˙ Apr 12, 2018

Companies in Canada investing more money and energy to recruitment

Companies in Canada investing more money and energy to recruitment

With the economy chugging along - evidenced by lower unemployment and higher earnings - Canada's labor force are taking advantage by dipping their toes into the job search waters, raising the competition stakes. In response, businesses are ramping up their recruitment energies - to a greater degree than this time last year - so job seekers might consider them as their next workplace.

Nearly 85 percent of large businesses in Canada are participating in co-op programs, according to newly released findings from Morneau Shepell, Inc., a human resources and consulting firm. Co-ops enable participants to locate new potential hires. In 2017 when a similar poll was done, co-op involvement was 76 percent.

Majority spend $1,000 per workers on training
Not only is recruitment intensifying, but so is the level of business owner spending, doing so to more effectively teach those they hire and improve the performance of the workers they already have. Indeed, more than half of companies in the poll said they spend $1,000 annually per worker on training, with an additional 30 percent paying in the $500 to $1,000 ballpark per year per worker. In the previous poll done by Morneau Shepell, 46 percent were spending $1,000 and 24 percent between $500 and $1,000.

Stephen Liptrap, CEO and president of the Toronto-based HR organization, said businesses recognize the current high turnover environment and are acclimating the best way they know how.

"Companies are facing unprecedented competition and disruption," Liptrap explained. "They either adapt or they die. The 2018 Business Council of Canada Skills Survey clearly points to the importance of a diverse workforce that's well-equipped with the human skills required to succeed in this rapidly changing economy."

Canada has one of the higher turnover rates in the world, as many workers in the country always keep an eye out open for potential new employment digs. At 16 percent, Canada has the fourth highest turnover rate globally, according to a recent study by social networking website LinkedIn. That's well ahead of the U.S. (13 percent) and behind France (21 percent), U.K. (17.6), and Australia (17.5 percent).

Businesses expect more out of new college grads
As large employers dial up their recruitment and retention efforts, they're expecting the people they hire to bring their "A games." Approximately 7 in 10 respondents in the Morneau Shepell survey said they require more from recent college graduates today than the recent past, specifically five years ago. As for why, the main reasons include the more demanding realities of today's workplace as well as advancements in technology.

Speaking of technology, automation and artificial intelligence has enabled companies to improve production while saving on the cost of labor. Conventional wisdom suggests the upsurge in AI will make it harder for job seekers to find employment, but 46 percent of respondents said it will do just the opposite, resulting in more work opportunities. Forty-one percent said greater AI utilization would lead to job losses.

"Businesses today operate in a highly complex, rapidly changing environment," said John Manley, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada. "The survey shows that Canadian companies are stepping up their efforts to hire graduates with a high level of technical capabilities as well as strong human skills such as the ability to collaborate and work in teams."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the technology industry overall has one of the higher turnover rates. The turnover rate in the tech sector is 13.2 percent, LinkedIn found, ahead of retail, media and entertainment and professional services.

LinkedIn noted robust demand and improving compensation levels are likely the main drivers for the elevated level of job hopping in the tech sector.