I had lunch with an old friend this week and one of the conversations we had was about the future of employment in Canada. My company is POIM, I am a sole proprietor and I use consultants to execute customer contracts. My friend is a contactor and he works at one of the largest companies in Canada on a contract. He indicated he had heard the long term employment strategy at this company is to replace retiring employees with contractors.
I came across an article in the National Post that indicates that 2.6 million self-employed workers account for 16% of total employment in Canada. Most work at their businesses on their own, but about 860,000 employ others. Most of the people these employers hire would be the 6.4 million working in small and mid-sized companies. Every self-employed employer therefore, provides an average of 7.5 additional jobs into the economy. Large private sector businesses employ 27% of Canadians, a percentage point lower than pre-recession levels. Government departments and public sector enterprises employ 21% of Canadians; a percentage point higher than before the recession began.
When I started POIM I picked the name POIM Sales & Marketing, but I quickly realized that each customer who required a CRM solution had unique needs that required a specific skill set to deliver on. I also realized that I would not be able to staff the company with all these specialists; as result, I focused my efforts on building relationships with consultants who have the skill sets that my customers require and leveraging new project management techniques and technology to harness the power of these consultants. As result it opened my eyes to what I believe is the changing face of employment in Canada, people who have unique skill sets (specialists) and want an alternative life style that does not include being an employee working in a large company. I feel this is the future of the Canadian workforce and that is why I changed the name to POIM Consulting Group.
Not only do I believe the consulting model is the future of the Canadian workforce, I also believe that Canada is in a great position to make the transition to this state of “new normal” of employment and this will result in Canada being an economic leader. Listed below is a list of factors that will allow Canadians to make the transitions to the new realities of employment.
• Canadians are well educated providing the tools needed to specialize.
• Canadians are connected to mobility, internet and computers allowing us communicate without having to be in an institutional setting.
• Public health care (who would have thought that Tommy Douglas would be responsible for helping Canadians transition to the new industrial revolution). Not having to worry about employers paying for health care provides freedom to try something new without worrying about who is going to look after us if we get sick. Public health care will give us a huge advantage over the USA in transitioning to the new normal.
• A political system that fosters innovation and provides the freedom to allow Canadians to make the best choices without fear of prosecution.