Employers are struggling to find new labor as some news outlets are dubbing 2021 the “Year of the “Great Resignation.”
But there’s a silver lining to this pain, according to one CEO.
“This is a great reset … [with] every business, every industry, but it’s a phenomenal opportunity for enterprises on human capital,” Infosys President Ravi Kumar told Yahoo Finance at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference. “On one side, you could see it as an unprecedented crisis. On the other side, you could see this as an opportunity.”
The most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that quits increased in August 2021 to 4.3 million compared to the month prior. Specifically, quits increased in accommodation and food services, wholesale trade, and state and local government education.
In Kumar’s view, millions leaving their jobs in the U.S. creates an opportunity for companies to deeply focus on connecting and hiring employees based on their true goals.
“70% of the people are wanting to be having human connections, and 70% of the people are actually saying they want to have more flexibility,” Kumar said. “So the great reshuffle in some sense is all about finding new purpose, finding new priorities for employees to actually connect to employers who fall into the same purpose.”
With workers reevaluating their priorities, this is “a time when I believe that work, workplaces, and workforce — which were all kind of entangled —are getting disentangled,” he added. “Work is becoming very hybrid.”
According to a March 2021 poll by Harvard Business School, 81% of workers would either work through a hybrid schedule or not go back to the office at all, with 61% indicating they’d like to work 2-3 days a week from home.
Meanwhile, in retail, companies are scrambling to hire more workers ahead of the holiday season. Nordstrom (JWN) said that it’s looking to hire nearly 30,000 seasonal workers this year, while Amazon (AMZN) is aiming to hire 150,000 seasonal employees, offering lucrative incentives to lure talent.
“Consumer demand is very elevated, so retailers need more staff than ever to cope with things like fulfillment and serving customers in store,” Neil Saunders, a retail analyst with GlobalData, told NBC News. “However, at the same time, people are more reluctant to work in retail because of concerns about the virus and the stressfulness of the work, so it is harder than ever to find enough workers.”