Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian businesses more inclined to new talent strategies and work-from-home policies than global counterparts

by CM Staff   

Human Resources Operations

A new survey show that 88 per cent of Canadian C-suite and human capital leaders have talent strategies that are now more focused on workforce agility than ever before.

When compared to global counterparts Canadian companies are more likely to embrace new talent strategies and shift more roles to contingent, project, or contract work, a new survey conducted by recruitment firm Randstad Sourceright says.

Randstad’s 2021 Talent Trends research surveyed 850 C-suite and human capital leaders across 17 markets, including Canada. “Business leaders from around the world were candid in indicating that the pandemic sped up their transformation and some shared it will likely permanently change their workforce model in the months ahead,” Randstad officials said in a Sept. 27 news release.

“You can’t achieve the business agility needed to thrive in today’s world without an agile workforce,” said Jean-Francois Vezina, Randstad’s executive vice president, head of Canada. “If you’ve built a contingent workforce, your business is already experiencing some of the benefits, but as skills gaps widen and demand for talent heats up again, you’re going to have to take a more holistic approach to talent acquisition to get ahead.”

According to Vezina, the future of work is already here, pushed forward by the pandemic and ongoing digitalization. “After more than a year-and-a-half of remote work and flexible schedules, the global workforce has acclimated and embraced a lot of change in a very brief amount of time,” he said.


Survey results indicate that:

  • 88 per cent of Canadian C-suite and human capital leaders say their talent strategies are now more focused on workforce agility than ever before. Globally the number is 77 per cent, with 56 per cent expecting to shift more of their roles to contingent, project or contract work.
  • Globally, 47 per cent of organizations are increasing budgets earmarked for total talent investment to determine the best mix of permanent and contingent workers. In Canada it’s higher with 54 per cent increasing budgets and 63 per cent expecting to implement total talent management in 2021.

“As economic recovery accelerates around the world, the contingent workforce will be critical to making the most of market opportunities for many companies over the next year,” Vezina said. “Businesses would be wise to consider how flexible talent can help them gain business agility during this time of heightened volatility and opportunity.”

The pandemic has made companies more cognizant of the need to offer flexible work arrangements., Randstad said, and the survey results indicate this is particularly true for Canadian companies:

  • 84 per cent will consider some sort of permanent work-from-home policy post-pandemic.
  • 59 per cent of permanent employees are currently working remotely, nearly twice as many as before the pandemic (28 per cent).

Canada’s human capital leaders also see the need to lean more on technology and analytics to attract and retain talent, the survey reveals – specifically, Canadian companies interviewed for the Talents Trends Report indicated:

  • 40 per cent will keep their predictive talent analytics budgets steady, and 50 per cent are stating they are increasing their investments in this area.
  • 84 per cent say talent analytics play a critical role in sourcing, attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. Last year, this figure was 74 per cent.
  • 72 per cent believe that AI will open-up new opportunities for talent, and 62 per cent believe jobs will be lost from broad adoption.

“With so much innovation occurring, every organization should constantly assess how new tools can be used to offload low-value, repetitive work from their workers so they can focus on revenue-impacting activities,” Vezina said.


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