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Canadian Productivity  - An Issue?

Posted by Andy Robling, Vice President, Greater Toronto Area, on Friday, Nov 8, 2013

Productivity imageThe Canadian Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) recently held their national conference in Toronto. The theme was productivity in Canada, bringing to the table perspectives from business and finance on Canadian productivity. It was a great event to attend and be a part of, with over 500 professionals in attendance; a fantastic amalgamation of Toronto's accounting and finance community.

Malcolm Furber, CIMA President, started off the event, looking at the roles of accountants and how they boost business productivity. With 'going lean' being a growing trend of the accounting sector across the country for 2014, Malcolm's perspective on the accounting role and the contribution it can make to increasing productivity is a very current and prevalent message.

Craig Alexander, Chief Economist at TD Bank Group delivered a very clear and incisive message, raising concerns about long-term decline in Canadian productivity, despite the reasonably bouyant economy. This was followed by panelist presenter, John Ruffolo, CEO OMER Ventures, who positively laid to rest the myth that there is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit in Canada.

The overall message I took away, was that despite warning signs in the economy and issues that need to be addressed around skills shortages and talent mismatches, there is a positive outlook in Canada due to the innovative, hardworking and determined overall Canadian business and professional mindset. 

What was most interesting was that each presenter discussed how people were an integral component to improving productivity. As a result, our recent report, the Hays Global Skills Index, was a hot discussion point about how the world is facing a global talent mismatch and employers need to start looking for candidates from outside of their backyard. If productivity is going to come down to having the right people in place with the right knowledge and skill sets, the global state of people supply becomes a significant issue to local markets, as competition for specifically skilled professionals increases.

The United States ranks as a 10.0 on the talent mismatch issue, Canada an 8.0, and the United Kingdom a 9.0. All very dominant markets with significant mismatch issues. Could skills shortages be a global issue and are businesses able to find the right people and improve their productivity by looking further than their backdoor? Interestingly, on the other side of the world, Australia is on the other side of the spectrum, with a 4.0 in talent mismatch; meaning they have the right talent aligned with their business needs, just not enough people to meet the demands by employers. However, with many industries such as resources and mining slowing down, could professionals in other regions like Australia start looking to markets such as Canada to further their careers.

I want to thank CIMA for inviting me to sit on this esteemed panel and talk about how Hays powers the world of work.

View our recent report, Hays Global Skills Index,

Learn more about Andy Robling, Vice President, Greater Toronto Area



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