that we have identified that businesses will need to address. These are:

  • By being disconnected from the office, do what you can to show your appreciation of your team members. Everyone enjoys recognition especially in times of hardship and change. When designing your return to the office plans, do this in partnership with your teams – our advice is slow and steady will win the race!

  • Opportunities to progress or move laterally have been hampered considerably, so you may need to look at how you want to address this.

  • Reviewing your team’s salaries. If you have been making big counter offers to people looking to leave, those that have been loyal are going to find out. The stats show 30% of people considering a move give the reason they haven’t received a pay rise and that a whopping 47% would move for more money.

There is no escaping this, businesses and leaders will be tested, people’s mindsets are shifting so how you stack up against your competition will work wonders for the road ahead.