Grice Connect’s Bobby NeSmith recently sat down with local business owner Yevette McCall to discuss the effects of the ongoing labor crisis on our community.

In 2021, over 43 million Americans walked away from their jobs. Coined “The Great Resignation”, this mass exodus left many employers short-staffed and desperately searching for workers. While some sources blamed the COVID-19 pandemic, others pointed to practical concerns such as inadequate benefits and pay. Many employers responded to this crisis by raising pay rates and offering incentives but, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this had little-to-no effect on the trend. One local business owner believes she understands why.

Yevette McCall
Yevette McCall, owner of Southern Pro Staffing

Yevette McCall, owner of Southern Pro Staffing, says that the rise in resignations is due to a power shift in the job market. “This is no longer an employer’s market,” McCall says. “Employees know they have options and they’re choosing higher pay and lower stress.” McCall states that her firm has seen an influx of people abandoning long-time careers and seeking entry-level jobs outside of their industries. “Not only are they seeking more money,” she says, “but they want to feel appreciated. They know their value and they want their employers to acknowledge that value.”

McCall started her company in 2014 following a lengthy career in social services. By establishing a partnership with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, she began using her experience in social work to assist disabled individuals with finding jobs. In 2019, McCall doubled down on her commitment to helping people find adequate employment. “For us, it’s not about placing bodies. It’s about building relationships,” she says. “Candidates are just as important to us as our clients. We strive to become trusted advisors for both.”

In a release dated February 17, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 13 states saw a decrease in resignations in December, with Georgia reporting nearly 24,000 less than the prior month. Statistics aside, McCall cautions employers against settling into the status quo. “The Great Resignation isn’t going to end soon,” she says. “With gig work and self-employment becoming more prevalent, employers must continue their efforts to attract quality candidates.”

Bobby NeSmith

Bobby NeSmith is a Bulloch County native who enjoys connecting with our community. He first discovered his love for media at Portal High School and is known for his thoughtful and engaging contributions...