The Demand for Talent Has Never Been Greater: Here’s How You Can Stay Ahead of the Game

The demand for top talent, or rather any level of talent, has become increasingly difficult as nearly every industry in Canada reports experiencing imbalances  in their hiring needs versus the number of suitable applicants.

A recent employment outlook survey found that 73% of Canadian employers are struggling to find the skills they need, indicating that skills shortages are at a levels not seen in 15-years.  Conversely, Statistics Canada reports that applicant participation, in most demographics, in the labour force is back to pre-pandemic levels.

The question to ponder is, if applicants are applying to jobs at a rate that parallels pre-pandemic levels then why are so many businesses struggling to recruit new talent and what can they do about it?

There is a War on for Talent

We are in the throes of what can only be described as a candidate-driven market and with so many Canadian companies seeking to add to their workforce over the course of the next several months, it has become increasingly necessary for employers to act quickly in order to out-hire the competition.

Maintaining a sense of urgency is a critical component to ensuring hiring success. As People Store’s recruitment consultants have seen, candidates are reluctant to wait for lengthy deliberation or overly arduous interview processes. They recognize how competitive the market is and know that they hold all of the cards.  There is no shortage of opportunity and it is not uncommon for candidates to be in the job market for only a few days before they receive multiple offers.

Simply put, if you’re not prepared to assess, interview and present an offer faster than your competition, you’re already out of the game.

It’s almost always about the money

Candidates re-entering the workforce after pandemic-related job shortage are no longer willing to accept lower-scale wage packages. As business owners ourselves, we can’t deny the importance of bottom lines and economies of scale, but employers who want to out-recruit their competition need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to offer a salary scale that at least exceeds living wage standards in their region.

In 2020, Canada experienced average wage increases of five to seven percent and this is in tune with what People Store’s recruitment branches are seeing as well. In fact, our recruiters are reporting that candidates who once sought employment opportunities in $16.00 – $19.00 per hour range are now demanding $18.00 to $21.00, making it increasingly difficult for uncompetitive employers to hire.

In the current economic climate, it makes strong business sense to enlist the services of a professional staffing partner to gain greater visibility into the market and the candidate pool and to ensure that your organization is making the best hiring decisions at the most competitive salary.

Modernization is here to stay

Not every company has the financial fortitude to increase hourly wages to levels that jobseekers are demanding but that shouldn’t dissuade you from focusing on a total compensation model that includes other perks and benefits such as flexible working schedules and training, skills development or mentoring opportunities.

One of the positives to come out of the pandemic was that it opened doors to new ways of working, companies adopted flex-time policies, some positions shifted to a remote or hybrid platform and employees started to value work-life balance again. As employees start to transition back to the traditional work setting, many are reluctant to abandon this new found flexibility.

Outside of the financial and non-financial benefits, hiring temporary staff can also help to ease some of the stress that comes with trying source new talent. Many organizations are looking to start new hires on short-term contracts before converting them to permanent employees and this is a great way for both employees and employers to decide if it’s a good fit before making any long-term decisions.

The most successful companies invest their time on business-growth or profit-enhancing tasks and try to eliminate as many distractions as possible.  Flex or temporary staff support internal teams in driving maximum productivity and achieving mission critical results.  Having internal staff cover gaps can work in certain situations, but it may also take staff away from more important tasks. Temporary employees have experience gained in a variety of work setting and can often times this experience can be used to the advantage of the employer and can help to improve overall efficiency.

The Canadian employment market is hot and it shows no signs of cooling down any time soon. Partnering with a qualified RPO is the best way to help your business navigate this rapidly evolving landscape and to ensure you stay ahead of the curve, without over-exhausting your internal HR team. People Store’s recruiters follow our proprietary PQAP, so that our clients get the best talent, all the time.  Click here to set up an introductory meeting with a member of our award-winning sales team!

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