The Impending Talent Surge

Talent Tidal Wave

When the pandemic finally lifts, it appears at least one thing will return to normal—a competitive labor market. Below are early warning signs of a building talent surge of voluntary turnover that will likely hit organizations later this year.

Turnover tsunami” is how SHRM described this potential wave of post-pandemic job hopping.

  • More than half of workers are expected to look for new jobs in 2021, according to one of the studies SHRM cited. And separate research found a quarter of employees plan to leave their job outright when the dust settles.

A confluence of factors are leading employees to consider jumping ship when the pandemic ends.

  • Pent-up energy. COVID put a damper on turnover rates as income stability became a top concern. But analysts at the Workforce Institute expect the labor market in the latter half of 2021 to pick up right where it left off.
  • Chronic burnout. The majority of respondents in one of the two surveys cited by SHRM reported burnout as a major factor in their plans to quit this year. Of all who were polled, 57% said they were burnout.
  • Hybrid expectations. In a survey conducted by Envoy, 47% of respondents said they’ll likely leave their job if remote work isn’t an option. And 41% would be willing to take a slightly lower salary if offered a hybrid arrangement.
  • Virtual mobility. As we’ve noted before, a geographic talent migration is underway. Workers are seizing the WFA opportunity to move out of the city and into communities with lower costs of living and higher quality of life.
  • Economy positivity. Goldman Sachs is also bullish on a hiring boom—thanks to a predicted rebound in pandemic-stricken industries and a workforce that built a significant savings safety net while stuck at home. 

Bottom line: It’s looking like the candidate-driven market of 2019 will be back with a vengeance. Employers that start preparing now will be ready for the talent surge. Those that don’t may find themselves upended. 

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