Why hiring the right employee is about to get even harder

Finding and keeping top talent is key

Hiring the perfect candidate is about to get a whole lot tougher because Canada’s workforce keeps shrinking, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency predicts that the number of people about to enter the labour pool (aged 15–24) is set to drop below the number about to exit it (aged 55–64) over the next decade. Only the most optimistic projections show a return to a ratio of one new worker for every retiree—and even then, not until the late 2020s.

Chart showing projected change in workforce from Statistics Canda

Getting your pick of the best up-and-comers entering the ranks of the employed could mean offering flexible schedules or locating yourself near where they live. Fortunately, fewer new workers doesn’t mean you have to lower your hiring standards. Our friends at PROFIT have outlined a few mistakes to avoid in attracting top talent, including sitting around waiting for an opening:

You can’t afford to wait for turnover to trigger your search for new employees. You need to build a pipeline of talented candidates and constantly be on the lookout for top talent—everywhere.

Executives from the PROFIT 500 also have some handy tips to keep your workforce dynamic and fresh. A Hundred Answers Inc.’s Sean Murphy suggests getting social:

“This year we decided to tone down our use of recruiters and use LinkedIn as a different tactic. And for about $25,000, I’ve already hired about 13 people. And so from a pure dollars and cents ROI perspective, you can’t beat it.”

Dominic Bortulossi of The Working Group Inc. says it’s important to get ’em while they’re young:

“We offer a paid apprenticeship program, in which recent graduates come in for three months and get paired up with one of our senior developers. And we work on a career plan with them to determine what area of software design or development that they want to focus on. They get put on a project team with us. They work on their skill development. Every day there’s time for reviews via a senior developer to check on what they’ve done. It has been really successful. We’ve pretty much hired every apprentice that’s come through that system.”

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some talent. Before there’s none left.