Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by Stacey Smith

Despite pronouncements of recessions and a few high-profile workforce reductions, employers continued to struggle with talent acquisition in Q2 of this year. Here are some highlights from our Think. Talent surveys of Canadian employers from April to June.

No stones unturned when it comes to sourcing

Labour shortages continue to push talent acquisition teams to throw whatever they can at their recruiting strategies. The top three moves are advertising roles beyond the immediate community, partnering with community groups, such as youth centres and targeting traditionally marginalized groups and New Canadians.

As immigration numbers start to recover, 76% of respondents say they are or plan to target new Canadians in 2022. The biggest factor here may be the speed with which the federal government can move through the backlog of applications to immigrate.

Nearly 70% of employers are also focusing more effort on traditionally marginalized groups including candidates who identify as BIPOC or who live with a disability.

About 67% of respondents have or will increase employee referral bonuses and 83% are communicating total compensation versus base pay, perhaps as a way to catch the eye of inflation-weary candidates.

Signing bonuses are hit and miss

In our Q1 research, about 40% of employers said they would be using signing bonuses this year and in Q2, 62% of respondents were giving them a go. Interestingly, the remaining 38% have no interest at all in signing bonuses.

The majority of respondents are using them for full-time salaried roles, but a good number (54%) are also offering sign-on bonuses for full-time hourly positions as well. This may be a short-lived tactic as one respondent noted, “the sign-on bonuses have successfully attracted a wider talent pool, however, the quality of the talent is not the best.”

Beyond pronouns

Inclusion is top of mind in many organizations. We found that a little under half (47%) of respondents have a pronoun program in place, whereas most of the rest have no plans to implement one. Interestingly, of those with no program in the works, 33% report that it is very common for their leaders and managers to declare their pronoun preferences.

As workplaces begin to normalize, employee resource groups (ERGs) continue to be pillars of many inclusion programs. The most common ERGs in place or planned are for women, and for employees struggling with mental wellness, with half of the respondents using or planning to use them. 60% of respondents have or will have groups for racialized employees, and 53% have or plan to have an ERG for LGBTQ2S+ employees.

While just under 30% currently offer ERGs for Indigenous employees, the same number are looking to add them in the next year. For New Canadians, a little under half (46%) of respondents have or plan to have an ERG.

A growing area of interest is around inclusion training with 25% of respondents currently offering training to managers and leaders and another 16% planning to do so. Interestingly, 33% of respondents are also offering inclusion training to employees.

What to watch

We also note two interesting trends worth watching. The first is using mentoring programs as part of a diversity and inclusion strategy and the second is adding more leadership roles focused on employee experience.

As always, a huge thank you to the HR and talent acquisition professionals who shared their insights. If you would like to join our survey pool, click here to receive a link each month.

For a full print-friendly summary of the Q2 results click here.