Earlier this summer, David Macdonald, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives declared that 2022 has “the hottest summer job market since 1969.” Which puts Canada firmly in ‘employee market’ territory, meaning that job seekers have lots of options at their disposal and may receive multiple job offers. Which is great for those job seekers. But it can be challenging for the organizations who are looking to fill vacancies and are struggling to do so.
There are many fingers pointing at many root causes for our current employee market. Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, leaving vacancies in their retirement wake. Immigration slowed down substantially during COVID, so that has played a role in slowing our population growth. Birth rates are at a historic low. Several industries are experiencing massive growth. And finally, as WealthCo President Sophie Blais points out, “employees have had a couple of years, thanks to COVID, to really assess what they are looking for in an organization and in a company culture and they are now empowered and willing to make the necessary moves to meet those needs.”
So, how can your organization position itself to be a company that people are leaving other jobs to come to…rather than the other way around? It’s no longer enough to be good. Employers in these competitive times need to be great.
The Obvious Top Talent Carrots
Offering a competitive salary and a strong suite of employee benefits are always a safe bet when it comes to attracting top talent. Are you in line with what others in the industry are offering? Has your employee benefits package been adjusted to reflect modern times and what is currently in-demand in the marketplace?
Employee benefits should include opportunities for professional development. Prospective team members want to know that they will be able to grow and advance in their careers. By offering training and development programs, you can demonstrate that you are invested in your employees' success.
Providing employees with a meaningful and challenging work experience is also something that will appeal strongly to high performers. Top candidates want to know that they will be working on interesting projects that make a difference. They also want to feel like they are truly part of a team and that their contributions are valued.
The Less Obvious Top Talent Carrots
While salary and benefits definitely matter to an in-demand candidate, there are several other considerations that factor into an employment decision. Take flexibility for example. Once upon a time, working onsite was the norm before COVID hit and a good portion of the workforce transitioned to remote work. And some of these people now prefer remote work and will pass on a job that doesn’t accommodate for it.
To really stand out from the employer crowd takes outside of the box thinking.
“Something we’ve done at WealthCo that has been a big win with our team is the Birthday Day Off,” Blais shares. “Everyone gets an extra day off in their birthday month to celebrate – it’s a gifted day by the company.”
Every year the entire company also takes part in an annual retreat, which has been another big win for the team.
“Our team members value having the ability to contribute, both in big and small ways, and this retreat gives everyone the opportunity to step back from their day-to-day and engage in some bigger picture thinking.”
It doesn’t hurt that the annual retreat is also a nice getaway in a lovely location, one that provides ample opportunity for teambuilding, cohesion, and creativity.
The Corporate Culture Carrot
Savvy and well-prepared candidates will be reviewing your website, online reviews, and possibly even your social media presence in advance of an interview and will be starting to already formulate an opinion on whether your organization is the right fit for them. Does your website and your online footprint properly reflect your corporate values and culture? Look at your online presence through the eyes of a potential new employee and be honest about whether your organization is hitting the mark and telling your corporate culture story. And while you are at it, maybe take a look at how your competitors are telling their story.
The interview stage is a really excellent forum for hitting the corporate culture aspect home and sussing out whether it is a fit for prospective candidates.
“I do a final culture interview with all prospective hires to get a sense of what kind of culture they are looking for,” Blais shares. “I also ask questions to ascertain what their sense of our culture is and what some of their experiences have been in the past relating to corporate cultures. I feel that organizational culture is such a strong differentiator, and deserves sufficient air time during the interview process.”
While an employee market can be challenging for employers, it also provides a good opportunity for them to review their suite of benefits, take stock of what their employees appreciate and what they would like to see changed, and just generally take a holistic look at their corporate culture. By taking the time to understand the role that all their various employee offerings play in attracting and retaining top talent, organizations can make informed decisions about how to adjust going forward.
As President, Sophie drives WealthCo’s ‘WOW’ client experience, ensuring that our CPA partner firms get best-in-class service at every level. Sophie provides inspired leadership and sounds management that establishes credibility and promotes an entrepreneurial team culture. Sophie lives and breathes WealthCo’s core values of respect, teamwork, leadership, accountability, and passion.
The Integrated Advisory community consists of a network of progressive CPA firms, along with best-in-class professional advisors, service, and product specialists, who work together to deliver an elevated and holistic client experience. One that optimizes both their personal and professional lives with an integrated financial strategy designed to help clients reach their goals.
Related: How to Hire Great People