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Recruitment, retention and workload issues continue to stymie employers: HR survey

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March 9, 2023
By Talent Canada

Anthony Ariganello, CEO of CPHR Canada.

Nearly 90 per cent of businesses in Canada are struggling to recruit workers, according to a new survey commissioned by human resources associations.

And roughly three-quarters (72 per cent) are also reporting retention challenges, according to the data from Leger on behalf of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) and the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

Lack of applicants, workers declining job offers

A lack of applicants has been the primary recruitment challenge, followed by candidates declining job offers, missing necessary hard skills, and lacking sufficient experience.

“The Leger findings demonstrate the significant pressure organizations continue to face, as we transition to a hybrid work environment post-pandemic,” said Anthony Ariganello, FCPHR, CEO CPHR Canada. “Employees made several adjustments to their work-life situations during COVID, and are now reticent to make additional changes, viewing extremely flexible work environments as a necessity and not a perk, particularly with the impacts high inflation are having on their finances.”


Retention focus

In terms of retention, offering flexible work options, re-evaluating employee compensation, and enhancing wellness, onboarding, and orientation programs, as well as culture building initiatives, lead the charge in terms of what HR leads have had to focus on.

HR professionals in BC & Yukon are more likely than those in the rest of Canada to have re-evaluated employee compensation, while those in Quebec were least likely to have done so, the survey found.

Rewards and recognition drive engagement

Close to 8 in 10 employers, or 79 percent of those surveyed, saw a slight improvement in employee engagement as a result of changes to their rewards and recognition programs. While members in Quebec were least likely to have rewards and recognition programs, those that did were most likely to report improvement in employee engagement, with 85 percent overall seeing anywhere from slight to extreme improvements in that province.

Workload concerns, DEI initiatives

On the issue of workloads, 91 percent of members have seen an increase in workloads over the past 12 months, but only 37 percent have received additional support.

And when asked about the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, a significant number of HR professionals say they have a formal strategy for addressing DEI initiatives (55 per cent) and an even larger number (76 per cent) have either implemented (60 per cent) or plan to implement (16 per cent) DEI initiatives in the near future.

While a good number (35-40 per cent) have seen some improvement in DEI since they started measuring initiatives, an equal number (37-43 per cent) say they don’t know if any improvement has happened.

“DEI has leapt onto the scene in HR departments throughout the country and companies are scrambling to ensure best practices are being implemented, as employees (especially young people) are demanding this from employers” says Steve Mossop, EVP of Leger. “That being said, we are at the early stages of these initiatives and while many companies are seeing positive results, the jury is out whether these initiatives are resulting in long-term meaningful change.”

About the study

The Leger study was conducted nationally between Oct. 31 and Nov. 22, 2022 with a total of 1,954 respondents completing the survey, which has a 2.2 per cent percent margin of error.

About CPHR Canada

CPHR Canada represents 31,000 members in the Human Resources Profession across nine provinces and three territories in Canada. Established in 1994, CPHR Canada is the national voice on the enhancement and promotion of the HR Profession. With an established and credible designation and collaboration on national issues, we are proactively positioning the national human resources agenda in Canada and representing the Canadian HR Profession with HR Associations around the world. For more information: www.cphr.ca

About HRPA

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) believes that better HR makes business better. HRPA ensures that its 24,000 members and students have the most up-to-date tools and the advanced skills to lead workplaces into the future. HRPA regulates HR professionals in Ontario in the public interest. Members are held to the province’s highest standards, so Ontario’s workplaces can unlock business growth and optimize employee potential. For more information: www.hrpa.ca.

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