Marketing

How to Hire B2B Marketing Employees During the Great Resignation 

They say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but today’s workforce would argue differently. 

On average, 4 million U.S. workers quit their job each month throughout the 2021 calendar year, toppling the previous highest average of 3.5 million in 2019. This trend for employees handing in their two weeks’ notice at such rapid pace has been coined the “Great Resignation.” 

The Great Resignation even has its own anthem, courtesy of Miss Beyoncé Knowles and her latest release, “Break My Soul.” With lyrics like “release your job, release the time” and “I just quit my job/I’m gonna find new drive,” it’s the perfect soundtrack for today’s current zeitgeist. 

Yet B2B marketing teams aren’t so crazy in love (Beyonce reference #2, check!) with this employment exodus. Nearly 70% of marketing teams have seen a significant number of top performers quit within the past year, according to our latest DemandScience Special Report. And considering the U.S. currently has two job openings for every unemployed individual, it’s a tough market for teams looking to beef up staff.  

To navigate these issues, B2B marketing teams first need to understand the historical context behind the Great Resignation: what it is, how it’s happened, and why employees continue to seek new opportunities outside their existing profession. 

Likewise, it’s equally important for companies to decipher what it is people want in their next professional endeavor, whether it’s more pay, a better work-life balance, or the ability to log in from the comfort of home. In doing so, hiring managers can kickstart the process of creating a unique recruitment plan tailored to the needs of today’s employees. 

What Is the Great Resignation? 

The ongoing economic trend known as the Great Resignation refers to the record number of U.S. workers who voluntarily quit their jobs en masse starting in early 2021, just as the world began reentering levels of pre-pandemic normalcy. Since then, employees have been taking advantage of this job seekers’ market, ditching their current roles in favor of more promising opportunities. 

Just one year later, and 44% of today’s employed workforce still seem to be searching for their next professional gig, indicating that although some job hunters have simply bided time before jumping ship, others have found more personal reasons to update their resume and get to networking. 

 Knowing what is driving the Great Resignation helps companies to attract new employees.
Knowing what is driving the Great Resignation helps companies to attract new employees. 

Why Is the Great Resignation Happening? 

The reasons behind job changes vary, but fundamentally, people generally leave their existing roles because employers haven’t lived up to previously stated expectations. These can be in the form of tangible benefits, such as compensation, health care, and paid time off, or personal support, like mental health care and the ability to work from home.  

Per our special report survey respondents, we found the following to be the top motivating factors behind recent employee exits: 

  • Found a better offer elsewhere (19%) 
  • Seeking higher compensation (17%) 
  • Limited opportunities at current company (13%)  
  • Life events/changes (13%) 
  • Promoted to another team (11%) 
  • Company’s COVID policies (11%)  
  • Incompatible workplace culture (5%) 
  • Conflicts with team/management (5%) 
  • Poor work-life balance (4%) 

Given there’s no single dominant reason here, it’s necessary to ask why so many people have chosen now as their time to move on.  

Again, reasons vary, and only individuals can know their personal motivations. However, this article from Hays Recruitment highlights some popular reasons, including: 

  1. People finally feel confident enough to change jobs after the uncertainty of the pandemic. 
  2. They’ve had more time and space to reflect on their personal and professional lives. 
  3. They don’t want to go back to an office after working from home. 
  4. They’re experiencing burn-out. 
  5. They want to grow their career and skillsets. 
  6. They want more money.  
  7. They’ve finally recognized they don’t like their job. 

It’s likely the unprecedented circumstances under which people have been working have accelerated these feelings. An overly demanding boss is tolerable when you leave your work at the office each night, retreating to the sanctuary of your couch. But when you add remote work into the mix, that same boss might seem unbearable as boundaries between work and personal life blur.  

And while working from home might have been a pre-pandemic pipedream, it’s now a very real option for workers seeking increased flexibility. Today, employees look to seize the opportunities of a buoyant job market to find a better role suited to their needs.  

What Are Employees Looking For in 2022? 

So, what do people really want in an employer? While the motivations listed above provide some insight, McKinsey also found people miss the more meaningful aspects of work, including: 

  • A renewed sense of purpose  
  • Social connection with colleagues 
  • A sense of shared identity 
  • Feeling valued 

It’s understandable people yearn for human connection right now. The pandemic has rapidly digitized both our professional and private lives with an increased reliance on QR codes, Zoom meetings, and social media. Hence, companies should bear in mind that offering the highest salary and most generous PTO may not be enough to entice today’s candidates seeking a more human-centric sense of job satisfaction.  

How to Hire Great Employees 

Clearly, today’s job seekers don’t make it easy for companies currently recruiting talent. In fact, 75% report struggling to recruit effectively.  

Interestingly enough, our special report reflects a similar stat, with 70% of survey respondents agreeing that marketing automation managers and email campaign managers are the most difficult roles to fill amid a post-pandemic landscape.  

To better their chances of successfully recruiting elusive job seekers, teams must design each element of the recruitment process with candidates’ needs in mind.  

Here are some tips to win over your next big hire: 

1. Offer Remote and/or Hybrid Work 

Did you know 55% of workers are more likely to choose an employer who offers remote work as part of a benefits package? By offering candidates the opportunity to work from wherever they please, companies can gain a competitive advantage over other potential employers. If budget allows, try offering new employees an allowance to properly furnish their work-from-home set-up. This saves them from handing over their hard-earned cash to purchase equipment and guarantees a comfortable, cozy workspace. 

2. Showcase Your Company Culture 

For employees seeking stronger human connections in the workplace, culture is key. And for what it’s worth, adding “great company culture” as a bullet point under the benefits section of your job description isn’t going to cut it. Potential employees need evidence that supports whether your culture is indeed a good fit, as 46% of job candidates see this as a deciding factor in their job search. That said, aim to demonstrate how great it is to work at your business before candidates even cross the threshold for an interview. Sharing human-centric company updates on social media is a great place to start. HubSpot Life is an excellent example of how a company can showcase office culture, shared values, and a behind-the scenes peek at what it’s like to work there.  

3. Be Upfront About Compensation 

According to our special report, increased compensation is the 2nd most popular reason for people to start seeking greener pastures. Considering this, make sure to offer candidates a salary that falls in line with market rates and geographical costs of living. In doing so, you’ll not only speak to the needs of today’s job seekers; you’ll also be highlighting your company as an attractive choice for top-tier talent.  

When discussing compensation, avoid the classic “competitive salary” line. Instead, be transparent with salary expectations. This enables job seekers to determine whether it’s an opportunity worth entertaining. Sure, your pool of applicants may shrink, but so will the risk of wasting time on interviews in which salary expectations don’t align.  

4. Review Your Leadership 

Your leadership team is key to making staff feel valued, motivated, and excited about their work. If the people at the top seem unappreciative, untouchable, or unenthusiastic, this breeds a feeling of resentment among employees. To assess your leaders, McKinsey recommends asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Do we shelter toxic leaders? 
  • Do we have the right people in place (especially managers)? 
  • Is our work environment transactional? 

Answering these questions as honestly as possible gives insight into the current state of your leadership and areas in need of improvement. 

5. Provide Clear Progression Paths 

Being vague about development opportunities is a red flag for ambitious candidates. Before you publish a job advertisement, make sure to have a plan in mind for how the chosen candidate will progress within the role. Even if details aren’t set in stone, it’s important to at least give a general explanation of how your company evaluates employee performance (i.e., annual reviews, promotions, etc.). This allows candidates to have a basic understanding of job expectations and the various paths available to future growth. 

6. Leverage Your Existing Network 

When recruiting for new positions, don’t wait for candidates to come to you. Tap into your existing network to uncover a wealth of talent. The numbers speak for themselves: statistics show 85% of jobs vacancies have been filled through referrals alone. LinkedIn is the obvious platform from which to pick, and you may be surprised what a simple direct message can do. 

Find and hire great employees in 2022 by showcasing your company culture.
Find and hire great employees in 2022 by showcasing your company culture. 

The Lasting Impacts of the Pandemic for B2B Sales & Marketing 

Despite the world inching closer and closer to typical levels of normalcy in today’s post-pandemic landscape, residual impacts, such as the Great Resignation, continue to affect B2B organizations across the country.  

The thought of losing top talent is daunting, especially in a market where job openings outnumber candidates. But by taking the time to understand the motivations behind employee exits, B2B companies can make more positive changes that reflect the needs of their workforce. And remember, don’t just focus on acquiring new recruits. It’s equally important to extend these courtesies to existing staff. If a colleague is truly irreplaceable, show them how much you value them before they start moving “to the left, to the left” (Beyoncé reference #3 in the bag!). Always make your employees feel as if staying put is the more desirable option, as opposed to moving on.  

If you’re interested in learning more about post-pandemic repercussions affecting today’s B2B sales and marketing teams, check out our new special report “Post-Pandemic Culture and the Impact on B2B Sales & Marketing.”