As we begin to move past the pandemic, businesses are now encountering labour shortages and the “great resignation”, which is seeing many employees leaving their present employer to seek work that has greater work/life balance, increased work from home options, or flexible working arrangements, along with better developmental opportunities and/or increased compensation. The voluntary quit rate is 25 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

To ensure that organizations have sufficient and qualified staff, the following best practices will assist with managing and recruiting top talent.

Retain what you already have.

The best way to manage your labour pool is to keep the staff you have. Begin by examining your turnover rates to determine the reason and root cause for leaving. Exit interviews are a valuable exercise in determining the cause of an exit. Was it the money and benefits? Or was it the culture, lack of opportunities, or perhaps a bad relationship with the manager?

Considering the above information, examine how the culture of the organization may have contributed to the employees leaving and make changes to the culture if deemed necessary. If work/life balance was one of the reasons for an employee leaving, be flexible in examining work rules, such as scheduling, to try and accommodate employees’ needs. Not only will this assist with retention, but it will also make you a more attractive employer when recruiting.

Assess qualifications.

Given the current shortage of labour, review job descriptions and the stated required qualifications. Don’t fall into the trap of overstating qualifications, especially the experience and educational factors – this just makes hiring more difficult at a time when labour is at such a premium.

Create a female friendly workplace.

As a result of the Covid shutdowns, the female workforce experienced a negative impact. The Canadian Human Rights Commission stated: “As services that supported women at work shut down, many women had to quit their jobs to care for their children, and in some cases their parents”. As the economy opens, women are not able to return to work without support for their personal responsibilities. By developing policies that support women at work, an organization will position itself as an employer of choice and gain an advantage over organizations who cannot or choose not to provide this support. Following is some of the policies that will assist in recruiting and retention:

  • Scheduling flexible working hours, where possible.
  • Flexible work/home arrangements.
  • Paid leave for family emergencies.
  • Mental health support through arrangements with medical clinics or an Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Access the most underutilized workforce – Immigrants.

There are two significant barriers that immigrants face when seeking employment at a level that they have trained and educated for:

  • Undervaluing of their credentials earned in their native country, and
  • Employers requiring Canadian experience.

Find opportunities to address the first barrier by finding ways to have foreign credentials evaluated, such as through a university, and determine what is needed to achieve accreditation. Then take the steps to develop a plan for the employee to obtain the credentials, while employed, if at all feasible.

The second barrier to gaining the right level of employment for immigrants is the need to have Canadian experience. Often this need is overstated and/or not needed at all. Recently the Ontario Government has announced that they will do away with this requirement and the employers who remove this barrier will have a great advantage over those who cling to it.

Develop an employer brand.

With the highly competitive labour market, organizations must distinguish themselves from other employers. The emerging leading practice is to develop an employer brand. Employer branding is a strategy that seeks to influence how current employees and the rest of the larger workforce perceive an organization’s brand. While branding in general may target consumers, employer branding specifically targets an organization’s workforce and prospective hires. As a result, it is a communication approach designed to retain high-performing employees and attract top-ranking talent. Once you have developed your employer brand, it becomes a mechanism to use in marketing your organization as an employer of choice.

Passive recruitment is no longer sufficient for attracting and retaining the workforce you desire in your organization. Consider these best practices to improve your chance in finding and keeping the employees you need to meet your organization’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives.

At Pesce & Associates, our consultants have years of experience in developing programs to provide organizational capabilities to confront the future. For more information, please visit our website at or contact Elizabeth Hill, Managing Partner, at 416- 491-1501 extension 23 or at

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