Canadian firms cautiously optimistic on hiring in 2011: Survey

27 per cent expect to hire and 43 per cent predict no layoffs

Canadian companies are cautiously optimistic about hiring in the coming year, according to a new survey.

Fifty-seven per cent of more than 3,000 senior executives surveyed by Right Management said they will be cautious on hiring in 2011.
“Corporate sentiment may seem a bit uncertain,” said Bram Lowsky, Canada general manager at Right Management. “But, compared with a year ago, it is much more optimistic. We see not just more hiring but also efforts to leverage onboard talent with a greater push in the development area.”

More than one-quarter (27 per cent) of respondents are optimistic about 2011, predicting growth and recovery with increased hiring as well as new talent development initiatives. Nine per cent foresee continued sluggish hiring, while only three per cent anticipate additional staff cutbacks and restructuring.

In addition, 49 per cent of respondents see a return to normal hiring “on an as-needed basis” while 43 per cent see “practically no staff cutbacks” in 2011 and 25 per cent expect fewer, found the survey.

But one-half of respondents reported they “occasionally find it hard to fill key positions.” While companies remain cautious on hiring, they are most concerned about employee burnout and losing top talent, said Lowsky.

“Retaining talent has become so important. But improving employee engagement and expanding development efforts help organizations build morale,” he said. “This may be done over time and will allow companies to retain knowledge and experience while at the same time support business strategy.” 

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