Global survey reveals the need for Canadian companies to re-imagine workforce planning and development approaches

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TORONTO, May 12, 2021 – Despite facing unprecedented challenges in sourcing skilled labour, only slightly more than half of employers around the world are embracing leading-edge talent strategies like reskilling, upskilling and redeployment to future-proof their workforces, according to a new global survey of hiring managers and executives from LHH, the world’s leading talent development and career solutions company.

The survey of 2,100 HR decision-makers in Canada, the US, the United Kingdom, France and Australia found that only 56 per cent of all organizations are actively working to future-proof their talent pipelines. However, within that figure, there is evidence that organizations are struggling with the key components of a future-looking HR strategy.

The survey also found that less than half (47.2 per cent) of organizations are focusing their attention on the transferrable skills of existing employees to fill future job openings, a critical component for the redeployment of talent.

As well, just less than 40 per cent (38.6 per cent) of HR decision-makers who do not currently participate in reskilling or upskilling programs say that they simply have not considered them (38.6 per cent). In addition, only 33.5 per cent of all respondents are extremely confident in their organization’s ability to effectively launch and manage reskilling and upskilling programs. 

The survey found that over a third (36 per cent) of Canadian companies have not considered reskilling or upskilling programs to future proof their talent pipeline through programs, training, and development opportunities. Additionally, only 26 per cent of these are extremely confident that their organization can effectively launch and manage a reskilling or upskilling program.

“With the rollout of vaccines translating into the possibility of getting back to ‘normal’, the need for enhanced skilling processes has become more critical than ever,” says Jim Mitchell, President, LHH Canada. “Although Canadian organizations realize the importance of talent strategy programs, like reskilling, upskilling or coaching, many of them have yet to unfold its true potential by equally prioritizing soft skills and consistently revisiting policies to build a culture of learning. Sustained focus towards preparing employees for jobs of the future will ultimately help build a resilient and stable workforce.”  

John Morgan, newly appointed president of LHH, said it is not surprising that some companies are struggling with the challenge of future-proofing their talent pipelines, given that they are facing an unprecedented array of economic, environmental and social forces that have disrupted traditional workforce management.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and increasing demands for diversity, companies must still contend with the profound impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Morgan said. The World Economic Forum has predicted that as many as 85 million people could be displaced from current jobs by advances in AI.

“Identifying transferable skills and investments in reskilling and upskilling strategies are, simply put, the most effective ways of meeting future talent needs,” Morgan said. “In the past, companies could fire people with outmoded skills and then go out and hire new people with new skills to fill the jobs of the future. With the global skills shortage, that is no longer even remotely possible.”

Investing in reskilling and upskilling is also very timely given that countries around the world – including the United States and those in the European Union – are pouring trillions of dollars into stimulus programs to help workers escape dying industrial sectors and move into jobs that are matched to future skills’ needs, Morgan added.

Media who would like more findings from this survey should contact LHH@kaiserpartners.com. 

About LHH 

In today’s marketplace, organizations are discovering the need to turn their attention inward to find their future talent. At LHH, we help companies see the possibilities in their people. Through assessments, coaching, upskilling and transitioning, companies can realize the untapped potential within their own workforce, resulting in increased productivity, morale, and brand affinity.
A division of The Adecco Group—the world’s leading HR solutions partner—LHH’s 4,000 coaches and colleagues work with more than 12,000 organizations in over 60 countries around the world. We make a difference to everyone we work with, and we do it on a global scale. We have the local expertise, global infrastructure, and industry-leading technology to manage the complexity of critical workforce initiatives and the challenges of transformation. It’s why 60 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies choose to work with us.

For additional information, contact:

Laura Chambers 
Marketing Director 
P +1 416.928.4556

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