In the last month or so, rage applying has become the new “thing.” As with many new trends today, this trend started on social media with employees posting that when they became fed up with their current roles, they simply went online and started applying for roles…and landed one, with significant pay increases.  Here is the question every employer should be asking themselves – are your employees doing this to you?

Why is rage applying happening?

This is where it gets tricky.  There are always two sides to every story, so what your employee feels, may not be the same as what you, the employer, would agree with. In short, rage applying happens when an employee feels like they haven’t been appreciated enough or aren’t being paid well enough for what they do. When this happens, they simply start applying to a wide variety of roles to see what they can land.  Right now, people are claiming they have landed new roles at better companies with higher pay rates, better benefits, and better cultures.

As an employer, what should you do?

Much like “quiet quitting” was the new buzz term in 2022, “rage applying” isn’t really something you can protect against. To put it bluntly, we are dealing with how employees feel, which isn’t something an employer can control. You can give them raises, you can give them food trucks, you can give them better benefits and it still may not be enough. However, you still need to do all of that where possible.

There is no question that inflation has harmed both employees and businesses alike. But the lifeblood of your business, at least most businesses, is your employees. The more stability you have in your employee base, the more likely it is your production and profitability will rise. So focusing your best efforts on making your employees more happy, productive, and appreciated today is critically important.

Recessionary impact

We need to cut through the noise and look at the facts. Per the CDC, fertility rates in the United States dropped by over 17% between 1990 to 2019. This means we simply do not, and will not, have enough replacement employees for all of the baby boomers who are retiring. Even today it is estimated that there are only 73 available employees for every 100 open roles in the United States. (U.S. Chamber). Even if a recession hits, unless it is absolutely catastrophic and we all have bigger issues to deal with, employees are still going to have the upper hand in the hiring process.  If you believe a recession will relieve the pressure on hiring, I would recommend taking a second look at the data.

Whether employers like it or not, “rage applying” is going to continue to happen in the first part of 2023. I believe rage applying will be especially strong in the first quarter as people have put off looking for work due to the holidays and generally start the new year aggressively trying to do something new and different. If you want to start your year off strong as an employer, listen to your employees and do the best of your ability to meet their needs. You aren’t going to please everyone, but I still strongly recommend you look at your wages, benefits, and how your employees are treated. This very well may be the difference between a businesses that navigates 2023 successfully or not.  For more information, follow me on LinkedIn or at

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