TikTok trend | How HR can avoid losing staff to the 'September Surge'

How HR can avoid losing staff to the 'September Surge'

Staff shortages and difficulty recruiting have been ongoing problems for businesses for some time, so the ‘September Surge’ trend which has landed in the UK thanks to TikTok could worsen the situation.

TikTok users are being actively encouraged to update their CVs and social media profiles and apply for their perfect next role in September, if they aren’t happy with the job they have.

The term ‘September Surge’ has been popular in the U.S. for a while, but has been brought to the UK via the social media platform and its influencers. It relates to the peak in job opportunities after the summer holidays and before Christmas. It’s hailed as the time that businesses will push their vacancies, making it the perfect time to job hunt.

Hannah Copeland, HR Business Partner at WorkNest, explained: “September is a time of change with new starters at school, university leavers looking for jobs and exam results just out. This is what normally drives the so-called surge. It’s a similar concept to the surge we see in January when New Year resolutions lead to job changes.

“Whatever the time of year, it is fundamentally about how engaged and how ‘happy’ your employees are. Employees are unlikely to be enticed away by job offers or opportunities if they are enjoying their r job and are learning and developing. Make sure employees know their career trajectory in your company. Planned exits, based on genuine talent management are far better than exits which come through an unengaged worker who spots a random opportunity designed to deliberately spark their interest. The TikTok trend could be causing people to make knee-jerk decisions and it won’t necessarily be the right move.”

Danielle Fargnoli, Recruitment Specialist at WorkNest said: “Summer months are a slow time for hiring, with many businesses and organisations taking a break from recruiting new employees, so the idea that there are more vacancies appearing in September is accurate. Typically, there is a ‘September Surge’ caused by hiring managers recognising the need for new employees. Some businesses also start a new fiscal year in September meaning more budget, plus newly qualified students and professionals enter the job market for the first time.”

Here are WorkNest’s top tips for retaining staff during the September Surge:

  • Create a positive work environment – your employees are much more likely to stay if they are engaged and happy in their work. Culture is crucial in creating a supportive and welcoming atmosphere where employees feel valued and appreciated. A valued and appreciated employee is much less likely to look elsewhere!

  • Offer competitive benefits and salary – this is obvious, but especially important in the current climate where cost of living is affecting everyone.

  • Flexibility – employees are seeking flexibility in their work life, such as working from home, flexible working hours, can your business compete or better what is available on the market?

  • Growth and development opportunities – employees want to feel like they are developing in their careers, take time to step back and listen to employees to identify training, education, or development in their roles.

Looking for more

Danielle added: “Employers need to be mindful. The recent inflation and cost-of-living crisis has created uncertainty for employees, who are actively seeking employment opportunities which ensure high salaries, longevity, job security and flexibility. It’s a candidate market, and employers need to compete in the market to not just retain, but also attract employees.”

Hannah added: “There’s benefits to businesses from a September Surge too, so use it to your advantage. It’s an opportunity for companies to look for new talent in the market who are out of education and looking for jobs”

Communication, development and engagement is key – focus on these things and any potential ‘surges’ will pass by and your company will see limited impact.

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