The Great Resignation II: Winning the war on talent

The Great Resignation II: Winning the war on talent

“The Great Resignation” dominated global headlines towards the end of 2021. As the perceived severity of Covid-19 decreased, firms across multiple industries began rebuilding after a turbulent period of uncertainty. Nearly 4.5 million Americans switched careers in February and this trend shows no evidence of slowing. 

There have been plenty of conversations about what has contributed to the so-called mass exoduses. We have focused on the strategies firms are adopting in order to attract the best talent and what individuals are prioritising when assessing new opportunities. 

Prioritising searches 

A clear hiring strategy has always been vital regardless of geopolitical factors. As the employment market has gone into overdrive, this strategy has become more critical than ever. Pre-covid it was common practice for firms to have multiple openings across their business which at times became difficult to manage. This would often put strain on talent acquisition teams and in turn create delays in processes resulting in increased frustration from candidates. With an abundance of career opportunities available, individuals are being more thorough and precise when assessing companies. They are conducting deep-dive analysis on company websites, ESG strategy, reputation, and the interview processes. Business reputation is more critical than ever, organizations which are having the most success in attracting the best talent are prioritizing hiring, streamlining their hiring and interview practices, and minimizing delays.

Process efficiency  

Over the past 3-6 months we have had a tremendous amount of success placing individuals into trading and analytics, principal investments, and middle office positions with organisations that have prioritized their searches and streamlined their hiring processes. Outside of C-Suite hiring we have witnessed a significant decrease in the duration of hiring processes. Searches which would typically have taken 6-8 weeks to complete have been drastically shortened to under a month.  

There is no denying Covid has had a significant impact on how firms co-ordinate their hiring and interview processes. The most significant change we have witnessed is the adoption and increased reliance on video conferencing. The firms that are gaining a significant advantage in securing the best talent have been able to fast-track their interview processes by condensing what was traditionally a high number of face-to-face interviews over several weeks, into shorter length back-to-back video calls over a couple of days. In the candidate led market we are currently operating in; an ambiguous process can often deter candidates from accepting an offer. Slow feedback, poor and inefficient scheduling and unclear timelines are all components that individuals are assessing when deciding to accept or reject an offer.

Clear role definition 

It has been widely publicized that during Covid-related lockdowns, millions of Americans have taken time to revaluate their professional careers. We have seen individuals switch roles within their current business, seek new jobs and in some cases completely change industries and career paths. When speaking with candidates across the market, decision making is driven by how clearly a specific role is defined and what type of career progression a business can offer. Individuals are seeking opportunities that allow for personal development, but more importantly they want to feel that their contribution adds significant value to the business. As an example, we have seen that the growth of smaller platforms with significant PE backing can offer potential hires a far broader role than a traditional investment. Given the competition for high performing talent, it is important that employers are mapping out and defining clear expectations for new team members upon entering the business. 

Remuneration, flexibility, and benefits 

Mental health has been a significant topic during the pandemic particularly when hiring and retaining staff. Offering flexibility has been an effective way for businesses to attract (and retain) staff. Individuals have relished the opportunity to develop a better work/life balance and in cases spend more time with their family. We have seen businesses adopt different working from home strategies from 3-2, 4-1 and in some cases, a completely remote workforce.  

Whilst The Great Resignation is by no means a permanent phenomenon, it has caused various businesses across the commodities space to restructure key aspects of the hiring lifecycle to ensure they continue to attract the best individuals in the market.  

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and developments taking place across the commodities supply chain space. Proco Commodities remains available to discuss any of the ideas mentioned above and how we can help your business grow by finding the best talent. For more insights, visit  

by Edward Sciclunaview my profile

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