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The Great Resignation Explained Through Data: How Businesses Can Thrive

It is increasingly well documented that knowledge workers across the country are quitting their jobs. For some, it is a simple burnout, while for others, it is about redefining priorities.

In March 2021, Microsoft Work trend index a report found that 41% of workers globally thought about quit their job. In addition, 54% of those questioned said they were overworked, while 39% said they were exhausted.

Indeed’s findings corroborate this data: “urgent” recruitment needs have increased by 50% since the start of the year. Larger US government trend data also shows that there are not enough workers to fill vacancies across the economy.

Businesses across the country are struggling to hire right now and are seeing workers’ expectations change. Called the “Great Resignation,” this shortage of workers poses unique challenges for businesses and can transform the way our society works in the future.

Braintrust Conclusions: A Labor Market

Braintrust, a network of user-owned talents, made a recent study explore how the needs of knowledge workers align with open roles across the country. They analyzed vacancies at over 600 of the top brands and well-known companies in the United States.

The report examined more than 150,000 open roles of knowledge workers. It shows a median of 66 open positions per company. 6% of businesses need to hire more than 1,000 workers.

A closer look at the situation reveals that technical roles are particularly in demand. Nearly one in three technical positions currently need to be filled in companies across the country.

Competition for knowledge roles and specifically technical roles is high. It is therefore important that your company stands out as an employer with the knowledge workers you already employ. But you also need to understand how to attract the new employees that your growing business will need in the future.

Understanding what knowledge workers want during the Great Resignation

After a year, when everyone’s world was turned upside down, knowledge workers had to adapt. Braintrust surveyed 800 knowledge workers around the world to find out their needs and expectations. Their responses may not be what you would expect.

Only 4% of knowledge workers said traditional benefits like health insurance and 401 (k) are reasons they prefer a full-time job. Instead, more freedom to choose when and how much they work is of greater importance to them in a job. Surprisingly, many do not view full-time employment as safer than self-employment.

While Zoom’s fatigue is real, knowledge workers said the freedom to locate and remote work were most important to them in a job, with 2 out of 3 workers surveyed seeing these issues as their highest priority. Other popular perks include being your own boss, choosing work, and choosing hours.

Three things your business can do to attract knowledge workers

Being an attractive employer during the Great Resignation begins with responding to what knowledge workers want most: freedom. This is not an easy task, as many companies have long-standing structures that blend them with an office culture. However, maintaining the status quo could have devastating effects on your business, because the labor shortage shows no signs of abating.

Here are three ways to tailor your business to attract skilled knowledge workers and overcome the hiring challenges of the Great Resignation.

1. Offer freedom of location

The biggest mismatch, according to Braintrust, is the gap between the roles employers are trying to fill and the worker expectations they seek. While the last year would suggest that more and more companies are starting remotely, only 6% of open knowledge worker positions actually hire remotely first. Since 67% of knowledge workers say they want freedom to locate, the best way to give your business an edge and attract candidates to these high-demand positions is to offer remote roles.

Providing remote jobs is also useful because of the disconnect between where skilled knowledge workers live and where knowledge worker roles need to be filled the most. For example, 29% of open jobs for knowledge workers are in the South. But, the number of remote openings is the smallest in the South. By offering jobs remotely, you can attract some of the best talent from across the country, no matter where you are based. Offering remote positions also shows that your company is listening to and responding to the needs of its employees..

“If you don’t need to bring someone into your office, it opens up the set of people you’re willing to consider for a job,” said Chris Stanton, professor at Harvard Business School, at Braintrust. . “I think this forced experimentation meant that some companies or some executives who didn’t think it would have been possible have now realized that they can achieve different models from what they’ve been through.

2. Give workers more job choices

Another important step in attracting skilled knowledge workers during the Great Resignation is to give employees more freedom to choose their projects or assignments. 47% of knowledge workers surveyed said choosing a job was a major requirement when looking for a job. To attract skilled knowledge workers, make it clear that your company is working alongside employees to ensure that projects assigned to them match their interests.

Giving workers more freedom to choose the projects that interest them will ultimately increase your bottom line. Employees who are genuinely interested in their assignments will be more motivated to excel at their jobs. Management styles that are based on trust and freedom are generally more attractive to knowledge workers who want more choice in their work. These management styles are among the best ways to overcome the challenges posed by the great resignation.

3. Consider hiring freelancers

Self-employment could be the future, Braintrust says. Over the next few years, many predict self-employed and self-employed workers will need to be integrated into the fabric of most businesses. Currently, 85% of knowledge workers said they were open to becoming freelancers. Reconsider if you should hire full-time employees or if you can hire freelance workers instead. Many predict that the inclusion of the self-employed will be the future of employment.

Hiring more freelancers can be a win-win solution, as it gives workers more freedoms. It also offers greater variety and expertise to companies looking to hire. Try this and it will help your business overcome the Great Resignation and take advantage of the rapidly changing hiring environment.

Brad Anderson

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor who oversees the contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him with Brad at



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