89% of Canadian firms face 2024 hiring hurdle

A survey highlights major hiring challenges for Canadian companies in 2024, including wage demands

89% of Canadian firms face 2024 hiring hurdle

A survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals and reported by Global News Wire, reveals that 89 percent of Canadian companies expect significant hiring challenges in 2024, highlighting the evolving job market landscape in Canada.

According to the survey, while 50 percent of Canadian companies plan to increase their workforce in the first half of the year, they are preparing to confront various hiring obstacles. The primary challenge, cited by 45 percent of companies, is the difficulty in finding qualified candidates.

Other hurdles include increased job market competition (25 percent), uncompetitive pay (24 percent), mismatch between available talent and company needs (23 percent), and uncompetitive benefits (21 percent).

The survey also sheds light on increasing salary demands among existing employees. Over half (55 percent) of the companies report that their employees have sought pay raises in the past year due to rising living costs.

Consequently, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of these businesses intend to increase wages in 2024.

Job seekers, particularly from the Gen Z demographic, have actively requested pay raises, with 41 percent having done so in the past year. Despite this, there is a level of skepticism among job seekers about wage increases, with 49 percent expecting their wages to remain the same and only 41 percent anticipating an increase from their employers.

A key issue highlighted in the survey is the ongoing skills mismatch in the labor market. About 36 percent of companies have open positions they cannot fill due to a lack of qualified applicants, mainly because of insufficient hard skills (45 percent), relevant experience (36 percent), and soft skills (26 percent).

Job seekers also face challenges, with 56 percent struggling to find opportunities that match their qualifications. A notable observation is that a significant portion of Gen Z and Millennials (72 percent and 70 percent, respectively) believe that some companies are merely collecting resumes without genuine hiring intentions.

Another concern is the recent surge in job posting scams, of which 57 percent of hiring managers are aware, though 43 percent are still uninformed. These frauds pose a risk to companies and job seekers alike, with 45 percent of companies concerned about their name being illegitimately used and half of the job seekers worried about falling victim to these scams.

Bill Stoller, CEO of Express Employment International, recognizes the optimism among hiring managers for 2024 but underscores the daunting challenges ahead. He advises job seekers to acquire skills for in-demand positions, suggesting that skill enhancement is key to developing a more diversified workforce.