“If We Ever Get Out of Here…”

Should we make a break for it?

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail (“Many Canadians Feel Trapped in Their Jobs”), they reported on a survey that found that many Canadians “feel trapped in their jobs and hope to escape in the new year… 84 per cent said they plan to actively look for a new position in 2012, and only 5 per cent said they were certain they would stay in their current position. The rest said they were networking or upgrading their résumé and might jump if an opportunity came along. The survey findings reflect widespread dissatisfaction, said Right Management executive vice-president Bram Lowsky. Two other surveys found that the market for workers with computer and technical skills is growing, suggesting opportunities for career growth to people willing to retrain and flexible about where the job is located, experts say.”

But while some companies are stagnant, others are growing. One is Accenture which reported record-breaking results, with a 15 per cent increase in revenue and new bookings worldwide of $28.8-billion (U.S.). For Accenture’s Canadian employees, the year-end numbers are a pleasant reminder that they’re working for a winner, and an indicator of the good things yet to come.

“In Canada, we have a strategy that calls for double-digit growth,” says Claudia Thompson, an Ottawa-based managing director at Accenture. The company has approximately 236,000 employees serving clients in more than 120 countries. “To attain [this], we have to really focus on our human capital strategy and build skills and knowledge across the country, because our business is about people.”

With about 4,500 workers in Canada, Accenture is already among the leading employers in the country – and the company intends to expand its work force even more. It hired more than 1,000 new employees last year. Globally, the company expanded its work force by about 70,000 last year, and will likely hire the same number of people this fiscal year.

Because of this rapid growth, Accenture faces that most fundamental of human resource challenges: how to continue attracting and retaining the best and the brightest.