You’ve heard it before. Nova Scotia is facing demographic challenges and a changing workforce that will significantly impact the way we all do business. Baby boomers are retiring, there are fewer younger workers to enter the job market, and topping the list of what makes a desirable workplace is quickly changing from health benefits and RRSP contributions to flexible work hours and a cool culture.

These shifts in the labour market mean employers will need to be aware of the changes that lie ahead for them – and whether it means adjusting to more flexible work days, or having a pet friendly office – one thing is certain, it is quickly becoming an employee’s market and employers will have to adapt to make sure they are an employer of choice. Luckily for small businesses what is often sought by the newest generation of talent is more related to culture than compensation; something that is much easier to provide when you are small.

Developing a “cool culture” strategy might prove to be the most difficult part of making your organization an employer of choice given that no definitive checklist exist, but it also may be the most important piece of the total compensation package. For larger businesses a move to a more flexible workplace will take more time and require changes to the organizational structure, and management processes and controls.  Large enterprises have not proven themselves as open to change as their small business brethren.  Small businesses on the other hand have an advantage when demonstrating a cool culture as their size and structure allow for a more organic transition.  But regardless of the size of an organization, suitability and desirability of the work environment is not something that can be left to chance when it is such an important part of the talent equation.

Becoming an employer of choice involves many layers and while not everything outlined will work for every organization, it is important to find the right balance to ensure that your organization stands out as a desirable place to work.

Stay tuned for the December issue of Business Voice for more details on how you can become an employer of choice.