Hiring to continue in Canada despite challenges: Robert Half study

Over 50 per cent of Canadian technology managers plan to hire in the first half of 2024 despite persisting challenges to find skilled talent, a new study by hiring platform Robert Half reveals.

Respondents included executives, senior managers and workers from small (20-249 employees), medium (250-499 employees) and large (500+ employees) businesses in private, publicly listed, and public sector organizations across Canada.

Factors such as anticipated company growth, increased turnover, and lack of requisite skills among employees are the top factors influencing the decision to continue hiring in 2024. Many companies are also looking to capitalize on laid off talent, the report revealed.

While there’s an increased number of tech workers in the talent pool due to persisting tech layoffs, there will still be plenty of opportunities for them in 2024, affirmed Nathan Wawruck, director of permanent placement services in the tech practice at Robert Half.

Many technology leaders are also planning to hire more contract professionals in the first half of 2024, notably in areas like AI and machine learning, and cloud architecture, as well as software and applications development.

This could be related to the fact that managers are more strategic in their hiring than they were a few years ago and, importantly, because 70 per cent of companies will now be moving forward with projects that they put on hold in 2023.

However, the report emphasized the many hiring difficulties that are set to persist in 2024.

Nearly half of managers (48 per cent) said their team suffers from skill gaps, which degrade quality of work and can even leave projects at a standstill. 

“Our research shows that tech managers are facing the greatest challenges in finding skilled talent for AI and machine learning, security, privacy and compliance, and cloud architecture and operation—areas where they also say skills gaps are most evident in their companies,” explained Wawruck.

Recruiters are advised to act fast when they spot the gaps, the report noted, especially with 64 per cent of managers claiming that hiring now takes longer than it did a year ago, significantly setting back their companies as they lose skilled talent to competitors.

Wawruck added that companies need to ensure a streamlined interview process to keep the hiring process as smooth as possible, to avoid delays that risk them losing skilled candidates. Plus, their compensation and benefits packages should also be competitive and in line with industry expectations.

A higher salary (47 per cent) is the top priority for workers who plan to look for a new job, followed by advancement opportunities, and benefits and perks, as well as flexible work options, the report showed.

Candidates’ salary expectations being too high (54 per cent) is, in fact, the top reason that recruiters cited for losing skilled candidates. Others wanted more flexibility (50 per cent), accepted a counteroffer (42 per cent) or claimed that the company took too long (33 per cent) to make an offer.

Don’t wait to make compelling offers to good candidates, the report asserted.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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