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Time for HR to reset horizons: Deloitte report

Canada has a window of opportunity to attract world-class talent

Deloitte survey of Canadian business leaders reveals current and emerging trends shaping talent, HR and business.

Toronto, April 30, 2013 — To compete in a globally open talent economy, businesses must evolve and adapt.  According to the Canadian edition of the Deloitte report Resetting horizons: Human capital trends 2013, 67% of Canadian business leaders and human resources (HR) executives surveyed say that HR needs transformation to meet new business priorities. The report also calls on business leaders to take advantage of this window of opportunity by capitalizing on Canada’s economic strength and attracting and developing world-class talent.

HR plays a crucial role in business strategy
“Factors that are key to business success such as sustainable growth, product and service innovation and risk management all rely on talent to provide a competitive advantage,” says Heather Stockton, Canadian Human Capital Practice Leader at Deloitte. “HR and talent are at the heart of addressing business challenges and HR plays a key role at the table by building effective programs that focus on direct business benefits.”

To facilitate this transformation, the report recommends building leadership and talent solutions that increase an organization’s ability to execute business strategy. With evolving needs and demands, embedding HR in business planning helps anticipate which talent programs will be required to execute business strategies.

Will Canadian companies seize this opportunity?
Findings show that only 34% of Canadian respondents believe they are “world class” in all or even some areas of HR and talent. This suggests that almost two-thirds of Canadian respondents feel there is an opportunity to build, develop and strengthen HR and talent.

“Organizations should build their talent roster by hiring for future potential,” says Stockton. “Companies that bring in talent simply to fill current needs miss out on opportunities to build for tomorrow.”

Human capital challenges can impact job growth
47% of Canadian survey respondents believe the general business outlook in 2013 is strong to moderate compared to 2012. Almost the same percentage of respondents (48%) believed this year’s general business outlook will be similar to last year’s.

The report also explains that human capital challenges are less about the economy and more about the types of competition for talent. For example, about one-third of Canadian employers surveyed said they cannot find workers with the skills they need to be able to take advantage of existing business opportunities. So instead of funding problems, these organizations are struggling to find the right resources to complete their planned projects.

Deloitte conducted a survey of more than 1,300 business leaders and HR executives in 59 regions across the world’s major economic regions between January and February, 2013. According to the survey, the top six trends that are, or should be shaping the Canadian HR agenda in 2013 are listed below.

  1. Transforming HR to meet new business priorities
    HR transformation efforts continue to shift their focus to business priorities such as talent, emerging markets and the HR organization itself.
  2. The war to develop talent
    The talent management pendulum is swinging from recruitment to development.
  3. Organization acceleration
    Faced with tougher and more numerous challenges, today's organizations are demanding more from their change initiatives by pursuing strategies that are customized, precise and sustainable.
  4. Branding the workplace: Innovating the talent brand
    Social media has erased whatever lines used to exist between the corporate brand and the talent brand: they're two sides of the same coin.
  5. Debunking the superhero myth
    Yesterday's leadership theories are not keeping pace with the velocity of today's disruptive marketplace. Organizations are seeking a new model for the age of agility.
  6. How boards are changing the HR game
    To seize new opportunities for sustainable growth and manage heightened risks, boards of directors at high-performing organizations are pulling CHROs much deeper into business strategy — and much earlier in the process.

About Deloitte
Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte operates in Quebec as Deloitte s.e.n.c.r.l., a Quebec limited liability partnership.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.


Jeannie Tsang
Manager, Public Relations
416-643-8084 / 416-576-9016

Vital Adam
Deloitte Canada
Senior Manager, Public Relations

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