More than three-quarters, or 78%, of businesses plan to increase their hiring during 2021’s second half, according to a survey commissioned by Greenhouse. At the same time, 68% expect attrition to increase, and more than half, 53%, agree that the primary cause of turnover is employees wanting to have better work-life balance.

This surge in hiring goes beyond making up for lost headcount and resignations. Over 60% of the C-suite leaders and HR executives surveyed said they plan to increase headcount by 50% or more during the second half. While 33% of new job postings are meant to return staffing to pre-COVID levels, 60% will be for new roles.

The concern about hiring goes all the way to the top. Some 84% of the business leaders believe that hiring is a top priority for their CEO.

That’s all well and good, but any rumors you’ve heard about this being a candidate’s market are true, the survey found. “With demand for talent so high, the power is now in candidates’ hands,” Greenhouse said. That means employers have a new set of demands to address if they want to find people to hire. Of the most popular benefits candidates mention, the survey said, 63% want a flexible work schedule, 57% want the option of hybrid or remote working and only 12% are looking for in-office perks.

Realistic Recruiting

To keep themselves afloat, businesses need a structured process that’s also up to date, said Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait. “Businesses that have a copy and paste strategy are bringing an old playbook to a new game,” he said. “It’s a recipe for disaster, and cuts out many great candidates.”

Meanwhile, as companies lay out plans for the post-pandemic workplace, employees aren’t prepared to stick around if businesses don’t take an approach they consider reasonable. Disagreement with company return-to-office plans could be a leading cause of attrition, with 33% of respondents predicting this will have an impact on employee churn, the survey found.

What steps are businesses taking to combat churn within their ranks? Almost three-quarters,  71%, intend to increase or expand existing benefits, while 59% plan to introduce a new bonus scheme and 56% are considering giving employees more time-off.

“Leaders need to understand that people have more choices [of] where to work than ever before,” said Chait. “Your hiring strategy needs to create a culture of purpose, where people feel they belong and can express their identity. Ultimately, your hiring problems become your retention problems, and vice versa.”

By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.