The Demand for Skilled Talent

2022 Hiring and Employment Trends

Need a better hiring and retention strategy this year? Start with our 2022 Demand for Skilled Talent report and discover what the new hiring landscape will look like, how smart businesses are adapting and what job candidates want most from employers.

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Canadian Labour Market Snapshot

Unemployment Rate (April 2022): 5.2%

Jobs Increased (April 2022): 15,300*

12-Month Employment Gains (April 2022): 1,015,700**

*Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted

**Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted, May 2021 to April 2022

Employers left in the dark

Ghosting continues to be common among candidates — and a real frustration for employers.

Percentage of professionals who have ghosted potential employers and cited that the job was not what they expected as the main reason they stopped responding:*

43%

Percentage of employers who reported ghosting by candidates more often since the pandemic started:*

43%

*Top responses shown

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Views from the negotiating table

Job seekers are doing their salary research, but pay is only one reason they aren’t accepting new offers.

Employer perspectives

Why companies lose out on candidates they want to hire

35%

Hiring manager takes too long to make an offer and the candidate accepts another position

33%

Candidate wants more schedule flexibility

30%

Offer doesn’t meet candidate’s salary expectations

2%

Other

Worker sentiments

How candidates prepare for salary negotiation*

34%

Researched salaries for the role

17%

Calculated an ideal salary based on personal finance needs

17%

Discussed salaries with colleagues

*Multiple responses permitted

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A good time to hire, whether contract or permanent

Companies are adding staff across sectors in 2022 for both contract and permanent positions.

Hiring outlook for permanent positions*

49%

Adding new permanent positions

45%

Hiring for vacated positions

5%

Freezing hiring

1%

Eliminating positions

*Hiring for the first half of 2022.

Hiring outlook for contract positions

52%

Increasing

10%

Decreasing

34%

No change

5%

Not using contract employees

**Responses may not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

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Raising the incentives bar

Want top talent? Better pay, employee recognition, flexible work arrangements and opportunities for advancement are what workers want most.

Employer perspectives

Actions employers are taking when hiring*

47%

Offering remote options

46%

Increasing starting salaries

31%

Loosening education, skills or experience requirements

30%

Offering signing bonuses

29%

Increasing paid time off

Worker sentiments

Reasons workers plan to look for a new job*

59%

Higher salary

38%

Greater appreciation

35%

Ability to work remotely long term

33%

More opportunity to advance

30%

Better benefits and perks

*Multiple responses permitted

See trends for each area of business.

*Percentage reflects April 2022 unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, May 6, 2022.

Finance and Accounting

Notable Positions*

Financial auditors/accountants

Financial and investment analysts

Financial reporting specialists

Payroll clerks

Additional positions in demand:

Accounts receivable/accounts payable specialists

Controllers

Credit/collections clerks

Payroll specialists

Hiring and Employment Trends

49% of senior managers in finance and accounting are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 46% are hiring only for vacated roles.

51% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

Top functions in which managers are adding new contract finance and accounting positions:

  • Accounts payable, accounts receivable and bookkeeping
  • Budgets and analysis
  • Finance and financial planning and analysis

96% said it's challenging to find skilled finance professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Budgets and analysis
  • Finance and FP&A
  • Accounts payable, accounts receivable and bookkeeping

84% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

35% of finance and accounting professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

81% are confident their skills are relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

Administration

Notable Positions*

Administrative assistants

Executive assistants

Office assistants

Receptionists

Additional positions in demand:

Data entry specialists

Mortgage assistants

Project assistants/coordinators

Property management assistants

Hiring and Employment Trends

51% of senior managers in administrative and customer support are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 45% are hiring only for vacated roles.

50% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

85% said it's challenging to find skilled administrative and customer support professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Customer service and customer experience
  • Account management
  • Call centres
  • Project management and co-ordination
  • Logistics

73% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Top administrative and customer support functions currently outsourced, according to managers:

  • Customer service and call centres
  • Travel, event and meeting planning
  • Data entry and processing

28% of administrative and customer support professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

75% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

Human Resources

Notable Positions*

HR generalists

HR specialists

HR supervisors

Additional positions in demand:

HR assistants

HR benefits specialists

HR recruiters

Hiring and Employment Trends

50% of HR managers are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 44% are hiring only for vacated roles.

55% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

85% said it's challenging to find skilled HR professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Management and leadership
  • Recruiting and talent sourcing
  • Human resources information systems

73% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Greatest challenges facing HR departments, according to managers:

  • Employee engagement and motivation
  • Employee retention
  • Budget reductions

43% of HR professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

84% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

*Percentage reflects April 2022 unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, May 6, 2022.

Marketing and Creative

Notable Positions*

Advertising managers

E-commerce marketing managers

Marketing managers

Public relations managers

Social media managers

Additional positions in demand:

Digital marketing specialist/managers

Instructional designers

UI designers

UX directors/designers

Hiring and Employment Trends

57% of senior managers in marketing and creative are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 40% are hiring only for vacated roles.

66% will increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

98% said it's challenging to find skilled marketing and creative professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Project management, traffic and operations
  • Digital design and production
  • Design and production

89% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Marketing and creative managers say their top strategic priorities for 2022 are:

  • Implementing digital marketing strategies
  • Improving brand messaging and image across channels
  • Improving customer experience

60% of marketing and creative professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

70% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

*Percentage reflects April 2022 unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, May 6, 2022.

Customer Support

Notable Positions*

Call centre representatives

Contract managers

Customer service specialists

Additional positions in demand:

Senior call centre specialists

Senior customer service specialists

Hiring and Employment Trends

51% of senior managers in administrative and customer support are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 45% are hiring only for vacated roles.

50% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

85% said it's challenging to find skilled administrative and customer support professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Customer service and customer experience
  • Account management
  • Call centres
  • Project management and co-ordination
  • Logistics

73% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Top administrative and customer support functions currently outsourced, according to managers:

  • Customer service and call centres
  • Travel, event and meeting planning
  • Data entry and processing

28% of administrative and customer support professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

75% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

*Percentage reflects April 2022 unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, May 6, 2022.

Technology

Notable Positions*

Computer programmers

Data administrators

Information systems analysts

Network administrators

Software developers

Web designers/developers

Additional positions in demand:

Business intelligence analysts

Data architects

DevOps engineers

Front-end developers

Mobile applications developers

Hiring and Employment Trends

53% of senior managers in technology are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 39% are hiring only for vacated roles.

59% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

94% said it's challenging to find skilled technology professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Data science and database administration
  • Business intelligence, analysis and reporting
  • Cloud architecture and operation

88% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Technology managers say their top strategic priorities for 2022 are:

  • Security of IT systems and information
  • Technology modernization
  • Data management and analysis

46% of technology professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

75% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

*Percentage reflects April 2022 unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, May 6, 2022.

Legal

Notable Positions*

General counsel

Law clerks

Lawyers

Notaries

Additional positions in demand:

Compliance analysts

Contract administrators

Data privacy specialists

Legal secretaries

Litigation support

Hiring and Employment Trends

58% of law firms/legal departments are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 42% are hiring only for vacated roles.

51% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their law firm/legal department in 2022.

99% said it's challenging to find skilled legal professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

Law firms:

  • Data entry and word processing
  • Document review and management
  • Legal research and analysis

Legal departments:

  • Data entry and extraction
  • Document review and management
  • Legal research and analysis

94% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

Areas of law expected to offer the most job opportunities in the next 12 months:

  • General business or corporate law
  • Intellectual property
  • Litigation

36% of legal professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company/law firm requires employees to return to the office.

94% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3.

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Workers want flexibility. Employers are reluctant to give it.

Employers are still reluctant to meet employee demands to work anywhere.

Employers' plans to return workers to the office

55%

On a full-time basis

27%

On a part-time basis

17%

Will let each employee decide

1%

Will not be reopening office

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Work opportunities of interest to employees*

60%

Fully-remote position

57%

Remote-optional position (flexibility on where to work)

50%

Hybrid position (remote and in the office)

*Multiple responses permitted; top responses shown

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Salary Guide 2022

Start a smarter salary discussion

Hiring talent? Negotiating compensation? See the 2022 Salary Guide from Robert Half to:

  • Explore national and market-specific salary projections based on real job placements
  • Review trends in your profession
  • Discover what perks and benefits employers are offering to attract and keep talent — and what workers want most

Sources:

Labour Force Summary — April 2022, Statistics Canada; May 6, 2022

Labour Unemployment Numbers — April 2022, Statistics Canada; May 6, 2022

Statistics Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3

Online surveys developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms in 2021. Respondents included executives, senior managers and employees from small (20-249 employees), medium (250-499 employees) and large (500+ employees) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations across Canada.