With the unemployment rate in Canada at 5.9 per cent, the lowest it's been in nearly a decade, employers are finding it difficult to recruit top talent in many professional occupations, according to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half.
Fifty-one per cent of CFOs said it is at least somewhat challenging to identify skilled workers for current job vacancies.
When asked, “How challenging is it for your company to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today?" 18 per cent said very challenging, 33 per cent said somewhat challenging, 19 per cent said not challenging, and 30 per cent said it was not applicable or they were not looking.
"To ensure organizations are consistently attracting top professionals, they must establish nimble and comprehensive hiring processes capable of successfully evolving with current market conditions and limited candidate supply," said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations.
To cast a wider net, 48 per cent of the more than 270 executives surveyed are extending their search geographically. Other strategies include:
• accelerating the hiring process to avoid losing candidates’ interests (46 per cent)
• considering college students or graduates (46 per cent) for roles that historically weren't open to them
• loosening must-have criteria to consider more candidates (45 per cent)
• hiring interim accounting and financial professionals to evaluate them for full-time roles (39 per cent).
Robert Half offered the following advice for employers:
Re-examine your hiring criteria: Identify must-have attributes and skills that can be taught on the job. Develop a strong onboarding program to help new employees get up to speed quickly and learn your company's systems and processes.
Amp up active recruitment: Long gone are the days when you can advertise a job opening and wait for skilled professionals to apply. Keep your eyes and ears open. No matter what type of event you are at, be ready to describe your company's exciting job opportunities.
Consider remote options: Give potential employees the option to work remotely, if the nature of the job allows for it. This flexibility enables you to tap a wider base of professionals.
Partner with a recruiter: Staffing professionals can help you quickly find and secure candidates you may not be able to identify on your own. They'll also handle other aspects of the hiring process such as posting job openings, interviewing applicants, checking references, extending offers and negotiating compensation.
Leverage employee referrals. Ask employees if they know people who would be good additions to the team, as your staff are more likely to refer candidates who they think will be a good fit. Implementing an employee referral program can also be a powerful recruiting tool.
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