Talent Management • 3 min reading

Strategies to Counter the Labour Shortage

Our previous article on disengagement revealed how disengagement is a severe . When you consider the labour shortage that is getting worse over time. After a lot of research and thanks to our Live Discussions, we have identify some strategies that can be implemented to address the talent shortage.

An Issue That We Can’t Ignore

Without a doubt, the labour shortage is an impediment to business growth. In 2018, the BDC predicted that this problem would last another decade.

With retirements on the rise and the decline in immigration—accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic—there is a historic imbalance in employment. In fact, only in Quebec, the job vacancy rate was 4.2% while the unemployment rate was 7.2% during the first quarter of 2021.

Statistics Canada estimates that approximately 400,000 employees will retire in 2026. Thus, the labour shortage situation is not a temporary affair, and companies should consider adopting new measures to attract and retain talent.

So, what is the key to attracting talent?

To attract candidates, a company must offer conditions that will also appeal to existing employees. However, some strategies can be put in place when it comes to hiring new staff.

Before Embarking on the Hiring Process

One of the first things to consider before starting the talent acquisition process is developing your employer brand. This topic will be covered in a future Live Discussion and in a subsequent article that will appear shortly.

Through a compelling value proposition, companies present their vision and corporate culture that can attract candidates. It then becomes a question of communicating them effectively, whether through a website, videos, or a presence on social media. As we now operate in an employee market, it’s important to position yourself well as an employer and “sell” yourself to the talent you’re looking for.

In addition, before posting a position, it’s essential to target the skills required along with the manager. The manager must therefore fully understand the issues related to the labour shortage. By reducing the number of criteria and focusing on the attitude and soft skills of applicants, you have better chances of attracting talent that might not otherwise have applied.

For example, a study by Hewlett Packard found that many women won’t apply for a job if they don’t have all the skills mentioned in a job offer, unlike men who are more likely to apply if they meet 60% of the prerequisites. It would be a shame to overlook such a large section of the labour pool.

Job posting may not be necessary if the employer calls on internal resources and a network of contacts. Some companies even give a bonus to employees who refer candidates to them.

During the Recruitment Process

You can use different strategies during the recruitment period, including the following:

  • Simplify and speed up the hiring process;
  • Indicate salary up front;
  • Implement training and development programs as well as support for career development, and make sure to promote these perks;
  • Emphasize working conditions (flexible hours, possible remote work, reduced weeks, pension plan, work-life balance, prospect of part-time or shared time, etc.);
  • Guarantee a number of hours and bonuses after holding a job for a certain period;
  • Offer the possibility of holding the interview remotely;
  • Recognize previous jobs in terms of seniority and, in this way, offer more vacation time and an adjusted salary.

How to retain talent?

Another way to counter the labour shortage is to foster employee retention rates. Setting up an onboarding program is an effective way to achieve this. I invite you to read this article for more information on the topic.

Investing in relationships and recognizing the work of employees is essential. To ensure people’s engagement, it could also be relevant to conduct ad hoc satisfaction surveys or interviews in order to identify issues and find solutions. Most Live Discussion participants report having had “exit interviews” with their employees to facilitate identification of issues.

For talent that is moving towards retirement, certain incentives can be considered. Here are a few examples:

  • Recognize seniority;
  • Reduce contributions;
  • Add vacation periods;
  • Offer part-time work;
  • Set up a mentoring system where the more experienced employee is the mentor.

Other Strategies

As you can see, there are many strategies to overcome the labour shortage. And though there may not be a catch-all solution, these approaches can still be useful in limiting its consequences. Finally, here are a few more ideas I have found in my research:

  • Invest in technologies, such as robotics, automation and digitization;
  • Directly recruit labour from remote areas or outside the country;
  • Collaborate with other employers, especially for seasonal jobs;
  • Use consultants or freelancers;
  • Provide permanence, upon hiring;
  • Organize open houses, interview days and other events and draft contracts in advance for successful candidates;
  • Offer a shuttle system;
  • Encourage employees to join the team by paying them from day one.

So, what are the strategies that you have in place? Feel free to share your experience and drop comment.

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