The Great Resignation is here

This time last year, we had lived through a month of nationwide lockdown and we quietly celebrated our team staying  intact, and even managed to adapt and expand our services into Australia and throughout New Zealand. Well, now, after this year, we’re a nation of lockdown experts.

2021 was understandably a year of a tight candidate market. This has kept our team even busier. The Great Resignation trend is sweeping through New Zealand and as an employer, it has accelerated change. “​​The pandemic accelerated the pace of change and has put the question of how we work at the centre of family life, society and economies around the world,” says Charlotte Lockhart of 4 Day Work Week Global.

Six years ago, entrepreneur Dan Price made what some called a grave mistake by raising the starting salary of all of his employees to $70,000USD. Six years later, the company’s revenue tripled, they are a Harvard Business School case study and employees had a 10x boom in homes bought. Price notes, “When you pay people more, their productivity goes up. Not because they’re more motivated, that’s the misnomer, but because their capability increases, they have less stress, they have less pressure, and they can focus more on their work, and they have an increased sense of licence.”

We are hearing from our candidates that they expect more from their employment packages. Whether it is perks to help their at-home office setup, hybrid working arrangements or some other benefit that helps them feel happy in their work, it is important to create an offer that addresses your employee’s overall sense of wellbeing.

With the activity we have been experiencing, we predict good candidate movement in the market  through the first quarter of  2022. It is well documented that the “new year, new you” phenomenon will hit hard, so businesses need to be prepared for how they deal with hiring and retention.

Hiring Hints

Candidates are less interested in cool perks and more interested in work flexibility, a fair salary, and company culture. If your industry allows it, creating a work-from-home or a hybrid model with flexible hours is important to attract top talent. It allows for work-life balance and allows employees to feel autonomous and trusted.

Candidates are also keen to understand the culture and atmosphere from the offset. A Glassdoor survey demonstrated that 69% of respondents were more likely to apply for a role if the company was active online, providing regular updates, reviews, and information about the company culture. Candidates were less likely to consider a job if there is a lot of negative feedback from employees  online.

Retention Rates

The top reasons New Zealand talent is leaving work comes down to three main reasons:

  1. Lack of pay rise: To help employees stay motivated and loyal, an annual pay increase is vital. Are there areas you can cut back on to pay staff more? If raises are challenging for budget purposes, smaller bonuses throughout the year are important. Don’t forget about benefits and pension packs.
  2. Unclear career growth: In addition to regular feedback, growth is imperative through upskilling which will, ultimately help the business grow and succeed. Candidates should know from the offset they will be able to join regular conferences, learn new skills, and whether payment plans for further education are offered.
  3. Not feeling appreciated: Offer incentives for reaching targets that employers can enjoy outside work, do team wellness days, spend time volunteering, celebrate accomplishments on social media, write sincere cards, and host events.


2022 is expected to be another year of changing careers. Employees are aware of a large number of jobs available and with so much choice, know that they should not settle. Employers must keep up with trends and offer the right balance to hire and retain the top talent.

Great Resignation, Jobs, Workplace