Basic Typology of Employer Challenges

General Challenges

Some challenges that all employers face: Some challenges that small and medium-sized employers face: Some challenges that larger employers face:
  • Costs – resources, labor, health benefits, etc;
  • Restrictive regulations;
  • Global competition and the need to increase productivity for less.
  • No or limited Human Resource staff or processes;
  • Limited profit margins;
  • Limited resources to offer on-the-job training;
  • Cannot access new markets.
  • Scale of workforce needs;
  • Competition for markets;
  • Competition for skilled labor.

Workforce-Related Challenges

Recruitment and Retention

  • Difficulty recruiting or retaining entry-level employees
  • High turnover among critical positions
  • High cost of recruitment and on-boarding
  • The aging workforce and imminent retirement of a large segment of incumbent workers
  • Lack of sufficient post-employment supports for entry-level workers that enable them to retain their jobs


  • Skill gaps – in both technical and soft skills, for both entry level and incumbent workers
  • Flexibility/ adaptibility of workers to adapt to new technology/ new products needed that ensure competitiveness and high productivity


  • Shortage of training slots or lack of shortage of qualified instructors at local education and training institutions
  • Elimination of vocational training programs
  • Training programs that don’t provide workers with right skills
  • Limited budget to devote to on-the-job or other training
  • Limited time and capacity by trainees to overcome basic skills deficits as well as gain new occupation-specific skills

Other Challenges

  • Workers with ESL needs or limited literacy
  • Workers needing childcare or transportation supports
  • Lack of human resource capacity to manage recruitment and retention, particular for smaller businesses.
  • Public perception about the industry that impacts recruitment


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