Growth stifled by labour shortage

26 per cent of Canadian employers would have hired more
professional staff if available
||Last Updated: 11/09/2006

One quarter of Canadian employers are having difficulty filling permanent professional positions due to a lack of available talent, which is threatening growth plans, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by staffing firm Manpower, found that 24 per cent of employers are also paying higher wages for the same positions compared to the previous year due to professional talent shortages.

Manpower surveyed nearly 32,000 employers across 26 countries and territories in July and August, including 960 in Canada. The survey was conducted to determine the availability of suitable permanent professional candidates, such as lawyers and accountants, in the marketplace and the impact of available talent on wage inflation.

"Employers are telling us that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified professional talent," said Lori Rogers, vice-president of operations for Manpower Canada. "With competition for talent ever more fierce, in many cases, employers are forced to offer higher compensation to attract and retain staff."

The survey shows that employers are having the hardest time finding qualified professional staff in Canada's Atlantic region where 38 per cent of respondents indicated that they would have hired more permanent professional staff. In Quebec 51 per cent of employers reported that they are paying more for the same job compared to one year ago.

Ontario employers reported the easiest time finding professional staff, with only 23 per cent reporting they would have made additional hires if suitable talent were available.

"Talent shortages for professional level positions are growing and this trend is beginning to impact the bottom line," said Rogers. "As these trends grow stronger in the coming years, the companies with the strongest employer brands will be the big winners because they will be able to attract and retain top talent more easily than those who have been slower to adapt."

The Canadian results did, however, compare favourably to the worldwide average of 29 per cent of employers indicating they would have hired more permanent professional staff in the last six months if they could have found qualified talent, and 25 per cent indicating that talent shortages are causing them to pay higher wages.

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