NOVEMBER 2019 STATISTICS CANADA LABOUR FORCE SURVEY REPORT MONTHLY SUMMARY
71,200 JOBS REMOVED IN NOVEMBER
5.9% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE*
285,100 12-MONTH EMPLOYMENT GAINS**
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS*
*Source: Statistics Canada
**Source: Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted, November 2018-October 2019
56% of Canadian workers have experienced a mishap when starting a new job.
43% said their tech (phone, computer, security access) wasn’t properly set up.
22% said they didn’t receive an overview of the company or policies.
Source: Accountemps survey of more than 500 workers in Canada.
© 2019 Robert Half.
Statistics Canada just released the November 2019 Labour Force Survey. After holding steady through October, employment fell by 71,200 in November, and the unemployment rate rose 0.4 per cent to 5.9 per cent.
Highlights in November
- Compared with November 2018, employment gains totalled 293,000 (+1.6 per cent), with the increase largely accounted for by full-time work.
- Over the same period, total hours worked grew by 0.2 per cent.
- Declines in employment were recorded both in the goods-producing sector, specifically in manufacturing and natural resources, as well as in the services-producing sector, notably in public administration.
- In Quebec, 45,000 fewer people were employed in November, with the decline largely attributable to manufacturing as well as accommodation and food services. As more people searched for work, the unemployment rate in the province increased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.6 per cent. Despite the monthly decline, total employment in Quebec was up by 45,000 (+1.0 per cent) on a year-over-year basis.
- Employment in Alberta fell by 18,000 in November, with declines led by wholesale and retail trade. On a year-over-year basis, total employment in the province was little changed.
- Employment in British Columbia also fell by 18,000 in November, with declines spread across several industries. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed.
- While employment in Ontario held steady in November, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 5.6 per cent as a result of more people looking for work.
What employers need to know
You won’t always be able to predict when your company needs some extra help. But if yours is like most Canadian businesses, there are times throughout the year when you know a spike in workload is coming and can prepare. It could be when tax time rolls around or when college and university interns say their goodbyes and head back to school. Whatever the situation, the solution is the same: seasonal employees.
Many businesses get extremely busy towards the end of the year. Workplace stress levels can swell during the holidays, when there are fewer employees around to help with the extra customer service duties and end-of-year responsibilities. Retailers, delivery and logistics companies, businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries, and others often need significant extra help during the lead-up to the holidays.
When you find yourself in this type of situation, you need an effective strategy to quickly find, win over and prepare highly skilled seasonal employees. Here are three critical steps:
1. Engage with a top staffing firm
A good relationship with a first-rate recruiter is essential to successful seasonal hiring. A specialized staffing agency like Robert Half knows the candidate marketplace in your industry and city. We have a database of millions of job seekers, including many that you and other companies wouldn’t have access to on your own.
Moreover, it can be challenging to evaluate and hire many people in a short amount of time when you and your team are already stretched thin. A staffing agency can make this process much easier and help you identify and bring on board lots of seasonal employees at once. We can effectively evaluate experience and skills to make the right matches — and fast.
2. Be ready to make an offer to seasonal candidates
Just as you would with a candidate for a full-time position, assess potential seasonal employees based on the required skills and experience, performance expectations, personality, and corporate culture fit. Conduct reference checks to make sure you’ve made the best match possible.
But before you do all that, find out what range you should expect to pay. The Canadian market can be competitive even for temporary workers today. If a recruiter is helping you hire seasonal help, they can work with you to ensure you offer compensation that meets the market standard. You also can use resources such as Robert Half’s annual Salary Guides.
3. Set clear expectations
Even with a seasonal employee, you need to have a strong sense of the specific duties and responsibilities of the job you’re staffing. If you’re working with a staffing agency, inform the recruiter of the time frame and key expectations, and make sure they are communicated to job candidates during the interview.
It’s a worthwhile exercise to write a detailed job description before you bring the interim worker on board and go over it on the first day. Then stick with it, avoiding the temptation to give the seasonal employee whatever random assignment needs doing. One of the advantages is that in the event the temporary position becomes full time, you’ll be able to accurately evaluate how well the person fulfilled the job as you described it. Seasonal employees often make great candidates for full-time positions.
What job seekers need to know
Many employers are willing to go the extra mile to convince top candidates to join their organization. That includes being open to engaging in some back-and-forth with potential hires about compensation and the types of benefits and perks the company may be able to provide.
You’ll want to be strategic when negotiating both salary and nonmonetary perks, though. Think about what you really want and need, because there is some risk in asking for too much — and standing too firm on your asks.
During the job application and interview process, be sure to gather details about the types of benefits and perks the company already offers its employees. That can help you to refine your list of asks. For instance, if you’d like to telecommute regularly, but the company doesn’t provide that option, consider asking for something else you’d value — like extra vacation days.
It can also help to know what similar companies in your industry provide to their employees, as that could strengthen your position in negotiations. Resources like Robert Half’s Salary Guides can be useful for this research. You might also want to work with a recruiter to assist with your job search: A staffing professional can handle all the job offer negotiations for you and help ensure you receive a fair compensation package.
If your skills are in demand, chances are good you can press a hiring manager for the perks and benefits you really what you want. But, again, avoid being inflexible. If you really want the job, think carefully about everything that the employer is putting on the table — and what you might lose if you sweat the details in negotiations too much.