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With 'Big Stay' Replacing 'Great Resignation,' Job Hunts Become More Difficult

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jun 25, 2024

Job listings - GettyImages-843533330

The pendulum has swung back in favor of employers since the pandemic, and that means more trying times for workers trying to get hired, Business Insider reported.

With the "Great Resignation" in the rear-view mirror, employers now possess the upper hand, and they make candidates endure more interview rounds, personality tests and on-site assessment days—then have the applicants wait to hear back.

"There has been a dramatic shift in the employment market over the past few years," said Chris Abbass, founder and CEO of recruitment firm Talentful.

He explained that in 2021 and 2022, companies struggled to retain and attract talent, but the labor market has stagnated since the Great Resignation" when a wave of people quit their jobs and started new ones.

Companies are also cutting their budgets, further straining the job market and causing them to stay in their current jobs. The situation has spawned a new term:  the “Big Stay.”

"This manifests in companies being more selective about who they hire, moving slower through the process, and only hiring folks who tick all—or 90 percent—of the boxes," said Abbass.

In 2019, Peter Cappelli, professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the school's Centre for Human Resources, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that "[b]usinesses have never done as much hiring as they do today. They've never spent as much money doing it. And they've never done a worse job of it."

Those hiring practices have remained pretty bad since then, he told Business Insider.

He said that, in recent years, the hiring process has slowed down as the number of interview rounds has increased: "It reflects a lack of understanding by employers about what they're actually looking for."

In addition, job hunters have had adapt to new hiring techniques with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) recruitment tools, such as AI chatbots that can do first-round interviews with candidates.

The COVID-19 pandemic also changed how companies conduct interviews. "Many interviews and job assessments now take place online, which means candidates need to adapt to virtual interactions and later demonstrate their skills remotely," said Nikita Gupta, co-founder of, an AI career coach platform that tracks job postings and builds resumes for job seekers.

Because job interviews started to be done via Zoom and managers had fewer opportunities to evaluate candidates, more employers began using cognitive and psychometric assessments as part of their hiring process, Business Insider reported. But if they are designed badly and relied upon too much, these assessments can overlook the best-qualified candidates, especially those who are anxious about them.

Technology is also having an impact on entry-level positions, as some firms said that are considering pulling back on these roles to lean more heavily on AI.

"The pressure to get their first job makes it even more stressful," said Gupta. "While these steps help find the best fit, they make it hard for people just starting their careers.”