HR Market Update
November 2023

The technical recession may already be here. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in GDP. According to Statistics Canada, the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.2% in Q2 and the Q3 number, which we will find out by the end of this month, is projected to be in the negative.

The Bank of Canada has increased rates 10 times between March 2022 and this year, with inflation peaking at more than 8% last year. The bank has said it wants to cool the economy just enough to bring down inflation, but it does not want policy to be so restrictive that it triggers a deep recession. With the economy stumbling along slower than forecast just last week, analysts are saying there is no need to raise rates again from 5.0%, a 22-year high. As we head into the holidays, these are the trends we are seeing in the HR space:

Career Transition and Outplacement is on the Rise

Whether or not we are in a recession, layoffs have been in the news lately, especially in the financial services, telecom, tech, insurance and retail sectors. Our Career Transition and Outplacement team has been busy as organizations want to make sure their people who have been displaced land safely and impacts both personal and professional are minimized. Many organizations are also proactively seeking our industry-leading Career Transition solutions in case the recession deepens, hoping they won’t need it, but knowing that if they do, their people are taken care of.

Ontario Bill 27 - Working for Workers Act

The Ontario government is introducing new licensing rules for firms that provide recruitment services ensuring fair hiring and employment practices. While these rules have now been delayed until July 2024, we at The Talent Company have proactively obtained our license and ensured compliance with the upcoming regulations, reaffirming our commitment to ethical hiring practices and the well-being of our clients and candidates. To learn more, reach out to Joanna Kelly, VP of Recruitment Solutions.

We recently asked HR leaders across the GTA in preparation for Ontario’s Bill 27, what they anticipate would be most difficult and pay transparency topped the list, with tasks including reviewing salary bands and how to transparently communicate pay internally and externally. Pay transparency is a complex subject. Transparency can be an engaging and effective approach to achieving your organization’s goals through your people. But it must be handled appropriately – ensuring that you have foundational practices in place, that your strategies are forward-looking not just reactive, and that your people leaders are equipped with the mindset, skillset, and resources to have transparent pay conversations is critical.

Need help crafting your pay philosophy, reviewing internal equity and/or external competitiveness, refining your pay structures, and/or strengthening the impact of your communication around pay? Our expert Total Rewards Solutions team can provide hourly, interim, and/or project-based support. Reach out to Kathleen Jinkerson, VP of HR and Total Rewards solutions.

Speaking of which, it’s busy season for most HR teams, making a final push to complete 2023 initiatives, planning for 2024, and continuing to address immediate tactical needs. We’re here to help. Through our HR On-Demand services, Consultants can provide hourly or project-based support in areas such as budget modeling, drafting employee communications, performance/merit planning and administration, and talent planning. Don’t have the ability to bring on an additional resource? Book a 15-minute consultation with Kathleen to discuss how other organizations are building capacity to get it all done.

Renewed Focus on Leadership Development and Talent Retention

Organizations and HR leaders are doubling down on developing the next generation of leaders. New research from The Josh Bersin Company on Leadership Development & Organizational Performance shows that organizations have fallen to historic lows in leadership development causing challenges for financial performance, which represents an opportunity for organizations to leverage leadership development as a competitive advantage.

Anticipating this trend, we have been building out our Leadership & Talent Development solutions, with new partnerships and offerings. We’ve partnered with “Teamwork Doctor” Liane Davey, best-selling author, keynote speaker and thought leader in team effectiveness, strategy, and leadership development. Liane’s popular keynotes and workshops such as Accountability, Thriving in Hybrid Teams and Staying Out of the Weeds are now available through The Talent Company.

As well, we partnered with author, speaker and passionate advocate for women’s advancement, Tammy Heermann. Tammy’s keynotes and workshops are now available through The Talent Company, including Own It, Flaunt It, Get It, Look Up, Look Out, Believe it’s Possible and Leader as Champion.

We also have our signature leadership development programs, for Managers and New Managers plus our High Potential Training Program. If you would like to learn how our coaching programs, leadership development and team effectiveness programs can assist your organization, reach out to Richard Antosik.

Is your organization ready for recession? Are you prepared for Ontario’s Bill 27? Have you started to think of your top HR priorities for 2024? We’re here to help. I invite you to book a quick 15-minute chat and let’s have a conversation.

Greg Vertelman, Chief Growth Officer and Career Transition Practice Leader

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