How widespread are labour shortages in Canada and what impact are they having on small and medium-sized businesses? To find out, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) recently surveyed more than 1,200 entrepreneurs about how a shortage of workers is affecting their business.
Canada’s labour force growth is slowing because the baby-boom generation is retiring. Almost 40% of Canadian entrepreneurs are already having difficulty finding the workers they need. And there’s no relief in sight for at least a decade.
As a result, some companies are unable to fill customer orders or even have to refuse them. Quality is suffering and competitiveness is declining.
Worker scarcity is most acute in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia and Ontario.
How entrepreneurs are currently dealing with a labour shortage:
Top 3 hiring practices
- Hire less-qualified workers
- Recruit younger workers
- Change compensation
Top 3 operating practices
- Improve efficiency
- Increase hours worked
- Automate processes
Four strategies you can implement now 4 to find and keep the employees you need:
- Develop an employee value proposition, defining your company’s vision, values and the reasons people are proud to work for you.
- Hire immigrants and workers from other under-used segments.
- Improve operational efficiency, automate processes and use more technology.
- Formalize your HR policies. Businesses with strong HR policies are 66% more likely to be fast growers, according to the study.
Read the complete survey and inspiring case studies of entrepreneurs who are overcoming a worker shortage by downloading the full report from BDC.