The Big Labour issue in Canada and solutions for your corporation
It has never been tougher to find good employees in Canada. There are some things which can help your company find good labour, you will have to act now to benefit or risk the growth of your company.
The Labour Challenges
In Canada in 2022 there is a critical shortage in the labour force. It has been projected for years that our aging population isn’t keeping up with what will be required to sustain healthy growth in business due to the shortage of labour. Unfortunately, the projections show this isn’t going to improve on our current trajectory.
The government is working on an immigration strategy to entice more people to come to live and work in Canada, however, the numbers currently coming in are not keeping up with demand. Some feel technology will provide at least a partial solution. However, technology will only be a partial solution to some labour roles.
Alternatively, larger corporations are working on consolidation through the acquisition of companies to obtain needed labour, however, this will simply cut out competition in the marketplace and doesn’t provide a longer term solution to growth.
The Current State of the Situation in Canada
As you can clearly see in the Figure 11 above from the BDC study, there is a big challenge ahead for corporations which need labour to grow. You can also see in job postings and help wanted signs in the windows of businesses from coast to coast there is a need for more labour.
Online you see job posting offering up front signing bonuses of thousands of dollars at every level of job class. On the Canada Job bank website today, there are over 100,000 jobs which need to be filled.
Statistics Canada reports that today’s unemployment rate is at a very low 5.2%. This low rate further highlights that the labour pool continues to run dry.
Of the limited numbers applying to jobs, according to the BDC study, and according to employers on of the big problems with the applicants is the lack of hard and soft skills.
Possible Solutions and Advice
The BDC report suggest one factor to consider assisting in filling labour roles is to turn focus to immigrants, youth and older people. Better integration of this diversity into the workforce would add a potential 2 million more people into the labour pool.
As is known, bringing diversity into organizations also provides the benefit of a boost to innovation. As found in this article from Forbes, “EBIT margins for companies with diverse management teams were nearly 10% higher than for companies with below-average management diversity”.
With new diversity also comes changing corporate culture which you must understand and work with to continue strong growth outcomes for your business.
If you haven’t dug into your corporate culture to determine what it is and how to nurture it, now more than ever this is a must. Your corporate culture drives a large part of your growth success and is a huge part of attracting and retaining good employees.
Complete Benefits Package
Part of your corporate culture is your benefits package. The BDC report highlights 57% of employees leave the job for higher wages and 32% leave the job for more benefits. A Pew research study, however, cites that “no opportunities for advancement” were equal percentage to wages in the decision to leave.
Include in your benefits package a good look at work time and environment flexibility. Again from the Pew study, roughly a quarter of the employees said they left the job because of day care or flexible work hours issues.
Technology and Automation
The BDC study reports, “Companies that had automated certain areas of the business are 2.0 times more likely to find hiring easy and 1.9 times more likely to see sales growth above the industry average, compared to companies that had not automated.” These are very large numbers and highlight the potential opportunity for your company.
One of the often-hidden benefits of automation and technology is that it frees up employees to do more interesting or focused work. This improves overall employee job satisfaction which provides all the well-known other benefits to the business.
Labour shortages in Canada will continue for some time. It will be important to your corporations continue growth that you act now to address these issues for your corporation. Focusing on your corporate culture, benefits packages and technology will help your corporation succeed.
BDC Report: https://www.bdc.ca/en/about/analysis-research/labour-shortage
Canada Job Bank: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/jobsearch/jobpostingcsj/36142370?source=searchresults 103025 open jobs
StatsCan: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220506/dq220506a-eng.htm unemployeed 5.2%
PEW Research: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/03/09/majority-of-workers-who-quit-a-job-in-2021-cite-low-pay-no-opportunities-for-advancement-feeling-disrespected/#:~:text=Majorities%20of%20workers%20who%20quit,major%20reasons%20why%20they%20left.