People keep quitting at record levels, yet companies are still trying to attract and retain them the same old ways.

New research identifies five types of workers that employers can reach to fill jobs.

To navigate this new playing field successfully, hiring managers can look beyond the current imbalance in labor supply and demand and consider what different segments of workers want and how best to engage them. To do this, employers should understand the common themes that reveal what people most value, or most dislike, about a job. For instance, it cannot be overstated just how influential a bad boss can be in causing people to leave. And while in the past an attractive salary could keep people in a job despite a bad boss, that is much less true now than it was before the pandemic.

This survey shows that uncaring and uninspiring leaders are a big part of why people left their jobs, along with a lack of career development. Flexibility, on the other hand, is a top motivator and reason for staying. To address this attrition–attraction problem for the long term, companies can take four actions.

First, they can sharpen their traditional employee value proposition, which, as we’ve discussed, involves focusing on title, career paths, compensation, benefits, having a good boss, and the overall prestige of the company.

Second, they can build their nontraditional value proposition, which revolves around flexibility, mental- and behavioral-health benefits, a strong company culture, and different forms of career progression. The value proposition itself and the way that companies pursue these prospective employees should be more creative—and more personalized. For companies, this means that the culture passed on through traditions and behavioral norms will mean much less unless organizations make the relevance of that culture clear to new joiners from the start.

Third, companies can broaden their talent-sourcing approach, especially since some nontraditionalists are not actively looking but would come back for the right offer.

Finally, organizations can make jobs “sticky” by investing in more meaning, more belonging, and stronger team and other relational ties. Building these organizational attributes will also make it harder for traditionalists to go elsewhere for a bit more pay.


Interesting McKinsey article