Canadian HR Reporter

August 7, 2017

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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CANADIAN HR REPORTER August 7, 2017 2 NEWS Recent stories posted on Check the website daily for quick news hits from across Canada and around the world. WEB O N T H E ACROSS CANADA Strong support in Ontario for several proposed workplace reforms: Poll But many say employers will have to cut back benefi ts, hours to comply with wage increase Employees waste nearly 1 day per week on non-work activities Millennials racking up 58 minutes per day on mobile devices: Survey Alberta employers continuing to expand workforces for remainder of 2017: Survey Manufacturing sector shows highest concern for fi nding skilled workers Public consultations intensify as NAFTA renegotiations loom Government consulting with management, labour in auto, aerospace, food processing sectors Retention bonuses of $9.2 million for key Sears Canada execs spark outcry ' is is not the Canadian way': Laid-off employee Motivating private sector to hire military veterans still a struggle Quality of jobs, salaries lower than rest of population: Report Canada's spy agency faces $35-million harassment, discrimination lawsuit Allegations based on experiences of fi ve employees AROUND THE WORLD Most Japanese companies keen to raise retirement age: Poll ree-quarters see move as way to ease labour crunch Not so fast: U.S. restaurant workers seek ban on surprise scheduling Latest battleground in fi ght to boost living standards for low-paid workers Goldman Sachs relaxes dress code for techs in fi ght for talent Bank pushing casual environment as competition intensifi es Eyeing sleepy offi ce workers, China's 'sharing economy' opens nap capsules Employees able to book rest time during mid-day rush Zombie nation Spearhead Executive Coaching CEO Katherine Craig discusses remedies for "workplace zombies" — tired, unmotivated employees FEATURED VIDEO Expensive housing options make recruitment a challenge Employers provide incentives to woo workers in Vancouver, Toronto BY JOHN DUJAY CHRIS DUNNE, a business de- velopment manager at Elemental, a Toronto marketing agency, is having no luck upgrading from his one-bedroom condo. "To get a detached in the city, the price range is so high right now that you're either going to have to buy something that's a fi xer-upper and put half-a-million bucks into it, and you are going to end up paying a million-plus to get a small, two-bedroom duplex in an outskirt neighbourhood," he said. "Finding a suitable space, with a small bit of green space to call our own is becoming tough. If push came to shove over the next few years, and we couldn't fi nd (any- thing) — particularly when we do have kids — we would probably relocate somewhere else outside of Toronto just because it's so un- aff ordable right now." Dunne's situation is not unusu- al, as young professionals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are looking for more options beyond the one-bedroom condo, accord- ing to a survey released by the To- ronto Region Board of Trade and Environics Research Group. One-third of young profes- sionals said they are likely to buy a home while 50 per cent want to buy in the City of Toronto and 69 per cent want to buy units with three or more bedrooms, found two surveys of a total of 1,398 people ages 18 to 40. And while 17 per cent said they'd be OK with a townhouse, and 13 per cent would accept a semi-detached house, consider- ably more (51 per cent) are keen to live in a detached home. But skyrocketing house prices in cities such as Toronto and Van- couver are making such dreams a challenge — and that could have an impact on employers looking for talented workers. "Toronto's housing aff ordability crisis stands to signifi cantly im- pact our ability to attract and re- tain top talent — in all industries and sectors," said Jan De Silva, president and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Vancouver's experience In Vancouver, the issue is not only aff ordability from a home purchase point-of-view, but also from a rental point-of-view, ac- cording to Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of Chartered Professionals in Human Re- sources (CPHR) BC & Yukon in Vancouver. "It's very diffi cult to live in the city," he said. " ere's not a lot of availability." For a 500-square-foot apart- ment, for example, renters are paying $2,000 per month and higher in newer buildings com- pleted in the past fi ve years, he said. And the job market is being af- fected by the high cost of living. "(Recruiters) say they have a tough time attracting talent from the east to come here," said Ariganello. "It was bad 10 years ago; it's worse today because of aff ordability." e British Columbia govern- ment introduced a 15 per cent tax on foreigners buying property in August 2016 (with Toronto taking a similar step in 2017), and "that curbed it a little bit, but it seems to be picking up again," he said. Recruiters and employers have not been off ering any salary in- centives for people to move out west, said Ariganello. "Our salaries are really not competitive to meet the demands of the high cost of living: In Van- couver, the salaries are not really higher for comparable jobs in On- tario or Quebec, or even Alberta, for that matter." But a lot of employers are now looking at providing loans or even housing allowances to help employees meet those budgetary constraints, along with working- from-home options, he said. Housing, transit incentives In Toronto, some companies are taking matters into their own hands by off ering incentives to potential hires in order to off set the high cost of living. In some cases, they will pay for the commuter train or pub- lic transit as a perk, according to Dianne Hunnam-Jones, district president for Eastern Canada at Robert Half in Toronto. "People looking for a job don't only look at the true money they are making; they are looking at the overall package," she said. " ey might even be prepared to take less salary if their transportation is covered." Other employers are taking more drastic steps, including of- fi ce movement, to attract talent who might be wary of the high cost of downtown real estate in certain cities. "We've seen some clients move their offi ces to the outskirts of the GTA in order for lower-salaried people to be able to drive and get to the offi ce, or take a shorter commute, which is less busy and cheaper," said Louisa Benedicto, regional director at Hays in To- ronto, provider of recruitment and HR services. And some recruiters are seeing young professionals adjust their expectations. " ere is a shift in mindset from younger generations thinking, 'Oh, when I graduate I'll go buy a nice house with three bedrooms and a backyard' to 'When I gradu- ate, I'll buy a condo,'" she said. Many young professionals are choosing to work for employers that offer telecommuting op- tions as part of the benefi ts, said Hunnam-Jones. "We are starting to hear a little more of 'I don't like that long commute time, I prefer to work closer to home,'" she said. "It's not a case of people saying, 'I want to relocate out to the city' or 'I am looking to relocate in another city because I can't aff ord a house in Toronto,' but we are hearing 'I want to work closer to home.'" And even though the Toron- to and Vancouver markets are seemingly out of control, they are not as bad as other world cit- ies, according to Benedicto, who grew up in London and worked in Tokyo for years. "If you look at somewhere like London or Tokyo, young people cannot buy, full stop," she said. In Canada, young people are able to get on the housing ladder if their expectations are realis- tic about what is available, said Benedicto. "It's going to be a condo, but it will be downtown." Ottawa sees benefi ts In contrast to Vancouver and Toronto, Ottawa is benefi ting from lower house prices compared to other cities. "For many years, if I spoke to a candidate who lived (elsewhere) and asked whether they'd be interested in relocating to Ottawa, the answer was almost always no, but now more candidates are much more open to it," said Jenna Sudds, president and executive director of the Kanata North Business Association, just southwest of Ottawa. "As long as the real estate market in Toronto continues as it is, or continues to escalate, we will certainly see people look at Ottawa as another option in their career and in their lives." The Kanata tech park includes about 23,000 employees working for more than 500 companies, according to Sudds, and the interest is growing for potential employees. "We certainly have seen an increase. We're starting to see that trend," she said. A house in Ottawa could be bought for around $400,000, said Sudds, and the commute to work is minimal. "You could live fi ve minutes from the (technology) park here. Obviously, your commute is next to nothing." Companies are "aggressively recruiting," she said, and the city is targeting other cities with a digital campaign to attract workers. "We are very much in growth mode right now, so in this park, if the people were to materialize... we could fi ll 4,000 positions." "People looking for a job don't only look at the true money they are making; they are looking at the overall package. ey might even be prepared to take less salary." Compensation Surveys Incentive Programs Job Descriptions Job Evaluation Pay Equity Performance Appraisal Salary Administration Sales Compensation (416) 498-7800 COMPENSATION CONSULTING LeNoury Law Proactive Advice to Management Employment Lawyer of The Year James LeNoury B.A. (Hons) M.A. LL.B 416-926-1107 • Toll Free 1-877-926-1107 •

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