is probably the best way to describe the current Canadian job market. According to the Labour report released in January 2024, there were 1.2 million unemployed people in December 2023. These numbers indicated 19.3% year on year increase compared to December 2022. This shift could either be because of reduced active jobseekers or jobseekers finding it difficult to find the right job.
Either way, it is clear that in the future, employers will need to think about a new strategy than the one employed post-pandemic. For a business operating in a fast-paced environment, any delay in finding the right professional can become expensive. Conversely, hiring urgently without due diligence can lead to restarting the hiring cycle all over again.
Businesses in Canada that want to grow their teams, need to recruit with a clear strategy. Here are 5 important considerations:
1) Make a steller job description!
An effective job description is probably one of the most underutilized and underrated hiring tools. Many companies rely on their human resource team to write a job description or copy a similar role from the internet. Employers also use AI to make a job description.
Although these may seem like a time saving hacks, it will ultimately result in a much lengthier hiring process as job seekers do not understand your work culture or unique value proposition. Incorrect, inadequate or bland job descriptions do not attract uniquely qualified talent, making it difficult to find a good candidate. This lengthens the recruitment cycle costing employers’ time and resources.
To find the right employee, a precise and accurate job description of the position is a must. Mention the most attractive benefits such as opportunity to grow in the role, benefits, commission and remote/hybrid opportunity at the foremost. Identify a competitive salary depending on expectation from the employee. One approach could be hiring someone at the lower number on the salary range and providing them growth opportunities.
2) Remove unconscious bias-job description, screening and interviews.
Three most common biases in recruiting that may unknowingly occur in a hiring process include ageism, genderism and racism. Irrespective of whether these biases are implicit or unconscious, it is important to be aware of them and consciously eliminate them.
It is a well documented fact that inclusive workplaces are more productive, more successful, and generally better at problem-solving. Employees who are not proactively addressing unconscious bias are probably losing out on great candidates.
Some examples of how to successfully remove unconscious bias from recruitment process may include:
Not using terms like "digital native" or "seasoned" in job descriptions as it makes reference to candidate's age
Avoiding use of gender specific terms like “Foreman”. Instead use gender neutral term like “Supervisor”.
Avoid making assumptions about a candidate's race and eliminating them from hiring process based on their name.
3) Flexibility & work-life balance
Several have indicated the value flexible work arrangements hold for Canadian jobseekers. Jobseekers are overwhelmingly interested in remote/hybrid jobs. In fact, many are also ready to sacrifice a portion of salary to gain them.
Flexibility and work-life balance go hand in hand. 90% of surveyed employers said that employees with flexible work arrangements are more productive-Benefits Canada . Work plus life has become an important consideration for businesses.
Candidates are likely to choose an offer that promises more flexibility when choosing between two identical roles. Research by revealed that 80% of Canadians who are currently in a remote/hybrid role will look for a new job if they are expected to return to the office every day. Flexible work arrangements are not just a temporary perk but a fundamental expectation.
4) Looking beyond resume
Candidate resume is a critical hiring tool and plays a central role in recruiting process. However, relying solely on resume gives an employer, limited insights into a candidate's potential. One can only gather information on a candidate's professional experience and technical skills through a resume. By going beyond the resume, employers can identify candidates that show better transferable skills, cultural fit, motivation, enthusiasm etc. toward a role.
Hiring decisions that are based purely on technical skills, direct experience and education may not necessarily be the best fit for an organization’s culture. A misfit candidate can lead to an unhealthy work environment for everyone and restarting of a hiring cycle. A business that hires for its needs for today, and its future needs, is more likely to find and retain qualified candidates.
Recognizing candidates with the right attitude for the role and going beyond the resume can help find long-lasting talent. Assessing these skills often means digging deeper with talent assessment tools like skills and behavioral testing.
5) Partnering with a Staffing expert
Attracting top talent in 2024 means employers need to think ahead and consider . To build a team that aligns with the long-term vision and goals of a company, employers need to make strategic hiring decisions. So how to decide what to look for in a candidate and how to find the right matrix of skills and experience?
Working with a recruitment partner or a staffing agency can help bridge that talent gap. Staffing experts such as Agilus are closely connected to the local job market and candidates. They can provide accurate intel on what today's jobseekers are looking for.
Recruitment agencies are knowledgeable about the incentives that drive skilled candidates towards a role. They can help employers utilize top techniques to find the right candidate- including an employee value proposition. An experienced recruiter may even convert a passive candidate to apply for a role, thus enriching the available potential candidate pool. This helps to ensure that hiring process is speedy, efficient and businesses can find a suitable professional right on time. Ultimately saving businesses time, money, and employee churn.
Thinking of building an entire team for a specific business need or project? A recruitment partner can quickly put together a pool of highly skilled and qualified candidates - something that an employer's HR teams may not be able to do.
As we delve deeper into the Canadian labour market of 2024, navigating this landscape requires adaptability and a proactive approach. In 2024, the importance of meaningful connections between talent and opportunities in the Canadian job market will become increasingly apparent. At Agilus, we foster these connections (nearly 1 million candidates in our work community), embrace diversity, and promote inclusive work cultures.
With over 47 years of recruitment experience, our national team of experts are primed to navigate the changing landscape, empowering employers to discover exceptional talent and guiding jobseekers towards their ideal opportunities. Take the pivotal first step toward success— today, and together we can create a prosperous Canadian economy and inclusive workforce.