How have companies responded to worker shortage?
In the face of the numerous challenges employers faced this year, the majority of them are expressing optimism today and for the coming years, according to a recent report.
Two in three (67 per cent) employers are optimistic about the economic outlook today, 65 per cent have the same sentiment for the next 12 months and 73 per cent for the next five years, reports ATB Financial.
And they feel their own business will do good. More than seven in 10 are optimistic about their business outlook today (71 per cent), for the next year (72 per cent) and for the coming five years (76 per cent).
This optimism seems to be much higher for employers in Alberta compared with those in other parts of the country:
- 50 per cent are very optimistic about the economy today, compared with 29 per cent for Canada overall
- Just three per cent are very concerned about the economy for the next 12 months, compared with 14 per cent for Canada overall
- 83 per cent are optimistic about the economy for the next five years, compared with 71 per cent for the rest of the country
- 53 per cent of employers are somewhat optimistic about their business outlook for the next 12 months, compared with 39 per cent for Canada overall
- 0 per cent are very concerned about the economy for the next five years, compared with nine per cent for Canada overall
- 93 per cent are optimistic about their business outlook for the next five years, compared with 73 per cent for the rest of the country
- 60 per cent of employers are somewhat optimistic about their business outlook for the next five years, compared with 36 per cent for Canada overall
"While there are strong near-term headwinds, several factors are likely contributing to a more positive sentiment in Alberta over the medium term. This includes a revitalised energy sector, record interprovincial in-migration, and emerging growth areas like technology, hydrogen and food manufacturing," says Mark Parsons, ATB Financial's chief economist.
Last year, less than half of CEOs had "very strong" or "strong" expectations about their organization's growth over the next 12 months, according to a previous report from Deloitte. And RBC reported that a moderate recession was expected earlier this year.
More than half (55 per cent) of employers in Canada overall also believe that they are performing better than their peers when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, reports ATB Financial.
Among companies in Alberta, the number jumps to 70 per cent.
Top challenges for employers
However, Canadian employers admit that they have been going through a lot of challenges, according to the latest ATB Financial Boardroom Sentiment Survey of Business Leaders, based on a survey of 150 business leaders conducted between Sept. 11 and 28, 2023.
The biggest business challenges include:
- economic uncertainty/recession concerns (23 per cent)
- lack of skilled labour (21 per cent)
- additional labour costs due to inflation (17 per cent)
- labour shortages (17 per cent)
- ability to remain competitive with technology advances (16 per cent)
And employers have had to make adjustments to adapt. In response to challenges around labour shortage and the cost of labour, for instance, companies have had to:
- raise wages or benefits (32 per cent)
- offer hybrid work options (31 per cent)
- modify essential qualifications (30 per cent)
- “make do” with current staff (29 per cent)
- recruit outside of normal recruitment area within Canada (25 per cent)
Nearly three in four (73 per cent) of Canadian hiring decision-makers feel positively about the hiring outlook for the second half of this year, according to an Express Employment Professionals report released in August.
“As we venture closer to 2024, remember that success is a continuous journey,” says Nick Canfield, founder of GlobalHola.com Outsourcing, via Medium. “By reflecting on the past, setting clear goals, embracing digital transformation with AI integration, incentivizing innovation, prioritizing customer experience, and creating local communities for your workplace, you’ll position your business for sustainable growth and prosperity.
“Stay agile, adapt to change, and always be open to new possibilities. That’s how to prepare your business for 2024!”