Canadian CEOs More Likely to Eye Older Workers as Potential Recruits: PwC Report

Jun 9, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Majority (75%) challenged with recruiting younger employees

Canadian CEOs differ from their global counterparts on their focus on tapping into the supply of older workers approaching retirement age. In fact, a new PwC report found 60% of Canadian CEOs plan to increasingly recruit and retain older employees, compared to just 42% globally.

This focus on older workers is in part explained by the challenges with hiring and keeping people under thirty. The majority of Canadian CEOs (75%) expect challenges in recruiting and integrating younger workers into their business, compared to just 54% of their global counterparts. Despite this, less than 40% are planning to change their people strategies to incentivize younger workers differently from others.

“In terms of attracting and holding onto the new generation of workers, companies haven’t quite figured it out yet. As a result, they are focusing on the talent they know best—older workers,” says Ellen Corkery-Dooher, National People and Change Leader, PwC. “At the same time, there is a growing thirst among older workers to either stay on or opt for a career change rather than retiring.”

Overall, more than 60% of Canadian CEOs are expecting to add jobs over the next year, outpacing the global average of 51%. Moreover, 85% of Canadian respondents said they intend to make some or major changes to their strategies for managing talent.

However, in Canada there also appears to be less emphasis on growing a contingent workforce, including seasonal, casual and project-based workers. Only 20% of Canadian CEOs said they were planning to grow their contingent workforce faster than their full-time workforce, compared to 32% of CEOs globally.

“With confidence in revenue growth starting to return, this could mean more Canadian companies hiring more full-time staff, rather than supplementing their workforce with casual, contingent employees,” says Corkery-Dooher.

The report found Canadian CEOs expect to face a number of talent issues in the near term. Over the next three years, 83% expect the limited supply of skilled candidates to be a key challenge, compared to 66% globally. A majority (65%) of Canadian CEOs are worried that competition will lure away their top talent. Another 58% expect to face challenges with technically-skilled talent who lack flexibility and creativity in the next three years.

“Younger employees play a big part in infusing creativity and ingenuity into an organization,” says Corkery-Dooher. “CEOs will need to tailor recruitment, rewards and performance programs so that they are not only aligned with the business strategy, but also to the differing characteristics of their workforce.”

The survey found Canadian CEOs are more committed than their global counterparts to help develop a skilled talent pool. In fact, 88% of Canadian CEOs plan to increase their commitment to create and foster a skilled workforce over the next three years. This includes working with government and education systems to improve skills in the talent pool.

Interestingly, the report also found Canadian CEOs are placing a high priority on risk management expertise. For example, 87% said they were allocating more senior management attention to risk management, while 61% were formally designating executive responsibility for risk management.

For more information or to download the full report, visit:

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For further information:

Jessica Draker, PwC
Tel: 613 755 8706
email: mailto:[email protected] 

Kiran Chauhan, PwC
Tel: 416 947 8983
email: [email protected]

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