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The Great Resignation is one result of the pandemic that led people to reassess what they want to do in life, forcing businesses to pivot to cope with workforce changes.

About 4.3 million people quit or resigned to take another job in December, according to The Washington Post. But December’s numbers weren’t far above the resignation numbers for the second half of 2021, during which 4 million people quit their jobs each month, The Post said.

Some people are going back to school to pursue academic degrees in a new or former area of interest or doing something they feel passionate about. Someone who chose the higher-paying accounting career instead of becoming a chef, for example, might feel it’s time to pursue their dream and enroll in culinary school. Workers whose children are grown and no longer have as many bills to pay may have the opportunity to follow their heart to a new job.

Know your competition

Companies have lost talent and resources. Some people who left their jobs were looking for higher pay, better benefits or a more flexible work schedule. Employers are being forced to look at the salaries they offer and how they compare to the job market. Some are increasing salaries and reviewing such benefits as vacation time, pet insurance and investments. Employers also should reassess their reimbursements for commissions and mileage. You need to keep up with competitors to retain talent and attract fresh talent. You have to know what competitors and the labor market are offering so your benefits package remains competitive.

Some employers are considering offering hybrid or remote work, and some are looking at downsizing their workspace.

If employees are leaving a company, the employer should assess the internal workforce to determine why people are leaving and what can be done to prevent high turnover.

Employer survey

In a survey of 750 recruiters by Indeed last year, 41 percent of employers were worried that resignations would continue at a high rate and 51 percent believed the large number of employees quitting their jobs would have an adverse effect on the economy.  The employers surveyed believed the top five priorities for employees were: pay, 59 percent; a flexible schedule, 58 percent; work-life balance, 56 percent; remote work options, 54 percent; and time for personal and family responsibilities, 50 percent.

When I worked in the corporate world, those of us in Human Resources advocated for a better work-life balance and remote work, but the employers didn’t believe allowing employees to work remotely would be productive. The pandemic showed that working from home could be done and it proved to be successful for both employees and employers.

The caliber of the pool of candidates has lessened dramatically during the pandemic and it has become difficult to find good candidates. The professionalism of applicants also has changed. As a Human Resources professional, I have noticed that when you place an ad for a job opening, some people who make an appointment for an interview on Zoom don’t show up. One applicant was driving his car when he joined the Zoom meeting and I told him we weren’t going to do the interview while he was driving. I had another candidate the employer and I were ready to offer the job to, but we never heard back from her.

On the flip side, candidates complain that recruiters don’t respond to them. Recruiters also need to be professional. It doesn’t take much time to contact an applicant to say I received your resume and I’d like to talk to you, or I received your resume and I’ll let you know if we have a position that meets your qualifications. The email responses can be automated.

Courtesy, respect important

Courtesy, respect and professionalism – the things our parents or grandparents taught us – still apply.

We’re in a new employment arena. We’re being forced to change and employers must get on board. Businesses that don’t consider changing their work models to keep up with the evolving work environment may be left in the dust.

As new employees enter the workforce, employers may find they need to make such changes as reducing 40-hour workweeks to 37 hours, or changing five-day workweeks to four-day or three-day workweeks.

Individuals also need to keep up with the changes. If you’re not keeping up to date with advancements in technology, you won’t be able to successfully compete in the job market. You must stay on top of your game to bring value to your employer or you will be out on the street.

Life is too short, and I think people are realizing that now.

If you need advice on reviewing your compensation and benefits package or how to become more competitive, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

50+ Job Seekers schedule

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops and bilingual workshops are free and virtual on Zoom.

The next workshops are:

  • Tuesday, March 15, 10 a.m. to noon: Encore Boston Network presents: Transforming White Privilege, a six-session workshop offering participants an opportunity to better understand white privilege and how to address it. Limited to 30 people. Register at https://bit.ly/3pB1hA5.
  • Tuesday, March 15, 10 a.m. to noon: Speed Coaching.
  • Thursday, March 17, 2 to 4 p.m.: Reinvention is Possible! The special event features Nancy Collamar, who has a master’s degree in career development and is a retirement coach and expert on semi-retirement. She writes a blog for PBS and founded the websites MyLifestyleCareer.com and Jobsandmoms.com. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3MgYLsN.
  • Tuesday, March 22, 10 a.m. to noon: Interview Preparation, an interactive workshop.
  • Thursday, March 24, 11 a.m. to noon: Savvy Seeker Series: Fueling Your Finances, with David Corman and Matthew Corman. David founded Generations Advisory Group in 2011 and now operates it with his son, Matthew. They co-authored a book, “Plan Now. Retire Well.” Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3hCeDb4.
  • Thursday, March 31, 11 a.m. to noon: Savvy Seeker Series: Wild Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Program with Julie Lovely, founder and executive director, and Maryellen Founds, mentor and certified peer specialist. Founded in 2009, the program aims to transform the lives of participants through the healing power of horsemanship. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3MnKevp.
  • Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m. to noon: G2G (Give to Get).
  • Thursday, April 7, 11 a.m. to noon: Caring Transitions, the professional solution for relocation services, including downsizing, decluttering and estate sales, with Steve Harvey, owner of the business.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 10 a.m. to noon: Interview Practice session.
  • Thursday, April 14, 10 a.m. to noon: Savvy Seeker Series: MassHire Services.

The interactive bilingual workshops meet from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays. The next few workshops are:

  • March 16: LinkedIn Part 1: Your Profile.
  • March 30: LinkedIn Part 2: The Job Search.
  • April 13: Interview Preparation.
  • April 27: Interview Practice.

Register here for workshops that don’t have a link: https://50plusjobseekers.org/outreach/registration/.

The virtual doors open 15 minutes before each program starts. If you have questions, email us at 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com.

My contact information

You can get in touch with me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.


Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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