HireVue’s Tom Cornell says the Great Resignation is ‘all about employer flexibility’

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business

THE GREAT RESIGNATION is proving to be a major challenge for business.

Tom Cornell, the head of assessments (APAC) at HireVue, said Australian businesses needed to prepare for the Great Resignation and convince staff that they offer a better deal than they can get anywhere else. 

Several factors contributed to the Great Resignation, he said, and while the pandemic played a crucial role, other underlying issues were also at play. While the Great Resignation gained attention in 2021, Mr Cornell said it was essential to recognise that the labour market was complex, and multiple factors contribute to employment trends.

The phenomenon also highlights the changing expectations of workers and the need for employers to adapt to evolving preferences and priorities in the workforce. 

The psychology of resignation

Mr Cornell is a hiring expert with a background in psychometrics and industrial-organisational (IO) psychology. He said the Great Resignation had put the onus on employers in ways not seen before.    

“There’s more of an onus now on the employer to make the working environment and the role itself more attractive to not only prospective but to current employees – to not only draw that talent in but to retain them,” Mr Cornell told Talking Business.

“I think that we’re seeing a lot more confidence from employees to push and ask that from their employers.

“It you think a few decades back, it was very common to have this idea of a job for life where you get a job and that offers you structure, stability and you can work your way up the ranks over the years and your pay will come with that.

“Now people are starting to question that.,” he said. “They’re moving jobs every few years, joining start-ups, trying something new.

“People are feeling more confident about trying something new.”

Employees keen to ‘try something new’

Mr Cornell said while this had accelerated during COVID – and with “everything going digital” – this trend had been apparent for many years before. Coming from the assessment space, he said the focus had been on the candidate experience.

“We’re seeing a shift away from multiple interviews and long form assessment,” Mr Cornell said.

“A lot of organisations are putting that focus on the candidate experience, and we’re seeing that translate into that it is not enough to focus on prospective employees and make sure they’re happy with the process,” he said.

“You’ve also got to ensure you can maintain and retain them once they’re in the organisation.”

Mr Cornell said this meant companies now had to listen to employees to ascertain what was important for them.

He said there was lot of research about what this new work environment meant for different generations. The older workers would value stability and the opportunity to generate wealth whereas the newer generation would be more attracted to work life balance and living and working abroad.

He said employers now focus on having employees who are agile.

“I don’t think it’s so much for the employees to flip that back on the employers and say ‘Great you want me to be agile and flexible. I want you to be agile and flexible to what I want’.”




Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.


Business Acumen RSS Feed

Contact Us


PO Box 2144