Calling all employers! Learn how you can navigate Alberta’s new minimum wage hike

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Next Monday, October 1, the Government of Alberta will be raising the minimum wage in the province to $15 an hour.

For employers, this amounts to a 47% increase over the last three years and presents a new challenge in how to compete for top talent.

And when you factor in the economic recovery, the addition of more than 16,000 new jobs last month and more Albertans returning to work, employers must take a proactive approach to recruiting and retaining talent.

Ahmed Borhot, Operations Lead at Manpower Alberta, recommends a three-pronged approach to bridge the talent shortage and attract top talent.

1. Recognize the skills gap and how to overcome it
What are the top skills you’re looking for in new hires? Some of the most in-demand skills in Canada right now include skilled trades, office support, teachers and healthcare professionals.

Forty-one percent (1) of Canadian employers say they can’t find the skills they need, and that this shortage of skills is their main hiring challenge. Canadian employers also say applicants lack the right skills, whether they be technical skills, cognitive, social, emotional skills, or all of the above.

In order to overcome that, employers must be agile and apply a different way of thinking to find employees. Many employers in Canada are adjusting education or experience requirements, offering flexible or remote working and recruiting from outside the traditional talent pool to fill their positions.

2. Understand the job market and the expectation of job seekers
While the minimum wage increase provides a more equitable environment for low-income earners in Alberta, it can create the opposite for employers.

One example might be a warehouse that was previously offering $15/hour for general labourers. When that wage increase takes place on October 1, job seekers will have the choice of that job or less physically demanding opportunities—all within that same hourly rate.

In order to appeal to those searching for jobs, employers need to have solid knowledge of the jobs that exist in their markets—and what people are expecting to be paid for them.

3. Invest in your people
Sometimes the best people to recruit into your vacant positions are those you already have on your team.

When you consider the cost-per-hire (internal recruiting cost + external recruiting cost divided by the total number of hires) is typically more than $4,000 (2), and the average employee turnover of 16% (3) in Canada, employers can save a significant amount of budget by focusing on internal hires.

Employers can become builders of talent by creating a culture of learning and advancement—by identifying top performers, recognizing and rewarding their work, offering employees the opportunity to develop knowledge and upgrade their skills—and by creating succession plans with great employees in mind.

The job market has changed, and in Alberta, the minimum wage increase will pose some difficulty to employers. Manpower Alberta has developed decades of research and insight to help guide employers to finding the right candidate.

Get in touch with us today to see how our experience and market intelligence can help you compete in the world of work.

1 Solving the Talent Shortage, Manpower Group 2018
2 Human Capital Benchmarking Report, Society for Human Resource Management 2016
3 LinkedIn Member Data 2017

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