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More Canadian employers taking a wait-and-see stance when it comes to hiring

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July 27, 2022
By Talent Canada

(BublikHaus/Adobe Stock)

More Canadian companies are adopting a wait-and-see approach when it comes to hiring amid economic uncertainty, according to a recent survey from Express Employment Professionals.

The news comes hot on the heels of some major layoff announcements from Shopify, which said it was cutting 10 per cent of its workforce, and automaker Stellantis, which is laying off employees in the Ontario cities of Windsor and Brampton.

Half of Canadian companies surveyed (50 per cent) said they need more employees but simply do not have the capacity to hire.

Large companies (100 plus employees) are significantly more likely than small businesses (fewer than 10 employees) to cite the need for additional staff but have the inability to hire (63 per cent).


Of those who lack the capacity to hire additional employees, 44 per cent say it is because their company is adjusting their recruiting/hiring strategy, while 42 per cent say their company does not have enough room in the budget to hire and 23 per cent lack upper management approval for the hiring of additional employees.

“Inflation is a big cause of concern for companies being cautious with their budgeting,” according to KV Aulakh, Express franchise owner in Barrie, Ont. “In addition, some companies believe we are in the beginning stages of a recession, therefore the best idea might be a ‘wait and see’ approach.”

Some industries more cautious

Aulakh says that some industries are being more cautious than others.

“Certain industries, such as automotive, are being more cautious and even halted hiring,” said Aulakh. “However, in other industries such as manufacturing, logistics/warehousing, we have seen growth and an increased demand. Overall, jobs are not as readily available as they were six months ago.”

In Sarnia, Ont., though, Express franchise owner Bruce Hein says hiring has not slowed down yet.

“In our market, hiring has been pretty consistent across all industries,” said Hein. “After hiring slowed during the pandemic, companies have definitely increased their hiring so far this year.”

Hein advises employers to think twice before taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to hiring.

“With the severe labour shortages plaguing the country it’s always good to act quickly when a good candidate comes across your desk,” said Hein. “Taking a ‘wait and see’ approach can cause you to miss out on the right employee, because good workers are not available for long.”

Quality candidates always in demand

KV Aulakh agrees and says employers should focus on hiring high quality candidates regardless of any economic uncertainty.

“Depending on the length of a potential recession, it would be a smart idea to continue to hire as more quality candidates will become available due to a recession or fear of a recession,” said Aulakh. “Companies that already have high quality employees on board at the tail end of a recession can hit the ground running.”

“Business owners have a lot to keep them up at night without adding the lack of hiring capacity to already uncertain economic conditions,” Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. “We need more workers to come off the sidelines to help solve a multitude of workplace issues and help stabilize one piece of the global economy.”

About the survey

The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between May 3-23, 2022, among 504 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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