This article was originally posted on University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development blog on November 17, 2021.

According to the Job Turnover and Labor Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 24, 2021), over 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021! While comparing this data to previous years, the number of quits has more than doubled since 2011. Also, according to a 2016 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, the cost to hire is $4,129 per employee and the average time to fill a job is 42 days. 

With quits on the rise and high costs associated with turnover, the big questions people ask us all the time are why are employees leaving their jobs and what can we do to prevent it?

When employees leave a job, it might not always be because of pay. It could be more of a burnout, stress, or quality of life issue. Employers must address the root causes of burnout, stress, and quality of life in their organization if they want to have any chance at retaining talented workforce in the years to come. Currently the Baby Boomer Generation is heading towards retirement and the Generation Z is entering the workforce. The Generation Z workforce has high work nurturing expectations. If the employers do not adapt to the needs of the Generation Z workforce, quits will continue in this upward trend.

Our staffing agency isn’t a stranger to recruitment and retention challenges. We actively listen to our employees and clients and continually fine tune our approaches. Here are some tips to stay ahead of recruitment and prevent the Great Resignation:

Recruiting Tips:

  • Tap into the stay-at-home parent who is looking to re-enter the workforce with a flexible schedule or remote workplace.
  • Audit your employer brand – now may be a good time to analyze what people say and see about your company’s brand. Is it time to update your social media and website design or copy? Are you asking people to review your business online? If your feedback is subpar, address those issues to see how you can improve your brand. Generation Z is researching all social media pages before applying and they are heavily tuned into video messaging.
  • Offer new hire and referral incentives – According to Matt Lozar of Haley Marketing (July 7, 2021), job seekers are searching for the term “hiring bonus” 134% more in June 2021 as compared to January 2021 on That means candidates are prioritizing jobs in which companies offer hiring bonuses.
  • Revamp your job descriptions
    • Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and ask yourself what would make you apply for the position? If you offer remote/hybrid work schedule, flexible hours, or a strong benefits structure, put that in your job ad description.
    • Candidates do not want to read 15 bullet points of job responsibilities and requirements. When writing the details for your job descriptions, keep them simpler and prioritize only the most important details. During the interview, you can review the additional job details.
  • – use this website to compare different job titles to see which is trending highest for Google searches.

Retention Tricks:

  • Survey your employees – find out their wants and needs, and try to meet them in the middle
  • Inclusion – employees want to be part of the company growth and want to know where the company is going so involve them when creating a strategic plan. Their input will give employees some ownership and add to company value.
  • Develop an internship program – partner with a local college or high school that provides career advice and work experience to the up-and-coming workforce.
  • Develop your staff – they want to learn and grow to stay competitive in the global market. According to Tim Minahan’s article at the Harvard Business Review (May 31, 2021), 82% of employees want their employer to prioritize development. Examples of development could include encouraging employees to apply for local leadership programs, offering course certifications, and educational expense reimbursement.
  • Revamp your benefits package – look at adding more paid time off, add floating holidays, a 36-hour work week, and a retention bonus structure.

Works Citation

Bialy, B. & Lozar, M. (Hosts). (2021, July 7). Creating Urgency for Your Job Listings (No. 138). [Audio Podcast Episode]. In Insights: Secrets of Staffing Success. Haley Marketing.

Minahan, Tim. (2021, May 31). What Your Future Employees Want Most. Harvard Business Review.

Society for Human Resource Management. (2016, November). 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Retrieved Oct 24, 2021, from

We’d love to continue this conversation with you. Contact us today to see how our staffing services can support your business’ goals.