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6 Ways to Find New Employees During the “Great Resignation”

One of the lingering outcomes of the pandemic is a dwindling workforce, where it has become increasingly difficult for companies to find, attract and retain employees.  This trend is being referred to by some as the “Great Resignation” and the numbers support the term. For example:

  • On average, 4 million Americans are quitting their jobs each month in 2022 (4.2 million+ left in August 2022).
  • Throughout 2021, an average of 3.98 million workers left their jobs every single month, with 4.5 million in November.
  • Over 47 million Americans left their jobs by the end of 2021.
  • 40% of employees have thought about leaving their jobs in 2022.

There are a number of new and creative things that small and medium-sized companies can and should do to find employees for even the hardest-to-fill roles (especially considering that the cost to replace an employee is 2x their salary).

As a small or medium-sized business, here are some approaches you might find to be effective.

READ — The Great Resignation’s Untapped Talent: The Autism Community

Remote & Hybrid Roles

As a result of the pandemic and technology, remote work has become more of the norm in the modern world and an increasing number of employees want to work remotely.  It’s up to employers to determine how they can best accommodate this desire (demand) and identify jobs that can be done remotely without affecting overall production and morale.  It’s a tricky balance, but if done correctly it will help your business to succeed, both in attracting and retaining quality employees from across the world and generating profits.

Leveraging the Gig Economy

Not all of the roles within a company need to be full-time positions, yet many small and medium-sized businesses continue to maintain a full-time staff, regardless of productivity.  Not only is this difficult to do, but it’s costly.  There are millions of consultants who are populating the gig economy (independent contractors who are experts in their field) and can provide companies with the service they need, on a part-time basis, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.  They are also easier to find and hire for a specific amount of time.

Employee Referral Programs

Some of your company’s best resources for engaging and hiring outstanding new employees are probably employed by you right now.  There’s a reason you hired your current team and they undoubtedly have a network of friends, family members and colleagues who could be outstanding candidates to fill positions with your company.  Some of the ways to leverage this network is with incentives and bonuses for your current team to make introductions to your company via social media or personal introductions.

Networking Strategy

It’s important to maintain a networking strategy to engage and attract new employees.  The employee referral program is one component of this strategy (see above).  Additional forms of networking include:

  • Sharing exciting news about your company with others via social media with rhetoric that encourages people to find out more.
  • Hosting coffees, luncheons or other social events to familiarize others with your business.
  • Attending community events and business functions.
  • Visiting local non-profits and offering to host a “career day” at a local high school or community college.

READ — Five Common Networking Mistakes Made by Executives

Partnerships with Diverse Chambers of Commerce

Local chambers continue to be a great resource for finding quality employees, as they actively host events to bring people together.  Don’t overlook this tried-and-true network.  Pay for a company membership and stay active by hosting your own events, offering to be a mentor to members of the chamber and getting to know other members.

Hire Workers Over 50 

There is a vast pool of outstanding employees who are plus-50 years old.  In a world seemingly dominated by tech-savvy youth, older workers have more real world and professional experience, are quick learners and bring the maturity and professionalism required to help a company succeed.  Don’t fall victim to “ageism”, just because a young candidate knows all about the latest fads.

A tight labor market is here to stay, which means leaders can’t rely on the old playbook for finding and hiring new employees.  It’s more important than ever that small and medium-sized companies utilize innovative methods to find new employees.


Griffen O'Shaughnessy
Griffen O’Shaughnessy
Chelle Johnson
Chelle Johnson

Griffen O’Shaughnessy is the Founder & CEO of Canopy Advisory Group and Chelle Johnson is the Talent & Professional Development Expert at Canopy Advisory Group.