It’s true. The Great Resignation isn’t just a 2021 phenomenon. It’s happening right now.

And although it’s taking place with more intensity in the U.S. (where over 4.3 million workers resigned in November 2021 alone) 1, employee retention challenges remain a problem for Canadian employers. As it stands, Canadian companies are collectively scrambling to fill 915,000 job vacancies, 80% more than in 2019, according to Statistics Canada, and well above pre-pandemic levels. 2

These departures have left a gaping hole in the job market that’s expected to widen as even more workers consider quitting this year. In a 2022 Microsoft Work Index study, 52% of Gen Zs and Millennials, both globally and in Canada, said they’d think about leaving or switching their jobs in the next twelve months, especially if their current position prevented them from enjoying their life. More Baby Boomers (and other workers who delayed retirement in 2020) are also expected to exit the workforce this year.

What’s unfolding then is not just the Great Resignation (the symptom) but the Great Prioritization (the cause). Simply put, people are putting a greater focus on well-being, health (physical, social and mental), family (childcare and/or aging parents) and other hobbies and interests – and by extension, taking the time to consider who they work for, how they work, and why they work.

Microsoft’s latest study shows that overall, 37% of Canadian workers are open to new opportunities. Those numbers are higher than last year across several reports, signaling that the Great Resignation is indeed far from over. 3

Winning the War on Talent

A recent initiative led by Chetan Sehgal, BDO Canada, Partner, Advisory and Forensic Disputes & Investigations, and his BDO team looked at how the current labour shortage is impacting businesses.

“The biggest issue is that because the talent pool is currently limited there’s a heightened risk that employers may not be hiring the right people for their businesses,” says Chetan. “It’s really an employee’s market, akin to a housing market where supply is limited, and demand is high resulting in sellers being in the driver’s seat. So, the sellers in this case are the talent – and the buyers (employers) may not have much time to do their due diligence. During this time, some people are being hired based on their resume alone, with limited due diligence about whether the candidate has the appropriate experience, would be a good fit culturally, or if something in that candidates’ background can potentially jeopardize the company’s reputation.”

To win the war on talent, HR leaders and businesses need to be strategic. “For example, because Canada has an aging population and coupled with the Great Resignation, the immigrant talent pool will likely play an even more important role to fill the gap than it has ever before,” says Chetan. Diversity and inclusion (in race, age, education, and mindset) can also be key to fixing the current talent shortage. [Read more about this here.]

For businesses looking for qualified HR professionals, then Hire Authority is an excellent place to start. Hire Authority is exclusive to HRPA members and students, so businesses can trust that candidates are committed to the HR profession and the continuous learning needed to lead today’s evolving workplaces.

Beyond recruitment “it’s about reimaging how work gets done in an organization and what tools you need to have in place to help your employees thrive,” says Chetan. That can include providing workplace flexibility and accommodation, professional development opportunities, fair pay, exit interviews (for those who leave), succession planning, the right technology, a strong work culture, clear company vision – and various other investments in and supports for the people you already have.4 5

Jobseeker: How to Leverage the Great Resignation

The current state of the labour market has given qualified jobseekers an edge (putting them in the driver’s seat). But it’s not necessarily putting employers at the mercy of workers. Rather the shift in power dynamics has evened out the playing field, giving job hunters the opportunity to find roles that are mutually beneficial.

If you’re an HR jobseeker, here are three ways you can use the Great Resignation to your advantage:

  1. Figure out what is important to you – Do you want to work remotely? Are you looking to work for a certain industry? The great thing about Hire Authority is that it allows you to narrow down the job title, salary expectations and role type you prefer. There is also an abundance of job opportunities to choose from.

  2. Prioritize Quality over Quantity – It’s tempting to haphazardly blast out as many resumes and CVs as you can. But it’s not ideal. Instead, focus on creating a quality resume that shows off all your relevant expertise, then upload it to your Hire Authority profile. If the jobs you apply to require a cover letter, make sure those are meaningful and tailored to the role you want to get and the company you wish to work for.

  3. Maintain Your Network – No matter what’s going on in the job market, it’s important to build good relationships. For one, it can help you understand more about the opportunities that are out there. HRPA’s professional development events, Mentorship Program and Online Communities are great tools for connecting with the HR community.

    On top of that, you can stay connected to the HR job market and community through the Hire Authority newsletter. When you subscribe, you’ll be notified about what companies are looking for HR pros right now and our career-related events. To subscribe to the newsletter, click “Manage Your Preferences” found at the bottom of most HRPA emails.

Set up your Hire Authority profile today and land your next HR role: HRPA Jobseeker Sign in


Interviewee Bio
Sehgal_Chetan_website2016
Chetan Sehgal

Partner, Forensic Disputes & Investigations CPA, CA, CFF, CFI, CAMS, DIFA, MAcc BDO Canada LLP – National

Chetan is a Partner at BDO’s Toronto office. With over 20 years of professional accounting and advisory services, Chetan is a seasoned expert. He specializes in managing complex disputes, investigations, insurance claims, and construction delay claim matters requiring loss quantification and expert witness testimony.

Chetan has an exclusive focus in the area of civil litigation, criminal litigation, and commercial insurance loss matters. He conducts complex financial fraud investigations and provides damages quantification expertise to the legal community, insurance professionals, corporations, C-Suite executives, board of directors, special committees, and policing authorities.

Read his full bio

Sehgal_Chetan_website2016
Chetan Sehgal

Partner, Forensic Disputes & Investigations CPA, CA, CFF, CFI, CAMS, DIFA, MAcc BDO Canada LLP – National

Chetan is a Partner at BDO’s Toronto office. With over 20 years of professional accounting and advisory services, Chetan is a seasoned expert. He specializes in managing complex disputes, investigations, insurance claims, and construction delay claim matters requiring loss quantification and expert witness testimony.

Chetan has an exclusive focus in the area of civil litigation, criminal litigation, and commercial insurance loss matters. He conducts complex financial fraud investigations and provides damages quantification expertise to the legal community, insurance professionals, corporations, C-Suite executives, board of directors, special committees, and policing authorities.

Read his full bio

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.5 / 5. Vote count: 14

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.