How the Canadian workforce will change by 2020

Believe it or not, we’re almost halfway through the decade with 2015 being right around the corner. Put in that way and trying to predict what challenges companies will face with the Canadian workforce in 2020 doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

In about five years from now, Canadian firms will be relying more on temporary or seasonal workers than full-time employees, increasing the number of consultants they use, and face difficulty hiring those with the technology skills they need at the same time they are tapping into a globalized workforce. Workforce 2020, the global study by Oxford Economics and SAP paints a picture of Canadian human resources departments adjusting to technological trends and scrambling to find the talent they need approaching the end of the decade.

Canada's top 5 labour market shifts affecting workplace strategyA full 82 per cent of Canadian firms say they are increasingly using contingent, intermittent, season, or consultant employees. That has executives thinking about changes to HR policy, with 54 per cent saying it’s a requirement. The way workers are paid, trained, and onboarded could mean new approaches are needed to the HR software companies rely on.

When it comes to training their employees with workplace technology, Canadian firms could be doing a better job. Currently 52 per cent of employees say they get ample training and only 38 per cent say they have access to the latest technology.

Join our #ITWCjobs Twitter chatAs for using technology to get the most out of its workforce, Canadian firms are split. About half are using quantifiable metrics and benchmarking for workforce development. Also, about half know how to extract meaningful insights from that data once they have it.

If HR teams are going to attract the right talent to their companies in the next few years, knowing what Canadians say matters most at work will help. When asked, popular responses include many of the usual suspects such as competitive compensation (75 per cent), flexible work location (56 per cent), and flexible schedule (51 per cent). But access to social media at work also ranked highly at 53 per cent.

What employees say is important at work vs. what executives say they provide.Unfortunately, only 41 per cent of executives say their company widely offers that access, so there’s a gap to close there if workers are going to be kept happy.

The Workforce 2020 project interviewed 2,718 executives and 2,872 employees across the globe.




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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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