You may have read or heard about the current concept of the “great resignation” but wondered what it is all about. What this term means is that employers are suffering from a previously unseen number of resignations that appear to have aligned itself with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic time period. This is causing great stress amongst Hiring Managers, as they find it difficult to generate candidates for their vacancies. The situation compounds itself with a revolving door of departures, creating an even greater labor need. 

Many Hiring Managers find themselves in a demanding situation because they are desperate to hire new personnel but then also “gun shy” about the possibility of hiring someone who is not going to stick with the company. The scenario of spiraling resignations seems to be especially prevalent with younger employees or those who are working remotely. For whatever reason, these groups appear to have fewer qualms with leaving their employer. This is where you can come in, during the phone screen or job interview, and convince the Hiring Manager that these concerns should not be projected on to you. In other words, take advantage of the “great resignation” for your own benefit.

So, what can you do to differentiate yourself from other candidates during this “great resignation” time period and take advantage of the current situation:

• Stress Your Loyalty – Hiring Managers have adjusted their definition of “long-term” period to be measured more in terms of years, rather than decades. So, if they think you are going to stay at least a few years, most likely they will be satisfied. It will help if, on your resume, you have some employer tenure that matches this mindset. If not, you are going to have to verbally convince that you are staying and the reason this job will be different. 

• Take Advantage of Willingness to Train – A few years ago, it would be almost unheard of for an employer to take the time and spend the money to train a new hire. With the “great resignation” and fewer overall candidates, Hiring Managers are more willing to consider this type of situation. This allows you to expand out the positions that you are applying for, in hope that you can receive some job training from the prospective company. You therefore don’t have to feel obligated to hit every item you read on the job posting. The key is to stress how you have picked things up quickly in the past and communicate how eager you are to learn.

• Demonstrate Your Maturity – One of the unfortunate items being seen by Hiring Managers during the “great resignation” is a sizable increase in professional immaturity by departing employees. This has been seen in a lack of notice being given and a general disinterest in helping the employer transition to someone else. If you are currently employed, make sure you casually bring up in the interview, your need to give a professional notice period and how important it is to you. 

• If Vaccinated…Communicate It – Hiring Managers are fatigued with having to follow whether government mandates will apply, will their employer issue a mandate…quite honestly anything COVID-19 related has been a managerial headache. Vaccination status and COVID-19 has caused many employees to resign their current positions. During the hiring conversation, work in how you are vaccinated, and you just may see the interviewer openly sigh with relief that there will be one less thing to worry about with you.

• Be Flexible – This nature of this tip really depends on the type of position you are seeking but consider some of the options. Communicate to the Hiring Manager that you are comfortable working on-site or remotely (or a combination). In this time of most every organization being short-handed, stress how you are interested in being cross-trained so that you can assist other areas when they need extra support. 

The ”great resignation” is a relatively recent phenomenon causing savvy job seekers to pivot and review their messaging to Hiring Managers to make sure any on-going concerns are being addressed. The good news for job seekers is that this situation has forced Hiring Managers to start looking more at the candidate and their overall attributes both as an employee and a person rather than just a skills check. To take advantage of this change, during your interactions with the Hiring Manager make sure you stress your desire to stay an extended time period and grow with the organization.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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