Canadian HR transforming to meet new priorities

Human capital trends 2013

Is your HR department helping your business develop the human capital strategies needed to maintain your global competitiveness?

By: Heather Stockton and Karen Pastakia

Global businesses are focusing on the development and acquisition of talent to sharpen their competitive edge, drive sustainable growth, manage risk and develop innovative products and services. In fact, the ability to attract, develop and retain talent, particularly at the leadership level, has become a major factor in all capital investments, business strategies and organizational growth.

Resetting horizons: Human capital trends 2013 a recent survey of global business leaders conducted by Deloitte, reveals some unique insights into the way Canadian businesses view the acquisition of talent and the role of HR departments in acquiring it.

The top Canadian trend identified by the survey is “transforming HR to meet new business priorities.” While that response reaffirms the strategic importance of HR, it also begs the question of whether HR is currently meeting the needs of Canadian businesses. If the role of HR is changing, stakeholders need to identify emerging business issues and translate that into HR and talent programs designed to deliver business outcomes.

“…Canadian organizations need to …focus on aggressively pursuing the global talent required to succeed on the world stage.”

The second is “the war to develop talent” an indication that organizations are focused on developing talent and leadership both for today and to support longer-term strategies.

The third trend is “organization acceleration” — the ways in which organizations face and manage change.

The fourth is “branding the workplace,” an increasingly important strategy designed to attract and retain critical talent. Canadian companies are much more focused on workplace branding relative to their global peers.

The fifth trend is “,” the search for tomorrow’s leaders, who can thrive across multiple business environments.

The sixth is “how boards are changing the HR game,” now seen as a top trend, both in Canada and globally. This implies that HR departments should be prepared for more inquiry, more measurement and greater oversight of the value they deliver.

Canadian survey respondents also reported a modestly optimistic perception of the economy. However, this may have more to do with the relatively sheltered position Canada enjoyed during the recent global recession.

Actual human capital challenges may have less to do with perceptions about the strength of the Canadian economy than with the multi-faceted competitive environment that defines the global economy and to which Canadian organizations and HR functions must adapt.

To succeed and remain competitive in this emerging post-crisis economy, Canadian organizations need to develop innovative human capital strategies. They must focus not only on developing the talent available within the country’s borders, but also on aggressively pursuing the global talent required to succeed on the world stage.

By placing human capital issues at the top of the strategic agenda, Canada can avoid squandering its post-crisis economic advantage and develop innovative talent acquisition initiatives designed to maintain its global competitiveness.

The findings set out in Resetting horizons: Human capital trends 2013 are based on a comprehensive global survey of more than 1,300 business leaders and HR executives in 59 countries, including 82 Canadian respondents. 

Canadian human capital trends 2013 from Deloitte Canada

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