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What Associations Can Provide During ‘The Great Resignation’

Employers in the U.S. are struggling to fill millions of jobs going into 2022, in a mass exodus of workers that many call ‘The Great Resignation.’ According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor report, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021. Lawrence Katz, Professor of Economics at Harvard and labor economist, has weighed in on the disparity between open positions and those willing to fill them: 

“Historically, people are much more willing to quit their jobs when there are a lot of job openings. And what we’re seeing is a record level of job openings. It’s always been true that people who switch jobs tend to get higher wage growth than people who stay put, but it looks unusually high right now — about 2 percentage points over the last. There are very strong economic incentives to change jobs.” 

Harvard Business Review study found that workers between 30 and 45 years old – mid-careerists – had the greatest increase in resignations between 2020 and 2021. While the highest turnover is typically among younger employees, the study found that resignations actually decreased for early careerists in the 20 to 25 age range. Resignation rates also fell for those in the 60 to 70 age group, late careerists. 

So, can your association provide for members during ‘The Great Resignation’? 

A recent Robert Half Survey found that 38 percent of workers have felt stagnant in their career growth since the pandemic began. Through a career center, your association can be an industry leader and go-to resource for members looking for career advancement. 

Facilitate career advancement with continuing education 

80% of millennials are interested in relevant job opportunities based on their current certifications. Provide a matching tool between your learning management system (LMS) and career center to give personalized job recommendations. 

multimodal learners

Job content distribution 

Introduce a job email, like the YM Careers Job Flash™, to send to your members. Employers are often willing to pay extra for this distribution of their job to additional potential candidates, driving more non-dues revenue to your association in the process. 

Place a job widget on the home page of your site. This will pull in up to 300% more traffic to the career center than a link alone. It will also give employers access to passive job seekers. Further, include contextual job widgets on inner pages of your website that cater to different types of professionals.  

Increase your job content by pulling jobs from the web, such as from Backfilling relevant jobs from sources like Indeed will help make you the dominant source of jobs in your industry. Many of our partners rely heavily on backfill until their organic or paid job content volume becomes high enough to achieve their revenue goals. At that point, they dial down the backfill. 

Career events 

In-person: Have a bank of computers available for use at your career event and set the career center as the default homepage. This will allow attendees to upload resumes onsite. Activating the career fair module allows attendees to schedule meetings with employers right on-site. Also consider hosting a career skills session, resume review or headshots at your event.  

Virtual: Host a virtual career fair to connect job seekers and employers and engage members between your in-person meetings. Consider hosting an online networking or resume review event and invite industry experts and career coaches to provide insights to your members. 

Leverage career center data 

Promote your total number of registered job seekers and, if available, remind employers regularly that they can promote their job via a job email to these professionals to reach passive job seekers. 

As the number of registered employers increases, leverage this data by marketing to your job seekers and emphasizing the growing opportunity to find the right position. 

Emphasize the demographics of your job seekers. What percentage have certain degrees or credentials? What is the average level of work experience? What specialties within your niche are most represented? You can use these stats to segment marketing efforts to job seekers, members and employers. 

Career resources for job seekers 

Feature career resources on the career center homepage that are tailored to the needs of job seekers in your specific market. Invest the time to make yours niche-specific. 

Offer job seekers tips on how to effectively search for a job, create resumes that stand out, brand themselves to sell/market to employers and more! Again, the more tailored to your niche, the better. 

Share your market’s employment trends and statistics. YM Careers can help you gather this data. 

Coordinate a print and digital featured career opportunities guide to email to all your members, hand out at events and promote on the career center and social media sites. In the guide, be sure to include ads for the career center, any upcoming career events, industry-related articles, and, of course, employers with open positions. 


Your association can serve as an important resource for members impacted by ‘The Great Resignation.’ At YM Careers, our job is to make sure your career center is the industry’s best. As a valued partner, we continuously work with you to find ways to maximize the engagement and revenue your career center generates. We also help make you an indispensable recruitment or job-seeking resource. 

Learn more about what your association can provide for members during ‘The Great Resignation.’

Check out our list of 101 proven ideas to grow your career center.

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