HR Market Update
January 2024

Welcome to 2024. The year may be different, but the macroeconomic forces shaping 2023 continue to play a major role in the 2024 landscape. First up, the unemployment rate remained flat at 5.8%, with just 100 net new jobs added in December, falling short of the expected 13,500 jobs. The central bank remains cautious about rapid wage growth, with average hourly wages rising 5.4% year-over-year in December, the fastest pace since last February.

Moving on to inflation, Canada’s annual rate rose to 3.4% in December, primarily driven by increases in the prices of gasoline, air travel, passenger vehicles, and rent. However, excluding gasoline, inflation dropped compared to November. There is speculation about interest rate cuts later this year, but the timing remains uncertain. Against this backdrop, this is what we are seeing in the HR space:

Priorities and Predictions for 2024

HR Leaders have made it clear what their priorities and predictions are for 2024. Through our partnership with HR research leader i4cp, we are thrilled to provide you with the latest Priorities and Predictions report for 2024. Gain exclusive access to the perspectives of leading executives and thought leaders from i4cp’s six executive boards, covering key areas such as HR, Talent, Learning, Talent Acquisition, DEI, Total Rewards, and People Analytics. Get a comprehensive understanding of the priorities and predictions shaping the future of business. Download the report now to stay informed and stay ahead.

Training as a Strategic Priority

We also asked HR leaders across the GTA outside of performance and compensation reviews, which HR initiatives will they prioritize in Q1 2024 and the top answer is planning training and development programs. Our signature programs for leadership development and team effectiveness are in demand. As well, if you need help during this early year crunch time, our HR On-Demand practice offers flexible solutions to provide as little or as much HR support that meets your operational and budgetary needs.

Back to Office

Hybrid? Full-time? Flexible schedule? Fully remote? Remote optional? Shortened work weeks? The return-to-office debate isn’t going away. We recently asked HR leaders in the GTA how many days per week are most employees required to work from the office in their organization and the response was 20% remote, 60% hybrid and 20% fully back to office. When we asked what benefit their organization values the most from a hybrid work schedule, by far the #1 answer as that it improves employee attraction and retention. Working in remote and hybrid does have its share of unique challenges, which is why you’ll want to check out our webinar How To Reset Your Team, featuring Dr. Liane Davey. It’s next week and it’s complimentary to attend.

What are your organization’s priorities for 2024? Is training and development a strategic priority for you? How effective are your remote and hybrid teams? 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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