Find a Job >

2019 - 2021 Market

The Great Resignation

Employee burnout leading to mass resignation and a push for workplace flexibility and benefits

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation. What do you need to know?

There has been a recent study stating that 40% of the global workplace is considering leaving their jobs this year. We have already seen this hit in the US with 4.3 million people resigning – from frontline workers to senior executives.

Most of these people worked harder than ever before during the pandemic but felt obligated to stay given that the market ground to a halt and opportunities to move disappeared. During 2019-2021 staff saw themselves working excessive hours, preparing for Zoom calls at 7am instead of the usual 9am, and dealing with excess role requirements due to the hiring freeze with little to no support.

During the pandemic, 85% of employees globally experienced higher burnout and nearly half of this number reported having a worse work/life balance.

With the market booming and there being more open roles than candidates to fill, staff are reassessing their priorities, putting their mental and physical health first, and ensuring that they stick to their boundaries for work/life balance.

What does this mean now?

With the research showing the 3 in 5 Australians could be looking to change jobs in the very near future, this creates a big opportunity for companies looking to acquire top talent. Companies who promote flexibility, don’t force people back into the office, are competitive with salaries and bonuses, are more likely to retain staff, while those who ignore the growing concerns will be hit the hardest.

This also means we are likely to see a more competitive market, and a bidding war for great talent. This had already begun when people returned to the office in 2021 but has become steadily more competitive as time has gone on. The selling points that we have seen stick out the most are; flexibility, equity in the business, lucrative sign-on bonuses, mental health awareness programs, extra annual leave, and clear career progression.

Something as simple as recognition is also going a long way with retaining staff and helping them to feel valued in an increasingly stressful industry.

What will the market look like in 2022?

We predict that the legal industry will be even more competitive than it presently is, with sign-on bonuses, extra annual leave, and mental health initiatives being the norm to attract great talent. We have also already begun to see firms looking at out-of-state talent and enticing them over state lines with equity in the business, relocation fees, and waiving probation periods. Staying competitive, and treating new hires, along with retained staff, in a way that makes them feel valued will be increasingly important moving forward. If you can’t stay competitive, chances are the top-tier talent you are searching for won’t be as easily swayed to your firm.

With the job market heavily favouring jobseekers, the premiums being offered to secure talent make a job change an alluring prospect for most workers. Combine that with an increased desire for flexibility in a role, and Australians’ willingness to change jobs, firms will be forced to come up with solutions that don’t involve a pay rise.

Those willing to embrace radical flexibility, human-centric work design and progressive social causes will become talent magnets.



Prepared by Jessica Fox, Senior Consultant


Lean more:

The Great Resignation: Millions of Aussies predicted to leave jobs