By Paul Fitzgerald
According to Hays Canada, a division of the international recruitment firm, businesses from coast to coast in Canada will definitely see more positive activity in 2013. While this is all good, business owners and popular recruitment firms however are pointing out that a major challenge in all this is companies finding the right skilled candidates to fill jobs in an array of industries.
Hays Canada surveyed over 3,000 Canadian companies last month and they discovered that many of them highly anticipate that their business activity will be much brighter than it was in 2012 and 2011.
Seventy eight percent of those surveyed however emphasized that they will most likely encounter “moderate to extreme challenges recruiting top talent.” In its news releases announcing the results of the study, Hays Canada stated: “This is because there will continue to be a mismatch between the available candidates and those who have the necessary skills.”
“In 2012, as the economy began to recover, many companies significantly ramped up recruitment to refill roles that were lost during the recession,” says Rowan O’Grady, President of Hays Canada.
He adds, “Hays expects hiring practices in 2013 to be largely strategic in nature where professionals with key skill sets will cost a premium. 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.”
Susan McKechnie, a partner at Fresh Management, says the ongoing war for talent will always exist, but companies now need to be more strategic than ever in attracting and obtaining the right skilled workers.
“I think it is always hard to find good people but the trend is companies are not using agencies they are trying to recruit on their own,” she says. “The problem is that it is hard to find great recruiters and companies view recruiting as an administration role but it actually is a profession that requires skill and training.”
She adds, “Companies are trying to lower their cost per hire by bringing recruiting in-house because they were sick of the crazy recruitment fees from agencies but then they buy expensive Applicant Tracking Systems, hire 40K-human-resources-people and tell them to start hiring. They are not trained recruiters and get so bogged down in paperwork that they can’t ding the talent and then they end up using agencies anyway.”
Fresh Management, a popular recruiting firm in Canada, is now offering in house training to companies that have internal recruitment departments in order to teach them how to recruit skilled workers and professionals alike. They are also offering flexible recruiting such as shortlisting for clients or flat fee recruiting to help them bring down the cost per hire. Their move to aid HR professionals in recruiting skilled workers will no doubt pay off in the long run.
While finding top talent is one thing, keeping them is a whole other matter.
Hays Canada indicates that 50 per cent of employers identify career progression as the biggest influencing factor in attracting top talent.
“Companies need to invest more in current employees, helping them to define their goals and address any deficiencies in skills,” says O’Grady.
Interestingly, companies in Canada do not seem keen on looking overseas to fill professional and service-like positions. The Hays Canada survey reports that most companies – nearly 60 per cent –”will not sponsor, or are undecided about hiring talent from abroad.”The main reason for this is the red tape involved with the immigration procedures.
While the federal government recently adopted a fast track entry system for workers outside of Canada, most new jobs in a variety of professions will be filled by Canadians.
The recession has caused uncertain economic times in Canada. While 2013 appears to be more positive for economic growth, hiring Canadians first seems a priority for businesses. As well, companies will no doubt turn to leading recruitment firms like Fresh Management in order to obtain the talent they need so their companies will grow and remain competitive.