The “Talent Revolution” – a fleeting fad or a lasting trend?

Talent and the talent shortage is one of the most talked about priorities at the C-suite level today. How organizations react and develop a strategy to get ahead of the talent curve is crucial to their competitive edge. Turning a blind-eye to these issues will result in murky waters for companies to navigate.

The composition of the workforce is changing and some – though not all – business have been quick to respond. The latest EY Capital Confidence Barometer finds that one quarter of businesses are creating new jobs and hiring more people, while a further 11% are increasing the use of contingent workers. Along with that, organizations are developing their people agenda to focus on:

  • Attracting the right people for the right role at the right price who can deliver on top priorities;
  • Creating a sustainable culture that will develop the next generation of leaders; and
  • Building high-performing teams.

With technology disrupting the way we do business at a rapid rate, organizations continue to focus on reducing costs, developing efficiencies and automating processes to stay ahead. However, maintaining the human element will be the key to unlocking future growth.

It’s thought that smart machines could replace 33% of jobs by 2025. That means that the skills required for today’s jobs may not be required in the future. In response, organizations are working to develop a talent strategy that is aimed at striking a balance between automation and the disappearing skillset.

For Canadian companies to continue to remain competitive, organizations will have to look beyond our country’s boarder to source key talent, especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

As part of Canada’s Economic and Innovation Strategy, Canada’s Global Skills Strategy (GSS) was launched in June 2017. GSS is designed to help innovative Canadian organizations continue to grow and thrive by helping them to source international talent in a more timely and efficient manner.

In the past, there have been a number of barriers for Canadian companies looking to source the right talent for the right role at the right price. The four pillars of Canada’s GSS aim to reduce these barriers. They include:

  • Two-week processing times for certain high-skilled occupations
  • Short-term work permit exemption
  • Designated Service Channel
  • Global Talent Stream

Additionally, the GSS initiative helps innovative companies continue to invest in local talent by developing training programs and incentives. The unique and specialized skills which may be sourced from abroad, coupled with the investment into the Canadian workforce, will continue to position Canada as a leader in innovation and economic growth.

The GSS is now nearing the six month mark of operation and has proven to be a welcome addition to Canada’s immigration platform. From the concierge service provided by the Designated Service Channel to the two-week processing, organizations are finding it easier to navigate the complexities of Canada’s immigration system as looking outside of Canada for talent is becoming more and more of a reality.

The issue of talent and addressing the talent shortage will continue to be a top priority for many companies. Canada’s GSS and immigration platform will help organizations think creatively as the barriers to sourcing global talent are arguably reducing.

Nadia Allibhai is a Senior Associate Lawyer with the Business Immigration practice at EY Law LLP in Ottawa. EY Law’s Business Immigration practice consists of lawyers and professionals who focus on Canadian and US immigration law. Nadia’s practice focuses in the area of Canadian business immigration law. She serves as immigration counsel to regional, national and multi-national clients in various industries and sectors, including tech, defence, construction and oil and gas.

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