Hiring and keeping workers amid the 'Great Resignation'

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SALT LAKE CITY — With a worker shortage, companies are having to get creative to hire and keep workers. And workers — in this period dubbed by economists as the "Great Resignation," where employees are quitting their jobs en masse — have more power than they did just a few years ago.

So, what do they want from their employers?

You may assume that the deal between a boss and a worker largely comes down to compensation, and you would be right to a point, said John Waldmann, CEO and founder of Homebase, a human resources services company.

"They like to have a positive and uplifting experience at work," he said.

What do employees want?

Considering the current job market, Homebase conducted a survey that they shared with the KSL Investigators.

Employees put a short commute, flexible hours, and a good company culture high on their list. And even more so than good pay, workers say they want good leaders.

"The No. 1 factor that people are looking for when choosing a job was company leadership," Waldmann explained.

Emily Tsitrian is a manager with a Silicon Valley company and has also written, "Make Me the Boss," a how-to book for millennials entering the workforce. She said employees are holding a lot of the cards.

"I think we're observing one of the biggest shifts in power and dynamics in the relationship between employers and employees since maybe the '20s," Tsitrian said.

And she agrees that pay is taking less of the conversation.

Emily Tsitrian, a manager in financial tech, explains to KSL’s Matt Gephardt how the power in workplace dynamics is shifting to workers.
Emily Tsitrian, a manager in financial tech, explains to KSL’s Matt Gephardt how the power in workplace dynamics is shifting to workers. (Photo: Josh Syzmanik, KSL-TV)

"Demands for not only better working conditions, but also upholding of certain values for employers," Tsitrian explained.

Is the company environmentally conscious? Do they support causes that you support? In this market, these types of considerations can be the difference between a worker taking a job or passing on it.

"It's taken employers a bit to really get used to the new normal and meeting the ever-changing demands of the labor force as it is today," Tsitrian said.

Employer demands are shifting, too. Not so long ago, bosses really emphasized experience. But more and more, they are looking for people they think will fit in well with their teams first, and then will train new hires on the job.

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Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.


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