Today’s Talent Landscape

Today’s Talent Landscape – Getting Creative to Fill Open Roles

With the talent landscape remaining highly competitive — and no immediate end in sight — finding the right fit and skills for open roles within organizations continues to be a challenge for business owners across industries. To fill open roles, business owners will need to get creative and rethink how they hire.

Baby boomers retiring, high turnover and a lack of a talent pool to close the gap are contributing to positions staying open far longer than normal. Nojoud Al Mallees reported for CBC News that, “almost half of vacancies [remain] unfilled for 60 days. In 2020, only 36 per cent of job openings were open that long.”

This gap is causing a considerable backlog of work and burnout for those responsible to pick up the slack.

Creativity will be vital as we continue to see unprecedented numbers of employees leaving their current place of employment for ‘greener grass’. Business owners and hiring managers need to change how they think about the ‘perfect’ candidate for open positions.

Looking at candidates with a different lens

If your pool of candidates doesn’t meet the skills and experience required, try looking at prospective candidates through a different lens.

  1. Consider if they have shown an ability to learn and develop in past roles. A candidate who has been promoted at a company could be showing they are a capable learner and ready to take on new challenges. They might surprise you in an interview.
  2. Dig deeper into the work a candidate completed. If they are missing specific education or Canadian experience that you require, compare projects they have worked on in past roles with those required in your organization. The experience may be there, and a second look (and a chance provided to a newcomer to Canada) could pay dividends.
  3. Explore the possibility of ‘training up’. If a candidate would be a good fit for your organization but is missing some experience, consider training them to fill those gaps.

Exploring the internal pool

Looking inward instead of outward is another way to get creative and potentially retain your current workforce. Do you have rockstars in one area of your organization but are hesitant to move them into another? Perhaps now is the time to revisit your internal candidate pool and build your bench.

  1. Career conversations are intentional discussions with employees to learn about their personal career goals, align their aspirations with organizational goals, and enhance employee engagement. An effective career conversation can help you and your employee identify potential career opportunities in your organization.
  2. In addition to career conversations, providing employees with training and development opportunities is a great way to build up internal talent. Many organizations offer standard trainee programs or management trainee programs (check out these examples from Monster) to develop employees. Internal development through a customized program or job shadowing can help fill unique roles too.

These internal practices may help you find consistent performers you haven’t considered before to take on a larger capacity within your organization.

Support when you need it from People First HR

There is no denying it can be tough to hire these days. Reviewing your candidate pool with a different lens and considering your internal talent pool are two ways almost any organization can use to fill open roles.

If you need additional support with hiring and retention, People First HR is here. We offer several services in this area depending on your organization’s need, such as our professional and management recruitment services, Purple Squirrel Training Academy, career development training and career conversation workshops.


Linda Chammartin
VP, Professional & Management Recruitment

Drawing on a background of key operational people and sales leadership roles and with her strong experience in client services, Linda focuses her expertise in providing services to clients covering a wide range of HR challenges, initiatives, and people needs. Linda builds partnerships with a customer-centric approach and strives to provide insights and offer the best solutions that support the client’s goals and objectives.

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