In today’s candidate market, significant hiring shortages persist, resulting in employees keeping the upper hand.  

Now, the trend is “Quiet Quitting.” Each of these phrases describes patterns among employees, which are greatly shifting the hiring landscape. 

How do the Great Resignation and quiet quitting impact staffing companies? And what can you do to be proactive?

What is the Great Resignation? How is it related to quiet quitting? 

Coined in 2021 by Texas A&M professor Anthony Klotz, the great resignation refers to the record number of employees who are quitting their jobs. In the U.S., over 47 million employees had quit, compared to only 37.7 million employees in 2017. 

Workers leave their jobs due to factors such as culture, work schedules, wages, and lack of opportunity for advancement.  

The Great Resignation looks different depending on industry and age demographic. When layoffs happened in 2020, many Baby Boomers were incentivized to retire early. Meanwhile, Gen Z employees are looking for work-life balance and pay increases. 

Most of those workers who quit? They’re still at work—just up the ladder. The shortage of candidates in the marketplace means more room for employees to seek out other opportunities. 

Today, industry experts diverge in opinion over whether the Great Resignation is showing signs of slowing down. On the one hand, unemployment is down and many employees fear leaving their jobs amid the ongoing rise of inflation. On the other, an average of 4 million Americans are still quitting their jobs each month, with many citing inflation as a cause for seeking higher wages. 

Some employees who remain in their positions are engaging in quiet quitting. This refers to when employees only do the minimum amount of work expected in their job. Quiet quitting isn’t quitting at all, but it can be better understood as a drop in employee engagement—which coincided with the rise in resignations. According to Gallup, this accounts for about half of the U.S. workforce.

What impact does the great resignation have on the staffing industry? 

The Great Resignation has brought some good news for the staffing industry: as workers leave their jobs and hiring continues to be competitive, many companies seek out temporary/contract workers to fill key functions. This means more job orders for your staffing firm as well as more opportunities for temporary and contract employees. 

The great resignation affects your permanent office staff as well as your temporary/contract workers. Consider how you can center employee wellbeing for each of the employee groups you serve. 

Quiet quitting—or low employee engagement—is something you can combat by keeping in touch with your temporary workers. With TempWorks, you can use your employee engagement mobile app, Buzz, to keep your team connected with your workers. You can also take advantage of our integrations to automate messaging.

What steps can my staffing business take to combat the great resignation and quiet quitting? 

Prioritize employee wellbeing. Whether it’s your permanent staff or your temporary/contract employees, you are more likely to retain workers when they feel supported personally and professionally. 

Evaluate your pay rates to ensure they’re competitive—especially amid rising inflation. Often, it costs you more to lose and replace workers than it would to increase their pay. 

Match employees with jobs that fit their schedule. It goes without saying that you should assign an employee to a job that matches their availability. Today, though, employees are looking for greater flexibility—one of the driving forces in resignations.  

Arm yourself with a strong tech stack to boost your recruitment and retention efforts. 

  • For example, with voice and text automation, your team can stay in touch with temporary workers about new job opportunities before their current assignment ends, reducing the likelihood that they would leave you for a competitor. 
  • Messaging tools can also help you keep in touch with new hires, too. When you keep employees engaged, they are less likely to ghost or quiet quit. 

Support temporary workers in finding their next assignment before their current contract ends. This is another area where it’s important to have the right technology tools at your disposal. In Beyond, TempWorks users can view employees whose assignments are close to expiring. Then, using our AI resume matching feature, you can match the employee with a new assignment—increasing your retention while helping them maintain a steady paycheck.

Want to learn more about how TempWorks can support your staffing agency during challenging economic times? Schedule a demo today.


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