The Employment Market is Hot: Here’s How Your Organization Can Stay on Top


Hiring new talent has been a lot more challenging recently and nearly every industry in Canada is currently affected by this change to the employment market.

According to a recent survey from ManpowerGroup, 73% of Canadian employers say they can’t find the skills they need – a 15-year-high. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reports that participation in the labour force is at pre-pandemic levels for most demographic groups. If that’s the case, then why is it so difficult to hire new employees and how can your organization overcome these challenges?

The Race is On

We’re currently in a period of change. Over half of the Canadian companies surveyed by ManpowerGroup plan to increase their workforce levels over the next several months. “Lots of companies are competing for talent,” says Julian Hallett, Director of Corporate Development at BOWEN. “In order to hire the people that are best for your organization you need to act quickly.”

Acting quickly when it comes to hiring right now is key to getting the best person for the job. Alejandra Ospina, one of BOWEN’s Recruitment Specialists, says, “If there’s too much time for deliberation the candidate may become impatient and start interviewing for other roles, as candidates understand how competitive the market is.”

BOWEN’s Senior Recruitment Specialist, Norka Thompson, agrees that one of the primary challenges in recruitment is delayed decision making. “We’re encountering many candidates who are available in the market for just a few days after we first make contact,” she says. “Many receive multiple offers within just a one-week period.”

Money Matters

“The roles with better salaries get a faster response and more interest from candidates,” Ospina says. “While bottom line and economies of scale are important, employers need to ensure that salaries match the cost of living of each province.”

Over the last year wages have gone up across Canada by an average of five to seven per cent, according to Statistics Canada. This increase in salary expectations mirrors what recruiters are seeing at BOWEN as well. “We’re seeing $2-$4/hour pay rate request increases from our candidates, making it more difficult for clients to afford to hire people,” Hallett says. “In this market it’s a good idea to consult or contract a professional staffing firm for assistance. Staffing firms have a strong pulse on the market and candidates; and can assist with ensuring you’re making the correct hiring decisions at the correct salary.”

The Importance of Innovation

Not every organization looking to hire has the financial flexibility to increase wages at the rate job seekers are looking for. But that shouldn’t hold your organization back from attracting great talent. While ManpowerGroup lists “increased wages” as one of the top three strategies to attract and retain talent in Canada, they also list two non-financial benefit strategies in their two top spots: “flexible work schedules” and “training, skills development or mentoring.”

Beyond adjusting financial and non-financial benefits, hiring temporary staff can also help alleviate some of the pain when it comes to finding new talent. Many companies are looking to start staff on short-term contracts and convert them to permanent positions. “This is a great way for both the employer and the employee to ensure it’s a good fit,” Hallett says.

Hallett says the most efficient companies focus on doing more of what they do best and eliminate as many distractions as possible. “Temporary staff can support and augment internal teams to drive maximum productivity,” he says. “Having internal team members cover desks can work in some situations, but other times it takes employees away from potentially more important tasks that could have been supported by a temporary employee. Temporary employees also have experience in different work environments and can come with some great ideas and suggestions to improve overall efficiency.”

Recruiter Recommendations

Interview proactively, and if you can’t then consider working with a firm who can. “Recruiters should be constantly calling and interviewing candidates proactively,” Thompson says. “Don’t rely on a candidate you interviewed more than two weeks ago. In this market there’s a good chance they’ve already accepted another offer.”

Keep the lines of communication open. “Talk to your candidates about the hiring process and interview stages,” Thompson recommends. “It’s also important for companies to close the loop with candidates, so they know where they stand with a position and if you’ve filled the role elsewhere.”

Most of all, be competitive. Job seekers have more opportunities available to them right now than they did several months ago. “This makes it extremely important for hiring processes to be expedited and salaries to be competitive to capture the best talent,” Ospina says. “Even taking an extra day to deliberate can set you back as the candidate might have already accepted a job elsewhere. Then the search starts again.”

It’s no secret the employment market is hot. Utilizing a recruitment and staffing firm can help your organization navigate the current landscape and come out on top, without adding extra pressure or overloading your existing human resources team. Our recruiters use BOWEN’s proprietary MATCHadvantage, so you get the right talent at the right time. We’re ready to be your people partner, just click here to request talent or to setup an introductory meeting with a member of our team.