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Dealing with the labour shortage – you can do it!

3 min read

This article was adapted from a January 25, 2024, conference hosted by FCC and moderated by Pierre-Olivier Zappa, Parlons de la pénurie de main-d’œuvre en agroalimentaire (Let’s talk about the labour shortage in food and beverage).

As we know, the workforce dynamics have changed since the pandemic. From our aging population and the sharp increase in remote work to the significant rise in the cost of living, employers in all sectors, including food and beverage, are now facing major challenges, one of which is a staff shortage.

Pillars of the food industry, such as restaurants, hotels and transportation, have all been affected by the departure of many workers. While an average of about 800 immigrants per day came to Canada in 2022, it's clear that this source of employees alone won't be enough to meet the growing demand. There are strong indications that the country’s labour force will decrease from 64% in 2021 to 60.4% by 2030. So, what can you do to attract new talent to your business, hire the right people and fill all those open positions?

Innovative solutions for an inclusive and successful recruitment strategy

First, diversify your recruitment sources. Often, young people wait for that first chance – to address their specific needs by focusing on work-life balance, advancement opportunities and an inclusive and creative organizational culture. In addition, many people with substantial expertise are looking to return to the workforce after retirement. Attract them by offering a flexible schedule or valuing their knowledge, an undeniable asset. You can also review your company’s hiring policies to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and ensure you're committed to providing equal opportunity.

Be bolder, more dynamic and more inclusive. Recruitment marketing highlights your business’s strengths and the benefits of working there when you post a job. Some businesses attract candidates by running social media contests, offering to hire referral bonuses or emphasizing the importance of employee wellness. Stand out! Beyond compensation, highlight the great working conditions and special perks you offer to attract top talent. Choose engaging visuals such as videos, social media reels or humorous ads. This will allow you to expand your pool of candidates significantly.

Why not consider creating a dedicated employee preference position? Whether it’s managing schedule flexibility and advancement opportunities or assessing employee satisfaction, this new resource can add significant value to the hiring process. Be creative-you’ll be rewarded! Develop a personalized plan for each of your employees and future candidates.

Talent attraction and retention

Similarly, develop a strong culture and a meaningful global vision. Encourage future employees to join your team to improve your expertise. Document your mission by going beyond the pursuit of profit.

While hiring people is certainly a goal, remember to retain the talent you already have. Foster a fun, bright, and open environment. Encourage employee participation in the workplace by organizing regular, well-planned activities.

Finally, don’t underestimate the role of technology in your ability to attract and recruit people. Automation and robotics allow your employees’ jobs to be easier and tasks more challenging and less repetitive. Investments such as autonomous tractors could help business owners deal with the labour shortage and address issues related to an aging population.

Be imaginative with your HR practices; you’ll see the difference in your hiring processes.

Pierre-Olivier Zappa is a talented communicator who excels at making complex issues accessible. He currently anchors the 10 p.m. newscast on TVA Nouvelles and hosts a nightly current affairs program on LCN at 8:30 p.m. His background and experience reflect his wide-ranging interests and curiosity about the world around us. For almost three years, he hosted the public affairs show À vos affaires on LCN. Since 2021, he has also been a speaker with Formax.

Article by: Véronique Lemonde and Mélanie Lagacé