“Where are all the workers?”
It’s a common question from employers looking to hire these days, and it’s no wonder. Canada has record-low unemployment, record-high job vacancies (over 1 million) and a persistent labour shortage spanning nearly every industry and province.
All of these factors add up to one thing: Fierce competition for talent.
What about the looming recession?
Many employers ask if a possible recession will cool the hot job market. Not likely.
Despite recent layoffs in the IT sector and indications of a slowdown, the shortage of talent is so severe, experts predict continued high demand for skilled workers in key sectors like IT, finance, accounting, construction and healthcare.
“We’ve seen a growing need for experienced IT workers over the past quarter,” says Irfan Ahmed, VP, IT Growth & Strategy, Altis Technology Recruitment. “We have many public and private sector clients looking for IT Directors, Software Developers, Business Analysts and more, so my advice to employers is to move fast when hiring, as candidates have many options to choose from in this market.”
Canada’s labour shortage: By the Numbers
- Record-low unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent (Sept. 2022)
- Record-high 1 million job vacancies
- More vacancies than unemployed workers for the first time since 2015 (BMO)
- Smallest working-age cohort since the 1960s
- Over 50 per cent of Canadian businesses say labour shortages limit the ability to increase production
10 tips to up your hiring game
How can employers compete for Canada’s best and brightest? Here are 10 tips from experienced recruiters at Altis Recruitment:
- Step up your job advert game – The first step in attracting the right candidates is the job ad itself. Try to include a values statement highlighting the guiding principles of your company, so you attract candidates who share the same beliefs. For example, “Come join our collaborative, creative, passionate team. We bring our A Game to work every day, supporting each other to deliver our best for our clients, celebrating our successes and learning every step of the way.”
- Be boastful – Make sure you clearly highlight what makes your company a great place to work. Beyond compensation, what’s in your Total Rewards package? For example, your benefits plan, bonus structure, hybrid/remote work options, parental leave, vacation and paid time off options, career growth opportunities, and more. Be sure to strut your stuff as an employer from the very first interview.
- Offer radical transparency – Share the pain points; don’t oversell the role. New hires will promptly leave if the job isn’t what they expected, so be sure to tell candidates exactly what the job entails. Are the deadlines tight? Will the candidate have to deal with irate customers? Say so in the interview.
- Redefine your must-haves – Rather than aiming for that perfect bullseye candidate with every possible skill, consider what it will take to make a successful hire. Are all the requirements truly ‘’must-have skills’’? Could you hire someone with 60 per cent of the skills and train for the remainder?
- Get organized – If your hiring turnaround time is currently 60 days, try to get it down to 30. Map out the recruitment process and schedule all interviews before the interview process kicks off. Try to get senior decision-makers involved early on instead of waiting for the second or third round—they can create a lasting impression with the interviewee. Strong talent moves quickly and the longer you wait, the higher the chance they’ve accepted another offer or even a counteroffer from their current employer.
- Avoid unwanted surprises – Candidates ghosting potential employers or refusing to provide references are more common these days. The best way to avoid these surprises at the offer stage is to be prepared. Ask pointed questions about salary, benefits and vacation expectations during the interview stage, shortlist sufficiently, and keep the candidates engaged throughout the entire process.
- Communicate early and often – Follow up with candidates in a timely manner before, during and after the interview process, keeping them engaged and ensuring they’re aware of how excited you are to have them join your team.
- Make your first offer your best – Rather than holding your cards closely and holding out for a possible negotiation on a bit of extra salary, a better job title or an additional week of vacation, dazzle the candidate with everything you’ve got and go in with a strong offer off the bat.
- Prepare for counteroffers –To eliminate the possibility of a counteroffer, ask pointed questions to determine what’s motivating the candidate to consider switching jobs. It’s not always about more money—it could be about time off, better benefits, etc. And don’t be shy about asking direct questions like: “If your employer offers you $10,000 more, would you accept it?”
- Help the candidate resign – It might sound harsh, but sometimes a candidate needs a bit of coaching to resign from their current role. Help them write a letter of resignation with a clear last day and suggest they resign on a Monday morning (so the employer doesn’t have a weekend to think about a counteroffer).
And remember, it’s always a good idea to make the candidate experience as positive as possible, even for candidates you don’t hire. Word of mouth is crucial for attracting new hires and you want to get the word out about how great your workplace is.
Looking to hire top talent? We can help. Our team of recruiters at Altis Recruitment, Altis Technology Recruitment, excelHR and excelITR has deep expertise across a range of sectors and places over 8,500 candidates in meaningful roles across Canada every year. See altisrecruitment.com/looking-to-hire for details.