Recent headlines and news reports would lead one to believe that the economy is teetering on the brink of disaster.  We are just one more Covid case or lockdown away from a complete meltdown.  But as can be sometimes said – never let the facts get in front of a good story.

Our experience is that many organizations across Southwestern Ontario are struggling to find people to fill vacant roles.  And we are not surprised – the war for talent, predicated on a demographic “bust” of the employment pool, never went away during the pandemic.  Yes, industries like hospitality, tourism and travel have been decimated to a degree during the pandemic.  However, most other industries are flourishing.  Manufacturing is alive and well, service organizations are often at over capacity, tech firms are busting at the seams, etc. 

The result? – finding talent is hard.


What is one to do?  Sure, engaging firms like ours to search for the right talent is always an option.  In fact, research shows that organizations are more inclined to hire externally, even though the data shows the merits of looking internal first.  Driven by the war for talent, trends related to a new social contract, and rapidly changing environments, employees are hungry for more transparency and support related to career growth and development.  In fact, research from shows that a staggering 81% of employees feel that their skills are not being fully utilized at work.  Providing scalable and accessible access to insights, coaching, and mentorship support and learning opportunities could be a key aspect of addressing the skill gap. 

Sadly, forty-six percent of survey respondents from a recent Deloitte survey say managers resist internal mobility. However, employees who are already invested in organizations are more likely to be engaged and committed when they are provided opportunities for continued development.  Unfortunately, other research shows that only twenty-one percent of respondents believe their managers have the skills required to help employees develop their careers. Coaching and feedback are now table stakes competencies for leaders to do the important work of engaging and growing talent.  Investing in leadership development with a focus on coaching, feedback, and productive conflict skills is essential to building or enhancing career agile cultures.

If you and/or your organization are struggling to fill roles, the solution may be right in front of you.  Growing talent internally is likely a more robust, long-term solution to your talent challenges.