Talent Management

Adapting your HR strategy to employee expectations.

8 February 2022

6 min
Although the Canadian economy is growing, the labour market is still facing the phenomenon known as "Great Resignation.” In addition to struggling to recruit and retain talent, employers are dealing with mass departures and growing vacancies. According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted for Randstad Canada this is a situation that will worsen, as "43% of Canadian workers indicate they are likely to look for a new job in the coming year."

Although the Canadian economy is growing, the labour market is still facing the phenomenon known as “Great Resignation.” In addition to struggling to recruit and retain talent, employers are dealing with mass departures and growing vacancies. According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted for Randstad Canada this is a situation that will worsen, as “43% of Canadian workers indicate they are likely to look for a new job in the coming year. 1 ”

As a result, employees are in a better position to assert their new, more personal and human expectations. The pandemic has made them accustomed to more flexibility and better work-life balance, which they are no longer willing to give up.2 To attract and retain them, HR leaders need to rethink their strategies and deliver an experience that reflects these changes at each stage of the employee lifecycle.3


1. Attraction and Recruitment

80-90% of candidates report that their recruitment experience can change their mind about a position or company.4

Recruiting Brief, 2019


When choosing an employer, candidates will consider the flexibility of hours and location, work-life balance, compensation and benefits and opportunity for career advancement.5 Gone are the days when only candidates should dress to impress; now, more than ever employers must impress their candidates as well. The best way to do this is to inspire them and demonstrate your culture throughout the hiring process. Remember, the quality of their recruitment experience will determine whether they will accept your offer.

As HR leaders, your talent acquisition and recruiting strategies need to live up to their expectations. Here are some recommendations to put the odds in your favor:

  • Get to know your candidate personas better and tailor them to their new expectations.
  • Review the values, culture and meaning of your work.
  • Customize the experience to your culture and target personas.
  • Bring your culture to life, e.g. if it is based on flexibility, offer candidates a choice of media to apply or interview schedules.
  • Involve your employees: candidates will enjoy interacting with them.
  • Inform talent of the process and keep them engaged at every step.
  • Adapt to them, including integrating technology to make it easier to apply or track applications.

Be authentic, provide real insight into the role as well as opportunities for advancement. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the importance of feedback: they will benefit from your guidance and not feel like they`ve wasted their time.


2. Integration

90% of employees decide to leave or stay within the first six months.6

AIHR, September 2021


Starting a job is a joyous but stressful time for an employee. Once hired, they must prove themselves. They will appreciate it if you make it easy for them to get settled in and give them the best possible conditions to do their job effectively.

Take advantage of the time between the signing and your new employee’s first day on the job to answer their questions and keep them engaged. Solutions exist to prepare them and accelerate their integration, notably by allowing them to access a portal where they can begin tasks and activities that you have planned. These can include forms to complete, virtual training, employee files, team meetings, etc.

Be ready to welcome them from day one. Clearly communicate their responsibilities and set expectations to make sure they feel welcome.


3. Training and Development

The employer will need to be able to offer meaningful career opportunities to their employees.7

Gallagher, December 2021


Employees need to feel that they can grow in their role and their career. If they don’t, they will move up with another organization. Since they have different expectations, motivation and preferences when it comes to career paths, it is best to understand their individual needs. Regardless, if they want a promotion, a change in role, or simply new opportunities to learn, you’ll be able to better provide appropriate coaching.6 You can even use AI-based technologies to help them discover their future position within the company, with personalized recommendations they’ll receive based on their skills, experiences, and career aspirations.

If opportunities for advancement are limited, you can compensate by offering a strong coaching and mentoring program or by involving employees in projects related to their career goals.6


4. Engagement and Retention

“61% of Canadian employers are not confident in their ability to retain employees.”

Ipsos, December 2021


In this new working landscape, meaningful improvement in engagement and retention requires prioritizing the factors that really matter to employees: role clarity, the manager-employee relationship, and the presence of a respectful, inclusive, and trusting team.8 At this point in the journey, managers have a critical role to play and must adapt to employees by being better listeners, becoming better mentors, and focusing on a warm, empathetic, and flexible approach. These changes will also be reflected in the employee experience, which will become more personal and human-centric. Employees will no longer be expected to “leave their personal lives at home”. Instead, they should acknowledge their feelings and emotions at work and take advantage of the opportunity to create a stronger connection with them.

According to Jacob Morgan, helping employees work better, creating an environment where they want to work and can do so optimally, will help you retain them. They’ll appreciate it when you simplify and tailor processes to them, eliminate irritants, and provide the right digital experience.8 Employers who can create authentic, personalized experiences for their employee personas and create moments that really matter to them will come out ahead.


Often neglected, the last step of the process allows you to manage the last impression of your employees, to learn from their experience and to show them that you care. This is the time to thank them for their work and congratulate them on their upcoming challenges. How they feel when they leave will determine how they talk about you and will also influence your employer brand. Who knows, your former employees may also be your future employees.

Prioritize your employees before they jump ship. Remember, their success depends heavily on how well you meet their expectations at every stage of their journey. Now is the time to create an employee experience they will love. To do this, it’s essential to include them in the equation and create an environment that is conducive to discussion, in addition to being trustworthy, ready to listen and most importantly, to act. It is by implementing concrete actions that you will send the message that they are important to you and to the organization.



  1. Une étude révèle que près de la moitié des employés canadiens envisagent de changer d’emploi en 2022, sondage Ipsos réalisé pour Randstad, CNW Telbec, 7 décembre 2021.
  2. Alors que nous retournons au bureau, les attentes des employés remodèlent le monde du travail. Êtes-vous prêt?, Mercer, 9 août 2021.
  3. Nouvelles attentes : Incidence de la pandémie sur les attentes des employés quant à leurs régimes d’avantages sociaux, AON, 2021.
  4. 10 raisons de miser sur l’expérience candidat, Université d’Ottawa (source primaire : Recruiting Brief, 2019), 8 septembre 2020.
  5. La Covid-19 a révolutionné le travail : Quelles seront les tendances émergentes après pandémie?, sondage Léger réalisé pour Adecco Canada, webinaire juin 2021.
  6. 7 Tips on how to manage employee expectations at your organization, Academy to innovate HR (AIHR), September 2021.
  7. Le monde du travail ne sera plus jamais le même, La Presse, citation de Nathalie Francisci, Gallagher, décembre 2021.
  8. How to bridge the divide between employee expectations and the employee experience, Lifeworks.

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