We are truly in a candidate’s market and this shift has occurred for a variety of reasons, some expected and some *Cough Covid Cough* were not.

Many have begun referring to our present situation as “The Great Resignation.” This is the current trend we are facing in 2021 of the large number of people leaving their jobs since the pandemic. In this wave of newly vacant positions, we have over a million less employees available to fill these critical roles. Some of the blame, of course, must be placed on a higher demand in the chemical space, a side effect of a global pandemic. This has led to increased workload, more stress and inevitably more burnout among the workers in the chemical sector.

Another factor in this resignation formula is a wave of baby boomer’s retiring from their positions. This was a problem expected to occur in the future, but not now. The vacation of these positions has been exacerbated by Covid and greatly accelerated the timeline of backfill necessary to continue production as normal.

For chemical recruiters, you must understand that our qualified ‘boomers’ are trading work shirts for golf shirts and our younger candidates available for backfill are not ready for the executive roles now available.  A combination of Gen X, Millennial and foreign -born workers will be needed to fill these rapidly increasing vacated positions.

For the candidate, the place is here, and the time is now. Many companies may be looking outside their normal parameters to hire qualified individuals who are looking to prepare themselves for leadership roles within an organization. Retention will be critical in the years to come and those looking to solidify themselves within an organization and ride the elevator up should take stock of their current situation and how this new workforce may react to young individuals taking leadership roles. It is a candidate’s market which has opened the door for endless amounts of opportunities. Companies are having to move quicker and offer flashier packages to compete to get talent into their front door. For the candidates, this means that they have choices. This is the time for people to reflect on their careers and decide where they want to be, what they want to do and take action on moving forward with those opportunities. Candidates are being flooded with calls from different opportunities on the market, allowing them to be more selective in this process.

For the companies, this means that hiring managers are having to be more creative in attracting and holding onto talent. To bring new talent in, companies are going to have to move in a timely fashion in their interview process. It will be likely the candidates are interviewing with other companies. To stay in the race, it will be essential to keep up with the other opportunities and keep the candidates engaged. Offers will need to be competitive. Take advantage of sign on bonuses, benefits, extra vacation time, etc. Get creative to make a more competitive offer. Once an offer is out, expect the candidate to get a counteroffer. This is happening more and more as companies are grasping onto their talent. Partnering with a chemical recruiter can help through each of these steps, keeping candidates engaged and excited throughout the process and preparing for resignation, handling counter offers up and until the start date of their new opportunity.

The Great Resignation has created an environment that has opened the door of new opportunities for candidates and has pushed companies to be more active and competitive in their hiring process. It is in the hands of the companies and the candidates to decide how this trend will affect them. Partnering with an industry recruiter can help in navigating this ever-changing market.

-Written by Michael Sanders: Specialty Chemicals Recruiter