HR Pros Discuss Challenges of the Great Resignation, Diverse Tech Hiring

Dave Moore, Staff Writer

What can be done to stem the Great Resignation?

That was the question on the tops of the minds of human resources professionals from Accenture, Optimal Partners, Crowe LLP, and more than 40 other companies who attended the Sept. 14 Talent Attraction Talk held at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s downtown office.

Some possible solutions to the Great Resignation (the major uptick in the number of people quitting or switching jobs since April 2021) discussed at the meeting: Keep work arrangements flexible, hold off on back-to-work mandates, and be generous with personal acts of gratitude and praise.

The in-person event featured two relevant tools for HR pros. First, BGSF unveiled a national survey that showed a desire for greater latitude in work arrangements. Second, the DRC and Accenture announced their Diversity in Tech Hiring Toolkit, which includes case studies from companies that have successfully attracted and retained diverse, talented tech workforces. A panel discussion also covered tips on employee attraction and retention in light of the Great Resignation.

Nationwide feedback on returning to the workplace

“This hit the press yesterday,” said BGSF’s Emily Burroughs, reading a headline from the Staffing Industry Analysts website. “‘More than one third quitting over revoked remote work policies.’”

“How many of you guys are being required to get back to your office?” she asked attendees, who largely raised their hands. “So (according to the BGSF survey), 29% are actively looking for a new job because they want to work remotely. That says a lot.”

In other words, the Great Resignation is now bumping up against a push to return to the office, and workers are casting their eyes elsewhere.

The desire to continue to work remotely is so great, according to the BGSF survey, that employees are willing to give up vacation time, and even pay, to continue the arrangement. Meanwhile, 42% of employers surveyed are requiring employees to return to the office.

“Are we self-generating this Great Resignation?” Burrough asked. “That is a question that we struggle with all the time.”

A panel made up of BGSF’s Janel Hunt, Brinker International’s Tammy Jones-Still, and Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business Managing Director Luigi Pecoraro generally agreed on the following points:

      • Hybrid and flexible working arrangements vary among employers, but strongly appeal to prospective workers and help retain existing employees;
      • A good relationship with immediate supervisors is crucial to retaining workers, and small acknowledgements, such as hand-written notes and an in-person thank-you for specific accomplishments, are key; and
      • Along those lines, supervisors and employees need to work together to prioritize tasks and people, so they can agree upon which most urgent, and which can be handled later.

Accenture and the DRC launch Diversity in Tech Hiring Toolkit

Also at the Sept. 14 meeting, Accenture’s Jorge Corral and Sam Martinez, along with DRC Senior Vice President of DEI Jared Fitzpatrick, walked through the creation of a Diversity in Tech Hiring Toolkit and its applications.

“Why it’s important for Dallas is that from a talent perspective, we have a talent shortage,” Corral told attendees, adding that mutual interest in attracting talent led Accenture and the DRC to build the toolkit. Corral is both a DRC board member and Accenture’s Dallas Office Managing Director.

Martinez, a strategy consultant at Accenture, explained that the toolkit includes successful case studies in diverse tech hiring from DRC partners including AT&T Inc., McKesson, and app developer Bottle Rocket.

As outlined in the toolkit’s executive summary, companies with diverse workforces are more likely to outperform their less-diverse competitors, and they must embrace changes in culture and incentives to reduce attrition.

The toolkit also provides sample metrics that allow companies to track – from recruitment to hiring to retention – diversity in their workforce.

Resources on the toolkit’s website also include a variety of professional networks, annual events, articles and reports on DEI hiring, and even skills development sites.

The site also states the case for diversifying tech hiring, and uses examples to debunk common misconceptions, Martinez said.

“We really wanted to understand exactly what the common misconceptions were, and why folks maybe don’t see this as a big enough imperative,” she said. “We wanted to give advocates the tools to debunk and deconstruct these misconceptions. You can actually click into these myths and see the rationale as to why that’s actually not the case.”

The toolkit is part of the DRC’s Say Yes to Dallas talent attraction initiative committed to the attraction and retention of talented workers from across the United States.

The Talent Attraction Talk was sponsored by BGSF and the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.