• Global Mobility: Revitalized policies help in tight labour markets


    According to a survey by Randstad Sourceright* of more than 900 human capital and C-suite leaders across 18 markets, two thirds of Canadian employers plan to hire extensively over the next 12 months. This recruitment push will be undertaken in an environment of a labour shortage and a shift in power to employees as they reconsider their jobs and working conditions.

    Our last blog suggested that some industries could see a reduction in required relocations for the category of jobs that can be done remotely (about 40% of all Canadian jobs), and this may be the case for a portion of the upcoming hires. However, the broad level of recruiting indicated by the survey will likely have to rely on a combination of creative strategies to bring candidates on board, including comprehensive relocation benefits, when necessary.

    To help with the labour shortage, some provinces in Canada, notably Ontario and Alberta, are loosening or removing barriers to hiring out-of-province workers for in demand professional and trade jobs. Many of these types of jobs cannot be done remotely and are not typically covered by relocation policies. This may need to change.

    Employers, at their end, are having to re-evaluate their talent management strategies. Two thirds of survey respondents are making retention a priority through increased focus on the employee experience (e.g., flexible work schedules and arrangements), as well as salary increases. Surprisingly, fewer (one quarter) say they plan to increase salaries for new hires and/or offer flexibility. This does not seem to align with their plans to hire extensively in over the next 12 months while in the midst of a labour shortage and an increasingly demanding workforce. Employers appear to be taking a “wait and see” approach before changing their hiring policies.

    However, even with access to geographically wider markets, combined with salary increases and greater job flexibility for workers, an effective mobility policy must be in place to succeed in attracting top candidates. Given the current challenging market conditions, should mobility policies (domestic or possibly cross-border) be refreshed? Will they need to include further enticements such as home sale/purchase for employment categories where this benefit was not previously offered? Should flexibility be added for more personalized access and funding to the benefits actually needed by the family? Should a cost-of-living differential or other allowance be provided in certain locations? And how about pets? In these tight markets, having a pet excluded from the relocation package could be a deal breaker.

    Ward O’Farrell Consultants has its finger on the pulse of the fast-changing global mobility industry. We can assist any organization with an assessment and review of existing policies and recommend changes that will increase acceptance rates and improve relocation experiences while managing program costs. We can also assist with the details such as relocation offers and logistics.

    * HR Reporter: Two-thirds of employers plan to hire ‘extensively’