How do private companies win the fight for talent?

    TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - The growing shortage of qualified workers in
Canada is forcing private companies to work harder to get the right people in
the right jobs - and place a higher priority on keeping them. According to
research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a full 61% of private companies
see labour as their primary challenge in 2008. However, there are steps
private companies can take to attract and retain the right people.
    "As baby boomers retire, there are not enough young workers available to
fill the void," says Don Edmonds, PwC's Private Companies Services leader in
the Audit and Assurance Group in Toronto. "Employees know they are in demand,
and private companies need to come up with creative ways to attract and keep
them. On a positive note, our research shows that in 2007, 85% of private
companies increased their focus on retention."
    Ian Gunn, partner and leader of PwC's Private Company Services in Calgary
adds, "It is not enough to throw money at people-especially in western Canada,
where wages are already above average. Private companies need a consistent,
systematic approach for creating conditions to attract qualified employees and
to work with them to keep them engaged."

    Edmonds and Gunn suggest that private companies develop a strategy to
attract and retain employees. Some examples include:
    -   Hire right. Have a very clear understanding of your culture and the
        type of people who best fit.
    -   Be clear with expectations. Companies that score high on employee
        satisfaction, have regular, formalized feedback processes in place.
    -   Be flexible. Flexible work arrangements including shorter work weeks
        and telecommuting are a business reality.
    -   Share the growth of the company. Go beyond cash bonuses-create a
        phantom stock plan, or allow employees to participate in the
        ownership of the company.
    -   Listen to your people. Create an environment that allows employees to
        enjoy what they do and to do what they do best.

    This is the third in a series of articles from PwC that aim to help
private companies increase their understanding of some of the critical issues
and opportunities that can affect the performance of their business. PwC's
2008 Business Insights(R) Survey, an annual survey that analyzes the opinions
of private business leaders and provides benchmarking for similar companies,
will be available after the summer.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers ( provides industry-focused assurance,
tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its
clients and their stakeholders. More than 146,000 people in 150 countries
across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop
fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
( and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and
staff in offices across the country.
    "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario
limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the
PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network,
each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

For further information:

For further information: Nina Godard, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, (416)
941-8383 ext. 13520,; Carolyn Forest,
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, (416) 814-5730,

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