HR not immune from the labour shortage (Guest commentary)

Alberta’s hot labour market makes HR practitioners a very valuable commodity
By Christopher Harper
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/22/2007

For many organizations in Alberta, the term “labour shortage” has been part of every manager’s professional vocabulary for some time. The construction, oil and gas and service sectors have been in the spotlight because they are the most visible signs of the labour shortage. Within organizations, the front line positions tend to be experiencing the greatest labour rotation and receiving the greatest attention because they are the revenue generating roles.

But one of the untold stories is that HR departments themselves are struggling with their own challenges when it comes to stable labour. Many HR departments in Alberta are experiencing all the symptoms of the labour shortage: high turnover, increasing workloads, increasing demands and, naturally, near-dry applicant pools.

But how could this be? HR is the champion of retention in organizations. They help others retain their talent. While it seems a contradiction that HR is experiencing high turnover, there are some reasons behind the problem.