4 ways to beat the Employment Market Heat

It is no secret that the employment market has been scorching hot in Canada, changing the climate for employers nationwide. Month, after month, after month we have shared record-breaking news from Statistics Canada’s monthly labour report. With employment at an all-time high and unemployment at an all-time low – the labour crunch is real and becoming more and more difficult for companies to deal with.

Stats Canada reports the highest quarterly job vacancies on record, with 957,500 open positions in the first quarter of 2022 — up 2.7 per cent from the previous peak last quarter, and unemployment has fallen even further. This is puts increasing pressure on employers in Canada looking for talent. Here are four ways to beat the employment market heat.


1. Don’t delay the hiring process

Acting quickly when it comes to hiring right now is the key to getting the best person for the job. A candidate-driven market means job seekers have options, especially for candidates who are at the top of their game or have specialized in niche roles that typically would have more competition for the employer to choose from.

Job seekers understand how competitive the market is – taking too much time for deliberation or making the candidate jump through extraneous hoops is certain to lead in increased candidate drop-off – leaving you with a decreased talent pool.

Being proactive is key to acting quickly. Working with a recruiting firm like Agilus can help your business prepare for labour gaps with ready-to-go, pre-vetted candidates for you to interview.

Talent pools are beneficial for both employers as well as job seekers. Partnering with a staffing firm who conducts pro-active interviewing allows employers to quickly find talent to fill gaps or potentially convert to permanent positions, while job seekers gain access to a diverse group of potential employers and can decide for themselves where they fit in best.


2. Job compensation shouldn’t be an afterthought

Besides working with a talent sourcing service your hiring manager should have clear guidelines on acceptable pay bands, and any benefits offerings that can be adjusted for salary negotiations based on various levels of experience and expertise. Going in with a non-negotiable attitude is another sure-fire way to lose out on top quality candidates.

It’s also important to not undervalue your potential new employee. Offering the lowest possible salary with the expectation of negotiation is transparent, are a quick turn off to candidates who are savvier to these types of practices.

Instead, have your recruiters understand what the ideal salary range is, but also prepare them for what the maximum is. You don’t need to advertise your maximum (unless local laws apply), but perhaps you’re willing to pay $70k for someone with incredible experience and expertise when the role is typically a $60-$65k role. Let your hiring teams know this so they don’t need to waste their time going back and forth with bureaucratic red tape and risk losing out on a great new hire.

Even better add the salary or salary range to the job posting. Many job boards allow job seekers to sort by salary or hourly wage. If you don’t include it your job posting may be pushed to the bottom.


3. Think outside the box when hiring

Not every organization looking to hire has the financial flexibility to increase wages at the rate job seekers are looking for. But that shouldn’t hold your organization back from attracting great talent.

Beyond increasing non-financial benefits, hiring temporary staff can also help alleviate some of the pain points when it comes to finding new talent. Many companies are looking to start staff on short-term contracts and convert them to permanent positions. This is a great way for both the employer and the employee to ensure it’s a good fit.

Often during times of an internally tight labour force, organizations will have an internal staff member cover someone else’s workload. While this can work in some situations, typically it takes employees away from potentially more important tasks. Meanwhile the out-of-scope tasks could have easily been overseen by a temporary employee. Temporary employees also often see a lot of workplaces and can come with some great ideas and suggestions to improve overall efficiency.


4. Drop your biases and focus on the candidate's skill set

Despite the incredibly strong business case for gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity, progress in representation continues to grow at a surprisingly slow rate. For nearly a decade, McKinsey & Company has been tracking the progress of hundreds of organizations. While they have found clear indications that the most diverse companies are more likely to outperform their less diverse peers on profitability, they have also found growing polarization among organizations leading to most organizations making little gains and some even slipping backwards when it comes to diversity within their organizations.

“More diverse teams lead to higher performance,” said Nora Gardner, a senior McKinsey partner, on a recent podcast. “They do so when there’s an environment of inclusion that allows businesses to make the most of that diversity.”

One simple way to overcome unconscious biases is to focus hiring based on skill sets, rather than the work history of candidates. Talent assessment is an excellent tool that can provide insights about a job applicant beyond the traditional academic and experience mentioned in their resume. According to research, organizations that use pre-hire assessments are 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals.


Navigating the Employment Market

At the end of the day, keep the lines of communication open with your candidates. Talk to them about the hiring process and interview stages. Don’t forget to close the loop with candidates, so they know where they stand and to not leave a bad impression. Even though the candidate might not work out now, that doesn’t mean they won’t end up working with you later.

Ready to get to work? We can help your organization navigate the current labour market and come out on top, without adding extra pressure or overloading your existing human resources team. Contact us today to setup an introductory meeting with a member of our team, or for more ideas on how to win at retention and attraction download The New Talent Squeeze here.

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