Ahria has been focusing its energies on helping organizations prepare for and work within the context of “The War for Talent”.1 The war for talent refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees.

Why are we talking about this only now? While we do not have a crystal ball, one only needs to look at the demographic shifts happening in the North American population. In Canada last year, the number of people over the age of 65 outnumbered the 15 and younger category for the first time in the history of the country. Similar patterns are evident in US census data. What does this mean? While the term War for Talent emerged in 1997, the impact of this demographic tsunami is only now starting to hit us.

Sadly, some still believe that this is an outdated concept; that is, it is “fake news”.

We beg to differ.

We are seeing the war for talent play out constantly. In the London marketplace there are employers who are pulling their hair out trying to find the right talent. In the local technology sector, there remain hundreds of jobs unfilled. And unemployment rates are at 40-year lows. In other words, the labour force has shrunk.

Many employers in that region of Ontario cannot find any employees, let alone ones that fit their culture and have the right mix of skills and experience.

So, the war for talent is here. What does that mean to you and your organization? Simply put, you can no longer rely on yesterday’s solutions to solve the problems of tomorrow (and today). A new approach to Human Resources is needed. And if you are wondering if that includes you, consider these questions:

Have you done anything to build and/or promote your employer brand?

Do the people who work in your organization think it is a great place to work?

Are your employees engaged?

Are your recruiting practices netting the best candidates? Any real candidates at all?

Have your managers / leaders improved their leadership skills in the last two years?

If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you may be at risk to losing the war for talent. Can you and your business afford to lose that battle?

We don’t think so.

The good news is that there are many solutions and ideas available to help organizations compete in the war for talent…and win. We’d love to help you with that. Call us.


1 “The War for Talent” is a term first used by McKinsey & Company in 1997. A few years later, the notion of a war for talent was discussed in full in a book by the same name by Michaels, Handfield, and Axelrod (Harvard Business Press, 2001).