Canadian HR Reporter

March 2021 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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2 N E W S that may be available right across the country," says Mike Shekhtman, regional vice president at Robert Half in Vancouver. Of course, access to a larger talent pool can mean people with differing education, work experience or even socio-economic backgrounds than those found locally, says McDougall. "It gives you more diversity in your team in terms of the experience that people are coming to the table with." And many employees are onboard with the trend: 44 per cent say they would consider moving to a different city if their company offered long- term remote arrangements ― largely for a change of scenery (37 per cent) and lower cost of living (32 per cent), according to Robert Half. However, there are several consider- ations that employers should keep in mind if they're considering stretching hiring parameters, including competitive recruitment and payroll and employment standards regulations. Competition and compensation For one, there's the increased talent, because if you look in any regional market, it's not just local employers that are competing for the same candidates, says McDougall. "We're finding, as an example, there's a lot of U.S. companies that realize that [their] location doesn't matter ― Canadian software engineers are a pretty good place to start recruiting." A recent survey of more than 1,000 engineers around the world found that 67 per cent of Canadian engineers want to work at companies in major United States tech hubs, but 49 per cent don't actually want to work in the United States. for example, made news in the fall when CEO Mark Zuckerberg said salaries would be adjusted if remote workers moved to a location where the cost of living or the cost of labour is lower. "It's an ongoing conversation… Do you adjust their salary down because now [employees] live in a smaller and less expensive region?" says McDougall. In looking at the salaries of staff who choose to relocate, compensation will be determined by the company's office location (68 per cent) and the employee's new location (22 per cent), according to a recent Robert Half survey of more than 500 workers and 180 HR managers in Canada. However, most (84 per cent) workers say that they would not be willing to take a pay cut if they were to move. Reducing or trying to reduce the salaries of existing employees is not necessarily a good move, says Robert Richler, lawyer and human resource advisor at bernardi in Mississauga, Ont. "[Employers] would want to be cautious about paying employees who are doing the same job less money because of where they're living, just because there could be discrimination, potential claims for that type of action," he says. "That could be a classic example of what could be constructive dismissal." It's too soon to tell how the rise of remote work is going to impact compensation, but at this point, there hasn' t been much movement, says Shekhtman. "What we do know is that employers are still offering very competitive compensation to attract candidates, no matter where they live. I think it's critical, especially for in-demand positions, because if you know that we pay fair A California-based tech company "can certainly beat the market here and drive salaries up if they're not mindful to be paying in line with what is locally competitive," she says. "If they just want the best talent and they're willing to pay for it, then it can really drive up [salaries locally]. And we are starting to see that." With compensation, you're always going to be chasing the competitors, says Steven Nguyen, senior HR co-ordinator at financial tech company Paytm in Toronto, which has recently ramped up its remote recruitment. "No matter what, no one's going to win in compensation. You offer more, they offer more ― it just keeps going up like that. We do our best to stay competitive and within market as well. Our biggest priority is to make sure the projects are interesting, the culture is stabilized and just making sure that we have a human connection with all our employees," he says. "We want to value employees and make sure we show them that." The other option is to pay less if staff relocate to cheaper abodes. Facebook, market value for talent, there is a much better chance to retain them. Recruiting is not always the hardest part of the job ― retention sometimes is for employers. So, we've seen that people and organizations are savvy to pay well because they don't want to lose people, and they know what the cost of hiring may look like as well." Recruitment strategy more important But it's not just a matter of money if you're an employer looking to entice candidates from further afield ― you have to be more creative in your recruiting, says McDougall. "It's far easier to send a message to a local candidate pool and one that's maybe only two degrees of separation from your existing network. Attracting talent farther away is a trickier thing to do… How you get their attention is a little bit harder to do." Some places in the United States are trying to entice remote workers to move to their community, as seen with websites such as Software engineers moving to Chattanooga, Tenn., for example, are offered up to US$10,000 toward a new home and US$1,250 toward moving expenses: "Come for rock climbing and the fastest, most affordable internet in the country." As a result, there's been a "massive push by many employers" when it comes to employer branding, says Shekhtman, "because now you are not only competing as an employer with people and/or with organizations within your own community, you're competing with employers right across the country. "We've seen a lot of organizations that are coming up from the U.S. that are CANADIAN EMPLOYERS EMBRACING REMOTE WORKFORCE Source: Robert Half "We're finding there's a lot of U.S. companies that realize their location doesn't matter." Kristina McDougall, Artemis 44% Number of employers that have hired entirely on a virtual basis in 2020 57% Percentage of employers advertising fully remote jobs in 2020 49% Percentage of HR managers who say their employer has allowed staff to relocate temporarily 27% Percentage of HR managers who say their employer has been supportive of permanent remote moves Remote hiring> pg. 1

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