But how many employees will be allowed to work remotely?
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of Canadian employers plan to hire extensively over the next 12 months.
That’s according to a survey by Randstad Sourceright of more than 900 human capital and C-suite leaders across 18 markets.
Nearly one-third (30 per cent) of human capital leaders say talent scarcity is a major pain point. This was the top-cited response, followed by talent retiring or voluntarily choosing to leave the workplace (30 per cent) and increased competition for top talent (16 per cent).
Globally, a quarter of respondents said they experienced a reduction in profitability as a direct result of talent scarcity, and 25 per cent had to reduce the level of service delivered to their customers.
Labour shortages are expected to be an obstacle over the next three months for nearly two-fifths (37 per cent) of all employers, according to a separate from Statistics Canada.
That’s led by those in accommodation and food services (65 per cent), construction (49 per cent), manufacturing (48 per cent) and the retail trade (46 per cent).
In addition, recruiting skilled employees is expected to be an obstacle for nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) of businesses, while retaining skilled employees is expected to be an obstacle for 30 per cent, says the government.
“Ghosting” by job candidates is taking an increasing toll on employers, according to Robert Half.
Flexible work options
When asked which levers are most effective in combatting talent scarcity, top answers for employers in Canada included: building talent pools for future needs, providing flexible working situations, increasing pay and offering sign-on bonuses, seeking talent outside of their typical geographies, and engaging more contingent talent.
As an example, one-half expect their permanent workforce to work remotely at least part of the time, while 65 per cent have asked employees to come back on site for at least a few days a week.
“Canadian businesses are reevaluating and recalibrating their talent acquisition strategies in 2022. To be successful and ensure they retain and attract talent, Canadian leaders need to understand their employees' expectations and prioritize their needs, which will help shape their business strategy,” says Veronica Frisch, executive vice president and head of Canada for Randstad Sourceright.
Several companies have announced plans to offer shortened work weeks to employees, including Alida and KPMG.
Consulting company Avanade also announced it is offering Canadian employees 100-per-cent flexibility in how they configure their workweek.
Combatting the labour shortage
Over two-fifths (45 per cent) of employers plan to increase wages offered to existing employees over the next 12 months, with over three-fifths (61 per cent) in accommodation and food services and over half in wholesale trade (55 per cent) and manufacturing (50 per cent) planning to do so, says Statistics Canada.
Nearly one-quarter of businesses plan to increase wages offered to new employees (24 per cent) or plan to offer flexible scheduling (23 per cent).
Keen to tackle its labour shortage, Ontario is introducing changes to help workers in more than 30 in-demand professions move to the province. The move follows one announced in October by Alberta.
Focus on ‘talent experience’
Globally, four in five (84 per cent) business leaders say they are more focused on talent experience than ever before, finds Randstad, in citing the “great resignation” which has seen the power shift to employees as they re-evaluate their jobs.
However, Canada may be lagging: While 82 per cent of employers globally say that focusing on employee well-being is helping them combat talent scarcity, just 67 per cent of Canadian employers say the same.
And while 88 per cent of Canadian leaders say that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is embedded in their talent strategies and integral to everything they do, just 54 per cent say their hiring practices supported diversity goals in 2021, finds Randstad.
“Canadian businesses will need to better understand how workplace diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental elements of their talent strategy. The reality is, by sustaining the momentum behind their DEI efforts, they will expand their talent pools and gain greater access to highly-qualified professionals,” says Frisch.
Scotiabank is banking on the power of allyship to move forward DEI in the workplace.