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Employee Engagement | 4 minute read

Canada Skills Shortage Solution: Attract & Retain A Diverse Workforce

November 3, 2016

Canada is expected to have a shortage of approximately 2 million workers by 2031. Some may say this is old news; others may even say this is good news given the original projection was a shortage of 2.7 million workers. Whatever your reaction is to the projected Canada skills shortage, the fact remains  as a talent leader within Canada, you must prepare your organization today for success in the future and do so in a strategic, revenue-driven manner. While there are multiple dynamics that play into a talent strategy, to be successful, a key aspect must be attracting and retaining a diversified workforce.

Organizations with a diversity recruiting strategy already in place have increased marketability and a competitive edge with both candidates and customers. Through diversification of new ideas and varied perspectives, unique solutions are developed in the workplace. As we look to the future of Canadian businesses, the organizations that proactively embrace cultural diversity in the workplace and the dynamic mix of talents its employees with various backgrounds bring to their teams will exceed their customers’ expectations and become an employer of choice.

As a leader, you are constantly tasked with evaluating processes and looking for efficiencies to improve your business and innovate. And, in order for your organization to ensure it's managing diversity in the workplace through a diversity recruitment initiative, you must first evaluate your current talent acquisition and employment branding initiatives, then actively seek out opportunities to develop areas further. So how does your company ensure that it’s assessing a diverse, qualified group of potential candidates? Regarding your implementation strategy, it can be simplified by focusing on two things: external exposure and internal culture. 


The success of your diversity strategy will be dependent upon the amount of exposure your initiatives have within the targeted demographics. Conducting an honest and thorough inventory of your current diversity recruitment and hiring initiatives will enable you to identify gaps and areas for improvement. The results of your inventory should include professional associations and community-based organizations with an emphasis on diversity. Next, your focus must be expanding and developing these relationships, increasing the awareness of your employment brand and hiring needs among the varied audiences.

Not sure how to build these relationships? Leverage information available through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), as this is a great resource for identifying local organizations servicing the immigrant population. Take advantage of regional networks, such as JOIN or AborinialCareers.ca, to expand and connect with qualified diversity candidates in your community. Lastly, leverage career fairs and university/college recruitment initiatives as a way to connect with your community and candidates more personally!


When thinking of your employment brand visibility, the attention should equally focus on your organization's internal culture. For example, does your company currently participate in events and/or recognize holidays that are important to the cultures of a diverse population? If not, you can refer to and adopt the national diversity calendar. Take this as an opportunity to highlight facts to educate your employees about the holidays of their diverse coworkers.

Leverage your internal tools, such as Yammer or your Intranet, to engage employees: Ask them to participate in engagement questions or company initiatives. Campaigns inspire employees and will increase employee morale and engagement, thus encouraging them to share these inspirational campaigns with their networks. Creating a culture of awareness and acceptance will increase employee engagement, continue to attract diverse candidates and retain your current employees.

Getting your company out there as a diverse hiring leader starts with creating committed diversity and inclusion recruitment initiatives and then gaining exposure for those initiatives internally and externally. By including your internal employees, you will develop them into your brand ambassadors thereby extending your reach for external exposure and be the premier company to work for!

[AT A GLANCE] Learn More About The State Of Gender Equality In The Canadian  Workforce And How To Create An Inclusive Environment!

About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent workforce solutions, talent consulting and talent intelligence.