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CANADIAN BUSINESS IS DIVIDED ON THE BEST WAY TO TACKLE
THE SKILLS GAP
A shortage of skilled workers is the single biggest issue facing Canadian executives
in 2014, but employers are split on how to address the skills gap, according to a
recent survey by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling
Employers from across the country face a number of challenges this year, but the
most commonly noted is a shortage of skilled workers, along with the general state
of the economy. The shortage of skilled workers is a challenge for seven in 10 busi-nesses
across the country right now.
Among Canadian businesses, there is an even split between those who feel the
best way to close the gap is for employers to provide more training, and those who
say it is prospective employees who should better prepare themselves for the labour
FINDING SKILLED EMPLOYEES IS NOT EASY
According to the CERIC survey, 70 per cent of Canadian executives say finding a
skilled employee is not an easy task. For businesses located outside of Ontario, that
challenge is even greater and, as a result, many rely on referrals from current employ-ees
and internal promotions to fill positions.
Nearly two-thirds of executives say they would hire an employee with the right
soft skills and provide training on the more technical aspects of the job. Yet two out
of three businesses have difficulty finding candidates with the soft skills they’re look-ing
for – a positive attitude, good communication ability and a strong work ethic.
CAREER PLANNING AND COACHING
Seven in 10 executives agree that employers have a responsibility to provide career
management programs for their staff. However, only 29 per cent say such programs
are currently being offered by their organization, with larger organizations being
more likely to offer them. The most frequently offered programs include tailored
coaching and career planning.
A strong majority of executives agree that it is at least somewhat important that
employees have the opportunity to reach their own career goals with 44 per cent of
businesses stating it is very important. ■
switching from one project to another
also slows you down. Do your best to
focus on one item at a time.
■■ Know your prime time. Tackle critical
or challenging assignments during the
time of day when you’re most produc-tive.
■■ Dodge derails. When working on im-portant
assignments, you can increase
productivity by turning off mobile de-vices
and signing out of email and social
media, and politely informing your col-leagues
you don’t want to be disturbed.
■■ Explore apps. Consider taking advan-tage
of the wide selection of software
that is specifically designed to increase
productivity. Digital calendars, task
management apps and other time-saving
programs can help you keep track
of projects, meet deadlines and be more
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2014 ❚ 11