Employers urged to step up as pandemic sees more resigning

Source: 1News

Experts are warning the "great resignation" is about to hit New Zealand's shores, with more Kiwis thinking about leaving their jobs in the wake of the pandemic.

The movement started overseas, and now employers here are being forced to pull out all the stops in order to attract staff.

One of those is Wānaka resident Ben Faulker.

Faulker loves the adventure lifestyle Wānaka has to offer, but now he's setting off on a new professional adventure -retraining from land surveyor to become a teacher.

"I see myself as a bit of a kid on the inside," he told 1News.

"It's an important part of society and passing on some knowledge to kids I think will be really rewarding."

But Faulker's not the only one, with many around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic taking a similar path in what's been dubbed the "great resignation".

"Time is limited and you've got to pursue things you want to do and, yeah, having that time to kind of have a bit of time off work to think about what I really want to do."

AUT Business School's Jarrod Haar told 1News the number of people who are highly motivated to leave their job has risen from about a third in May last year to 52 per cent.

"So half the workforce is seriously considering leaving their job. If I was an employer I would be in a panic state," Haar said.

It's thought the Covid-19 pandemic has made people want to see what else is out there.

"New opportunities, something fresh, something that does something more meaningful for people, and ideally with some more money," Haar said.

Research from AUT shows the professions most likely to consider leaving are labourers, health, support services and retail.

The "big quit" means recruiters are flat out during what's usually a quiet time of year, and are seeing aggressive tactics from employers.

"The desperation factor is high at times," Frog Recruitment's Shannon Barlow said.

The onus is now on the employer to sell themselves to current and future staff, rather than the other way around.

"Really engaging with your employees, finding out what's important to them and not just guessing, really taking the opportunity to bring some of the positives and initiatives they might've brought in through lockdown," Barlow advised.