Talent Shortage: Three Ways to Stop It Affecting Your Bottom Line

The first quarter unemployment results in 2018 in Ontario is really good news. We haven’t seen unemployment this low in 40 years. However, for you as an employer, a business owner, a leader, this means that there is going to be an even stronger war for talent than there ever has before. How do you keep top talent in this job seeker’s economy?

I’ve shared in previous VLOGs, we already know we’re in the midst of a talent shortage that shows no signs of easing until 2030 (Deloitte). In addition, with it being a job seeker’s economy, this means we can expect an even greater talent squeeze for no other reason than people have more choice. If the grass seems greener on the other side, there is less fear and greater motivation to check out other pastures.  For two industries, in particular, tech and healthcare, this squeeze is even stronger than it has been in a long time.

Rather than panic, there are some easy ways to retain top talent and keep them even more loyal than ever before. And given how few organizations are turning their mind to this, you will stand out from the rest.

Hear that? It’s opportunity knocking. You have an opportunity to be the employer of choice. The one that people run to. If you haven’t decided that you are going to be the employer of choice, maybe it’s time to consider the benefits. I hope this evidence and data substantiates the value of this commitment (and that no, it’s not just logos and award ceremonies…it’s a way of being as an employer that is dramatically different than unhealthy places to work.)

Here’s the deal. Despite the fact that industries are experiencing a talent shortage, there are still some organizations that have no vacancies beyond natural attrition. People in these organizations would not think to leave the organization they love! How do you become that place where your recruiter is bored stiff (HR friends, wouldn’t that be a dream?) Well, here’s a few tips:

  1. Be a Great Place To Work

Make a decision to be that great place to work. Great Place to Work Institute has found that trust is the number one variable that separates good places to work from great places to work. So, be impeccable with your word. Be very transparent. Demonstrate trustworthy behaviours. These are not things that cost money and they may take some time, but it’s powerful. (Want to read more evidence on this? Check out my co-authored article with GPTW here).

  1. Practice Recognition Daily

Getting back to the basics, and what I so often talk about, is to ensure your talent know they are valued and doing a good job. Recognition is the key to a happy workplace as it boosts engagement, trust, continuous improvement behaviours, satisfaction with leadership and intention to stay (read more about the evidence in HR Professional Magazine  here). Plus, it is what staff say they want! Conference Board of Canada’s Study on Application showed simple acts like a verbal or written thank you with personal and specific words of acknowledgement is lacking but desired (you can read more here). Celebrate the teams, particularly if, in this current talent shortage, you have people filling in the gaps picking up the slack. Celebrate and acknowledge your people going above and beyond. Tell them how glad you are that they are still here.

  1. Remain a Great Place to Work

As a leadership team, or owner of the organization, decide that you are going to stay a great place to work. Even in an economic downturn, how are you going to lead your organization so that you will remain a great place to work, even when you could easily put the brakes on all the focus on talent? It is never a time to put the brakes on that. And trust me, leaders and biz owners, your HR people get very frustrated when those downturns happen and the focus on people wanes. They know at some point the organization is going to have to pay the piper, and they feel undervalued when their voice is not heard when they reinforce the importance of valuing people even when there isn’t a talent shortage.

See the value here? Why not share with your team so that together, you can engage in a conversation about just how well you are going to be able to survive this talent shortage and the job seeker’s economy.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

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