Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
The UK Careers Fair logo
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
exhibit with usget a ticket

How to Retain Junior Talent During ‘The Great Resignation’

Anisha Vaswani

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Big Quit, or what economists have termed ‘the Great Resignation’, has been a prominent trend in the labour market with employees voluntarily leaving their jobs at higher rates than seen before. In the UK, around 2.9% of the workforce have quit their jobs in the past few months, whilst 38% of surveyed workers plan on quitting in the next six months to a year, despite it being a time of financial uncertainty and employers complaining of labour shortages.

This has indicated a sharp, permanent shift in the workforce dynamic. The root cause of these shocking figures can be boiled down to two main factors. Firstly, the pandemic offered workers the time to reflect on the lack of fulfilment and exploitation they were enduring in their office static 9-5 jobs. For many, this signified a shift in priorities, with many chasing after a ‘dream job’ with more flexibility and independence from their employer. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the pandemic served as a reminder of the way in which employees want to be treated by employers, particularly in a time of global and personal difficulty. With firms struggling to maintain retention rates, it is therefore crucial to understand what junior and mid-career employees are looking for in their careers moving forward.

A common desire for junior employees has been that of ‘embeddedness’ in the workplace. This includes an individual’s compatibility with a company’s values and work culture. The pandemic, which served as a “turnover shock” for many, shed light on the social and human rights risks of corporations. For a majority of young employees, a firm’s social reputation is now more important than salary or prestige and is often a ground breaker in their job search.

This notion of turnover shock also relates to the relationships employees have with colleagues, as well as the sacrifices they make for their jobs. This includes how many hours employees work overtime, the mental wellbeing as well as the personal time they sacrifice in doing so. Simply put, junior employees no longer live to work, but instead value their individual time, values and wellbeing above the profit of their employer. It is important, therefore, that employees are not expected to sacrifice personal boundaries in the workplace. Companies such as Patagonia have increasingly understood the importance of this and have proven that this is key to maintaining junior talent.

Patagonia has been considered a part of the 100 best companies to work for, for over six years now, and has surprisingly maintained high retention rates even after the pandemic. The three attributes of Patagonia’s work culture that have made them successful as such are flexibility, work-life balance and their unique hiring process. Patagonia not only offers 15 different schedules for their warehouse employees and retail employees, but has also implemented a three day weekend every other week for their corporate employees.

This has meant that employees not only have happier and healthier personal lives, but this also bleeds into increased productivity at work and higher performing teams. Moreover, there is a conscious effort to ensure employees are not only good for business, but also that they are a good cultural fit for the office. This has resulted in Patagonia achieving a high-functioning team of happier and more fulfilled workers with a much lower intent-to-quit rate than would be expected of a business in 2021.

Simply put, in order to maintain retention rates, firms must look to make the following changes in the workplace; genuine work-life balance, work from home and schedule flexibility, and prioritisation of employee mental health over profit and productivity.

Upcoming Events

Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.

Bolton Careers Fair
March 29, 2023
Swindon Careers Fair
March 29, 2023
Sheffield Careers Fair
March 30, 2023
Birmingham Careers Fair
March 31, 2023
Plymouth Careers Fair
April 5, 2023
Hull Careers Fair
April 11, 2023
Leicester Careers Fair
April 12, 2023
Peterborough Careers Fair
April 12, 2023
Canterbury Careers Fair
April 13, 2023
Ipswich Careers Fair
April 13, 2023
Oxford Careers Fair
April 14, 2023
Milton Keynes Careers Fair
April 14, 2023
Sunderland Careers Fair
April 18, 2023
Stirling Careers Fair
April 18, 2023
Nottingham Careers Fair
April 19, 2023
Aberdeen Careers Fair
April 19, 2023
Dundee Careers Fair
April 20, 2023
Rotherham Careers Fair
April 20, 2023
Leeds Careers Fair
April 21, 2023
Perth Careers Fair
April 21, 2023
Durham Careers Fair
April 25, 2023
Bournemouth Careers Fair
April 26, 2023
Preston Careers Fair
April 26, 2023
Bristol Careers Fair
April 27, 2023
Derby Careers Fair
April 27, 2023
Manchester Careers Fair
April 28, 2023
Stoke-on-Trent Careers Fair
August 2, 2023