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Global Talent Trends Snapshot And What it Means for Canada

A Very Brief Snapshot of World Demographic Population Facts

The current population of the world as of today (at this time this was written) is 7, 317, 714, 925 and counting. The world population grew by 1.15% in 2014, which has been relatively consistent for the past several years. The world is estimated to increase by 228,973 people per day.

Canadian Demographic Population Facts

According to an interesting population calculator, Country Meters, Canada added 280,707 people in 2014 an increase of 0.79% bringing the population to 35,589,809 (with 24,361,9236 working age adults). This percentage increase has remained steady for the past 3 years. (Compared to the world Canada is a slow growing country. Of the 280,707 new Canadians in 2014 the vast majority came through immigration. The data on growth in Canada shows that the majority of Canada’s population growth was a result of immigration and not births.

In the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-2016 report the Government emphasised the need for strong economic immigration targets. In the report they recommended adding 172,100-186,700 new economic immigrants to the Canadian landscape out of a total 260,000-285,000 new immigrants. Given the government’s immigration targets and data based on estimated birth and death rates this means that the government is seeking to grow the Canadian population more than in previous years and primarily through immigration.

The Skilled World According to LinkedIn

Recently LinkedIn shared a report on the patterns of global talent movement based on tracking data within the LinkedIn platform. You can read the details in the article Here are the Top Countries Talent Is Flocking to (and the Ones It’s Leaving)

LinkedIn currently has over 380 million members from over 200 countries and territories with just under 70% residing outside Canada and the US. Of those 380 million:

11 million live in Canada

107 million in the US

28 million in India

21 million in Brazil

18 million live in the UK

11 million live in Canada

11 million live in Asia (not including India or China)

10 million live in the Middle East

10 Million in China

6 million in Australia

All of this information has given LinkedIn a vantage point from which to gather and assess some interesting data. For example, in 2014 the most sought after skill for those looking for candidates on LinkedIn was statistical analysis and data mining.

Based on their vantage point LinkedIn recently provided a snapshot on which countries around the globe are gaining and losing ‘talent’ (there data is not a reflection on general migration only on skilled or economic migration patterns). Based on LinkedIn data Canada was 9th out of 12 countries who gained more skilled immigrants/migrants (the US actually lost more ‘skilled’ workers than gained according to LinkedIn Data). On the list the UAE showed the highest increase of 1.89% (double the next country), followed by Switzerland (.90%), Saudi Arabia (.85%), Singapore (.47%), Germany (.44%), South Africa .26%), Ireland, (.18%) Australia (.17%), then Canada (.16%), Brazil .05%), Mexico (.02%) and Belgium (.01).

India was the biggest ‘loser’ of skilled talent according to LI at -23% followed by France at -.20% with the US coming in 7th out of 8 (at -.06%).

Of course this is only data collected based on LinkedIn membership but it is an interesting perspective of where some skilled talent is making moves.

Canadian Employers Perspective

What does this mean for a Canadian employer? The chances are that any increases in your workforce tied to either or both the number of skilled employees or the skills sets of employees will be impacted by your ability to identify, attract and retain immigrants, either those already in the country or those yet to arrive. Given that the majority of Canada’s growth is directly tied to immigration then understanding the immigrant population and being able to help them adapt to the Canadian workplace and adapting your workplace to work effectively with immigrants will be an important component of business success.

Canadian employers have several options to take advantage of the opportunity to bring talent into your workplace.

  • Young Canadian Talent: Find talent through internships and recruiting through education programs as one part of your strategy but there is not enough young potential workers in the pool to meet many organization’s growth needs
  • Retain, return and retrain existing talent: Source a limited pool of new employees through retraining your current workforce, keep talent longer (usually older talent) or bring back retired and semi-retired workers
  • Recruit immigrants already in Canada: Target a limited pool of new Canadians including International students and other immigrants by attracting them to your organization
  • Recruit immigrants from abroad: Tap into a global marketplace of talent that is ready to move. The Canadian government recently launched their new Express Entry platform to assist Canadian employers in tapping into a global marketplace of talented potential immigrants.
  • Offshore (nearshore), outsource and contract: Compliment your workforce with individuals and/or teams who provide short and long term help by delivering you employees or the doing some of the work for you.

A combination of all of these strategies can offer different advantages and bring different disadvantages. For many organizations it will be worth considering what options you want to explore and prepare for before you find yourself in the middle of a war for talent to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.