Alternatives solutions to the labor shortage


Last September, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) released a study that will affect several company in Quebec: Labor shortage: here to stay.

Yes, we are still talking about the labor shortage! All this based on this study, which highlights several important elements about the lack of workers in Canada and how businesses can respond to them.

This subject has challenged us and we find it important to share some points with you.

An issue that affects you

First, according to this recent study, nearly 40% of small and medium-sized Canadian businesses are already struggling to hire new employees, and the situation is getting worse.

In addition, the sectors facing the greatest difficulties are those of manufacturing, retail trade and construction.

Indeed, based on our experience of the past years at Métier Plus dealing with companies in these sectors, we could feel that the shortage of labor affected first the remote regions. These companies realized that standard recruitment was no longer working. This is a fact, it is necessary to diversify the means to compensate for retirements and meet the demands of production. Note that this shortage has already begun to reach the Montreal region as well.

A significant direct impact? An inability to execute orders that leads to a decrease in the growth of your business.

After reading BDC’s recent study, here are various alternative solutions to the labor shortage.

Be proactive

Wages and overtime increases, but still?

1. HR Marketing

Make your workplace attractive! We are not talking about investing in decoration of your offices, ping-pong table or unlimited coffee. We can get there in a simpler way.

For example, the first step would be to create a company culture page on your website, stating:

  • The benefits to work for you
  • Advertise what more you offer than your competitors
  • Put forward the values and the lifestyle of your company
2. Solidify HR policies

The study states that companies with strong HR policies increase the chances of keeping their current employees, but also of attracting new ones. But concretely, what are human resources policies? Here are some examples that you could set up in your company:

  • Have a company manual
  • Standardize and officialise candidates selection process
  • Establish compensation practices
  • Have a training and career development program
  • Encourage team autonomy
  • Communicate freely with the employees
  • Establish the company’s values

The goal is to formalize policies in your human resources department to provide solid foundation to your business. This will help current and new employees feel secure and supported within the company. They will develop a sense of belonging and will not want to leave for the competition!

3. Modify hiring criteria

Given the current situation, hiring someone who meets all of the selection criteria is close to impossible.

Obviously, you need to establish a basic profile of the person you are looking for. On the other hand, when selecting candidates, there should be more focus on the attitude and potential of the candidates.

Thus, hiring younger or less qualified candidates is more feasible. Note that the shortcomings of the new hired employee, and even current employees, can be filled through training.

4. Improve working conditions

 On a daily basis, working conditions can be improved. In addition to salary increases, practices can be put in place to promote employee retention such as:

  • Performance pay
  • RRSP contribution
  • Social activities
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Work-life balance
5. International recruitment, a priceless opportunity

According to a survey of 1208 entrepreneurs, hiring of newcomers is the strategy the least used. This makes it a great missed opportunity that could help industry with their hiring issues.

Indeed, 22% of the labor supply in the next years will come from the future immigrant population.

At Métier Plus International, we have partnerships with Central American countries. Why should you consider hiring foreign workers? Beyond the fact that these countries share a similar culture, we surveyed companies that have hired foreign workers and they were all happily surprised by their integration capacity, experience, competence and how well they worked.