One-third of employers expecting business activity to increase in 2013: Survey

Skills, candidate shortage posing challenge across all sectors
||Last Updated: 01/02/2013

Employers across Canada have found themselves in the challenging position of being unable to find candidates with key skills, just as they predict continued increases in business activity for 2013, according to a report by Hays Canada.

“In 2012, as the economy began to recover, many companies significantly ramped up recruitment to refill roles that were lost during the recession. Hays expects hiring practices in 2013 to be largely strategic in nature where professionals with key skill sets will cost a premium,” said Rowan O’Grady, president of Hays Canada. “Increased efficiencies and improved productivity is the goal of companies today and individuals who can help make that happen in organizations are in high demand.”

Nearly one-third (62 per cent) of Canadian companies expect business activity to increase in 2013, found the survey of 3,000 employers. At the same time talent mismatch will persist — 78 per cent will experience moderate to extreme challenges recruiting top talent.

More than 50 per cent of employers reported career progression as the biggest influencing factor on attracting top talent. More than one-third (35 per cent) expect permanent staff levels to increase in 2013, while 53 per cent expect permanent staff levels to remain the same.

In the long term, some of the pressure can be reduced if companies take a more aggressive position on sponsoring qualified overseas candidates, said Hays. In 2012, only 19 per cent of employers did so despite acute skills and candidate shortages. In 2013 the majority of Canadian companies (58 per cent) will not, or are undecided about sponsoring overseas candidates. Almost one-half (45 per cent) of all Canadian companies cite a burdensome, lengthy immigration process as the biggest barrier.

When it comes to salaries, one-half (48 per cent) of employers will increase salaries by less than three per cent and 37 per cent will increase salaries between three per cent and six per cent, found the survey.

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