Succession planning key for future

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A new report suggests three possible portraits of Canada in 2025. HR professionals should prepare now for each outcome, and help ensure the best results for their company and the country.

The biggest risk to employers is losing older workers, and their expertise, without being able to find skilled replacements.

The CanadaWorks report, from HRPA and Deloitte says if nothing changes Canada is facing one of two negative results. The first possibly scenario is referred to as the ‘Lost Decade’, which sees people without jobs and a skills shortage, slow immigration and increased emigration as well as aggressive outsourcing.

Scenario two, ‘Unsustainable Prosperity’, would see success and growth in the natural resources field, while other sectors suffer the same problems as in the ‘Lost Decade’.

The ideal future scenario is ‘Northern Tiger’ – where government and businesses have worked together to improve Canadian’s skill set, direct them into the areas where there are shortages, and ensuring sufficient levels of skilled immigration. “As individual actors, managers need to have their systems in place to identify and pluck the best candidates,” says Deloitte GTA human capital consulting leader Jeff Moir. “Companies need to invest in people and develop them, and ensure you can retain them.”

He said industries needed to ensure young people just starting to pick careers knew what jobs were available, and to also work with career counsellors and educators to direct graduates to their industries.

The organizations stress that the good outcomes are still possible, but require discussion and effort from individuals, companies and the government. “Today, you can look and say everything’s fine and we’re cruising right along, but that’s what they said about the Titanic,” says Bill Greenhalgh, CEO of the Human Resources Professionals Association. “We see this as the start of the process, not the end of the process.”

What you can do now:
 

  1. Succession planning
    Know how long people intend to stay and keep track of who’s headed for retirement. Update your succession plan frequently and talk to people about how they can pass on their knowledge.
     
  2. Employment brand
    Potential employees could know more about the company than you know about them. Ensure the existence of a strong employment brand online and develop the programs and engagement strategies that make sure that brand is top quality.
     
  3. Flexibility
    The top talent is worth compromising for. For example, as baby boomers retire, they might want to work part time, which is a way to ensure you’re not losing their expertise.
     
  4. Engagement
    It’s not all about money – it’s about giving people responsibility, helping them understand where the company is going and how it’s going to get there.
     
  5. Talent attraction
    Get the right people in the right places – hire for value. Find people who reflect the values of the company because if they match, those people will stay around for a long time.

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