The Great Resignation- What is it and How Could it Impact You?

You may have seen ‘The Great Resignation’ mentioned in the news and on social media a lot recently and wondered what it was all about. So, what is The Great Resignation and how did it start?  A key trigger has been the pandemic and the result of lockdowns, furlough, delayed graduations, and burnout which mean there is now a skill shortage of workers, creating huge demand for employees. This demand for employees means that the boot is now on the other foot and employees are once again in control of the labour market. At a time where people are reassessing their career, work-life balance and want to move roles now the pandemic is more stable, there are an abundance of options to change roles, creating “The Great Resignation”.

Why are more people resigning than ever before?

The individual reasons for resigning from their roles are varied. Many saw this as an opportunity for:

  • More autonomy
  • A wage increase
  • Better work-life balance
  • Change in career path

The pandemic brought about one key factor that made all these reasons more accessible, remote working.

Remote working is a flexible working arrangement, allowing employees to work from a remote location. This means that employees don’t need to work in the traditional office location and can effectively work from anywhere, opening more available roles across the globe.  For employees, this is great news for some but not for others. Like anything, there are people much happier with this working arrangement due to increased autonomy and flexibility. Although, there are other people who prefer the benefits of office working and couldn’t wait to get back to the office once the restrictions were over.

Furthermore, people aren’t just resigning from their roles and entering similar roles in the same industry. After resigning, people are making very different life choices. Individuals are having “Pandemic epiphanies” which include changing industries, becoming self-employed or even taking early retirement. The pandemic has made people realise that life is too short to be unhappy in their role and have looked to make better life choices for themselves.

Who are most likely to resign during this period?

There is no one-for-all character description of an employee looking to resign during this period. Fortunately, there is some data that suggests it is a younger generation that are more likely to be resigning during this period. There is a staggering statistic that suggests that 77% of 25–34-year-olds are actively looking to change jobs in the next year. Similarly, 74% of 18-24 years olds are aspiring to be in a new position within the next year.

However, it is certainly not just those employees in the early years of their careers looking for change. The number of CEO’s employed in the first 6 months of 2021 jumped to 103 according to Heidrick and Struggles[i], more than doubling the 49 CEO’s employed in the entirety of 2020.

How long will the great resignation last?

Sadly, nobody knows how long The Great Resignation will last. Will people settle down in their roles or has the labour market changed forever? What we do know is that many people have been switching roles to suit their work-life balance, including a larger switch to flexible working and WFH (Working from Home). This includes a lot of people that have now switched jobs to a situation that suits them and have a strong appetite to remain in that role once they’re happy with their working environment. This could possibly suggest that people will now be happy and settle in their roles, however data from the last quarter of 2021 shows that the Great Resignation is still very much alive. In October 2021, nearly 3% of the entire workforce resigned from their roles, surpassing a record high from September 2021. The Great Resignation may continue into 2022 and should be monitored carefully in the near future.

How will the Great Resignation impact you?

The Great Resignation will have affected you already, even if you haven’t realised. It could be longer supply chain waits, difficulty filling roles or even less options due to many businesses struggling to survive the pandemic. It will have even affected your everyday life with restaurants reducing their capacities and extended delivery times on parcels due to businesses struggling with staffing issues.

There are record number of job vacancies in the UK, over 1,247,000 according to ONS(2022). Is this number of vacancies a good thing or a bad thing? Well, it depends on your situation. If you’re a recruitment firm, then you will be very happy with this shift. With more vacancies and people looking for new careers, the options are limitless. However, some industries are really struggling to fill roles and it is having a real affect. The hospitality industry has had a real shock, with the sector having the most vacancies per 100 workers. This will have an impact on the current employees, having to work longer hours to fill in for the vacancies. Unfortunately, a spiral affect could occur with those unhappy employees subsequently looking for a change in job/sector.

How to stop the Great Resignation from having a last effect on your business?

The Great Resignation must be something that businesses consider when making important decisions involving employees. There should now be a greater emphasis on employee support and benefits and business decisions should prove this to your employees. If there was a one-for-all answer to this question, there would no longer be” The Great Resignation”, but there is a lot out there that businesses can do to try and retain their staff.

The obvious way to try and retain staff is to increase the wages of your staff members. When fighting for employees, a higher-than-average wage is probably the greatest incentive you can offer.  Most employees will be tempted by a larger wage if it was offered a competitor, so increasing their wages first is a way to solve this issue from occurring in the near future. An example of this is Sainsbury’s increasing their wage to at least £10 an hour. This is much larger than minimum wage and means that staff members are likely to stay, whilst employees from competitors will have an increased interest in joining the company. This is vital in the retail industry, which is facing a shortage of employees, with empty shelves up and down the country, which means retaining healthy workforce is key to success.

Of course, wages aren’t the only factor employees appreciate. One of the greatest gifts companies can offer your employees is education and growth. People love to see that there is more beyond the role, whether that is training to become a supervisor, courses to further their knowledge and even complete retraining through degrees for example. Employees appreciate investment into their personal development, and this is one of the ways to create real employee loyalty.

As well as training, being able to offer a range of benefits can be valuable. Options include private healthcare, decent holiday allowance, flexible working hours and even a 4-day week.

For businesses during this period, it is extremely important to remain protected and ensure you are making the best hiring decisions. As it is now the employee’s labour market, people have options so there is a lot of pressure to on board new team members as quickly as possible. If you take too long processing a candidate’s CV, interviewing or even background screening them, they may have already accepted a new role in that time. Which is why your hiring process should be streamlined, to make it as quick as possible so that employees are accepting your roles before, they have even had chance to consider a competitor because they have been too slow.

As part of your onboarding process, Agenda can help you with creating a seamless candidate journey through our friendly and efficient background screening service. Your candidates will be supported throughout the process, and our expert team will carry out checks to the highest quality so that you can be confident in your hiring decisions.  Onboard your perfect candidate and we will take care of verifying their background and providing you with the information as quickly as possible., For a high quality, candidate focused and trusted pre-employment screening service, you’re in safe hands with Agenda.

Should You Screen Applicants Social Media?

Love it or loathe it, social media has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives and transformed how we communicate with each other, and it has also changed the world of recruitment and talent acquisition.

An incredible amount of data can be learned from candidates’ social media platforms, and it can be a temptation for employers to check sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to vet them before hiring. Even the current crop of Love Island contestants have had their social media vetted, according to The Metro.

Social media searches can provide employers with a deeper insight into a candidate they may not get from a CV or interview, but there are some significant risks if these checks are not carried out as part of the formal screening process, and hiring decisions are made using information you are not permitted to use.

A 2018 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 70 per cent of employers use social networks to research candidates during the hiring process and half of those admitted to not employing an applicant based on what they found there.

A report in 2018 stated that 60 per cent of businesses claim not to carry out any social media checks as part of the formal process, which suggests that there are many hiring managers checking candidates social media ‘unofficially’.

If this is correct, then employers need to be careful, as social media searches need to be compliant with discrimination and privacy laws.

There are risks that hiring managers could be making recruitment decisions based on social media checks that are subject to conscious and subconscious bias.

It’s therefore vital that all hiring managers are made aware of what information they can draw on when checking social media networks during the recruitment process, and decisions are based on information found that is revenant to the job role.

HR should also make sure managers are aware of the risks around protected characteristics and sensitive personal data, and have received training on relevant legislation such as the Equality Act and the GDPR.

It is recommended that employers have policies developed on the use of social media in recruitment, and robust equal opportunity and anti-discrimination policies will help reduce any risks.

Candidates should also be informed that a search of social media may be conducted on all applicants before an interview, and their permission obtained, making them aware so they can decide for themselves if they wish to be private or public on their social profiles.

It is important to remember that if a candidate has a social media platform, it was not created for their employers, even if it is public and part of the public domain, and they may not have given permission for it to be used as part of the recruitment process.

Ensure you are clear on the purpose for carrying out social media screening, and that you have a rationale for doing it. Consider what is important to you as an employer and the characteristics that are important to you for the job role.

Using Open Source intelligence techniques (OSINT), Agenda Screening Services uncover the valuable information you need from your candidates online digital footprint, we analyse social media, news, blogs, and publications – without being intrusive.


If you’re interested in outsourcing background checks, then come and speak to us today.

How To Create A Stress-Free Return To The Office

The government has suggested that the work-from-home guidance will be scrapped from 21 June, and bosses calling for employees to return to the workplace may have many people feeling stressed about the prospect of returning to the office.

Whether it’s the commute, trying to squeeze into work-appropriate clothes (goodbye, comfy loungewear), or the thought of dealing with everyone face-to-face again, you would not be the only one with a fear of returning to the office.

We have some tips on how to manage stress as we slowly go back to the office, whether that’s full time, part-time or when employees are ready.

Be prepared and speak to your employer

Speak with your employer and ensure that you have a solid understanding of the COVID-secure guidelines, such as face coverings and social distancing, and what you must do to stay safe in the workplace. Raise any concerns you may have with the guidelines.

Take care of yourself

After a year of anxiety and stress, we must take care and look after ourselves. Take steps to prepare your mind and body for the return to work by adjusting your sleeping and eating patterns to what they would be like if you were already back in the office to ease the transition.

Speak up!

If you feel like you are not coping with stress, anxiety or any other mental health issues, it is important to speak out about it.

Whether it is just a conversation with a friend or colleague, or speaking with a health professional, speaking up can help you get the assistance you need to be your best self.

If you’re starting to recruit people back to the office environment, Agenda Screening Services can provide all the pre-employment checks you need to help create a harmonious and productive office environment!

UK Shortage Occupation List Updated By Government

The UK’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is comprised of those jobs which the government deems to be in short supply in the current labour market. The Home Office therefore considers that migrant workers can be permitted to fill key roles where there aren’t enough adequately skilled UK workers in the candidate pool.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises the government on which occupations are suitable for the SOL, and immigration rules are drawn up accordingly. The latest review took place on the 4 March 2021, and the changes came into effect on 6 April. They are mostly related to work and study routes, but some new jobs have been added as well.

The new roles on the SOL are mainly in the healthcare sector. They include nursing auxiliaries and assistants, physiotherapists, senior care workers, pharmacists, and public health managers and directors. Laboratory technicians have also been added, and skilled chefs have been removed.

As part of the post-Brexit immigration system, a points-based skilled worker route was introduced with effect from 1 January 2021. Most non-UK resident workers must now apply for a visa if they wish to seek employment within the UK. This is known as a Skilled Worker visa.

To be eligible, the candidate must meet strict requirements and attain 70 points, which are acquired through a combination of skills, language ability, and salary. If the role is on the SOL, 20 points can be scored, which would be tradable for a minimum salary reduction.

This is especially welcome in some areas of the care worker sector, where salaries are generally low. A senior care worker could now successfully fill a role under the new rules with a minimum annual salary of £20,440, rather than the higher threshold of £25,600 for occupations not on the SOL.

Agenda Screening can support your right to work checks, as well as all the other necessary pre-employment checks.

Our Team