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The Great Resignation: Local companies pivot to attract employees after record 4 million across America quit their jobs this spring

You might see fewer faces the next time you head back to the actual office. But the empty desks are also creating some new opportunities for others.

With more and more companies now bringing employees back into the office, you may notice something different in your workplace, fewer faces.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports 4 million people quit their jobs this Spring. Many folks hungry are just for something new.

It’s a movement underway called “The Great Resignation."

Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey took a closer look at what it is, the upside and downsides of this shift for employees, and how it's impacting some local companies.

Many job experts associate The Great Resignation as a side effect of the pandemic. Essentially, it involves plenty of unsatisfied workers who have quit their jobs this year and are moving on to something better.

The Great Resignation started snowballing in April

"That phrase was coined to describe the wave of people who are changing jobs or leaving the workforce altogether," said Bill Leonard, owner of Leonard Workforce Solutions.

Bill is a recruiter and a job search strategist.

What employees want from a company

"They're looking for better paying compensation. They're looking for a better corporate culture. They are more used to remote work and flexible work."

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, also reinforces Bill's statement in their recent research article that can be found here.

Credit: SHRM

Local companies pivot

"Being flexible. Some people want to be in the office, some people want to be at home, and some people want to do a mix of both. And we have to adapt to that," Kristie Spinello said.

After all, with an estimated 9.2 Million Job Openings available across the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees can be quite selective on where they work. But, not all businesses have the luxury of offering work-from-home opportunities to their employees. Take restaurants, for example like Cooper’s Seafood House in Scranton.

Owner Jack Cooper says between the recent stimulus checks, certain unemployment benefits, and all of the job openings out there, getting his staff back to 100 percent has been tough:

People are making more money staying home right now. 90 percent of our staff did come back because we have a great core staff. We still need about 10 percent. A lot of my friends in the restaurant business are having a really difficult time right now" Jack Cooper said.

And no matter where you work, the workplace experts Newswatch 16 talked with have this advice: 

"Ultimately, you want to be in alignment with the company you're working for and the people you're working with," Bill Leonard, owner of Leonard Workforce Solutions, said. 

"At the end of the day, if you're not happy in the role you're doing, you're not going to bring your best self to work."

Other tips for job seekers: 

A few other suggestions from recruiters and hiring managers, if you’re going to apply for a job that says “these certain five skills are a requirement,” and maybe you only have two or three of them, experts say apply anyway!  

Most companies, especially nowadays, that are looking to fill positions are more willing to train you.

An interesting tidbit from Microsoft’s study that their experts shared showed that while many employees do enjoy remote work, companies may thrive better with hybrid work (half remote, half in office options) because when people aren’t connecting in person, they stop innovating. Microsoft leaders stressed it's harder to get new ideas and brainstorming sessions really fired up when you’re not face to face.

Resources for job hunters: 

Throwback Thursday content

As part of today's story, Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey also shared some of the favorite places you worked as part of our Throwback Thursday segment. 

Below is a clip from Ryan's "Hope & Help 2021" series that was published to WNEP's YouTube channel at the beginning of the year.  Recruiter and job strategist Bill Leonard shared some "news you can use tips" to help job seekers.