July 2021 Hiring Trends

The Demand For Skilled Talent

Welcome to The Demand for Skilled Talent, your look into the hiring trends making noise across the country. Our research shows that job optimism is increasing among Canadian workers, signalling career moves on the horizon. Employers are facing new hiring and retention challenges as they adapt to the needs of a more mobile workforce. Explore the latest numbers on hiring, hybrid work and the cost of a bad hire.

Statistics Canada Snapshot

Unemployment Rate (June 2021): 7.8%

Jobs Increased (June 2021): 230,700*

12-Month Employment Gains (June 2021): 987,300**

*Seasonally Adjusted

**Seasonally Adjusted, July 2020 to June 2021

Top 3 Hiring and Recruitment Challenges

Senior managers anticipate their biggest hiring hurdles to occur during the second half of 2021:

Employers Hiring 22%

Finding candidates with the right skills

Employers Hiring 18%

Finding candidates who are a good fit with our company culture

Employers Hiring 16%

Retaining top performers

Workers Are in the Driver’s Seat

Candidates looking for a job aren’t going to wait around, and they’re open to full-time contracting.

Percentage of professionals who lose interest in a job if they don’t hear back within two weeks of the initial interview:

72%

Percentage of job candidates who will ghost the employer if they feel strung along:

48%

Percentage of workers planning to look for a new job who want to pursue contracting as a career:

25%

Hiring Plans and Strategies

Senior managers share hiring plans for full-time employees in their department for the second half of 2021:

Hiring Outlook

43%

Adding new permanent positions

54%

Filling vacated positions or bringing back temporarily laid off employees

3%

Freezing hiring

Top Hiring Incentive

40%

Negotiating more paid time off for new employees

Top 5 Industries Hiring

  1. Business Service
  2. Finance, insurance and real estate
  3. Technology
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Healthcare

Managers also weigh in on changes their companies have made to their hiring strategies since January 2021*:

51%

Conducted remote interviews and onboarding sessions

36%

Shortened the hiring process

33%

Increased the use of temporary or contract professionals

32%

Expanded our search geographically to access a wider candidate pool

32%

Posted open roles to diversity-focused sites and online networks

31%

Advertised fully remote jobs

* Multiple responses were permitted. Top responses are shown.

See trends for each area of business.

*Percentage reflects June 2021 unemployment rate

Top Positions

Financial auditors/accountants

Financial and investment analysts

Executive assistants

Data warehouse analysts

Payroll clerks

Customer service representatives

Administrative assistants

Hiring Trends

49% of senior managers in finance and accounting said they are hiring for new positions in the second half of 2021. 48% said they are hiring only for vacated roles or bringing back temporarily laid off employees. 62% said they will be hiring contract workers to support year-end initiatives.

When recruiting for open roles, 62% said their company starts local and broadens its search if too much time passes without finding qualified candidates.

39% said their companies negotiate title upgrades and 38% negotiate more paid time off for new and existing employees to attract and retain in-demand talent.

67% said turnover has increased on their team since Jan. 1, 2021, mainly due to employees’ concerns for their job security and limited opportunities for career growth.

*Labour Force Survey, June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021.

Source: Robert Half survey of 165 senior managers with hiring responsibilities working in finance and accounting in Canada.

*Percentage reflects June 2021 unemployment rate

Top Positions

Financial planning and analysis managers

Business services managers

Advertising/marketing/public relations managers

Human resources managers

Hiring Trends

47% of senior managers in human resources said they are hiring for new positions in the second half of 2021. 51% said they are hiring only for vacated roles or bringing back temporarily laid off employees.

66% said they will be hiring contract workers to support year-end initiatives.

When recruiting for open roles, 62% said their company starts local and broadens its search if too much time passes without finding qualified candidates.

44% said their companies negotiate more paid time off for new and existing employees to attract and retain talent.

64% said turnover has increased on their team since Jan. 1, 2021, mainly due to employees’ concerns for their job security.

*Labour Force Survey, June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021.

Source: Robert Half survey of 300 senior managers with hiring responsibilities working in human resources in Canada.

*Percentage reflects June 2021 unemployment rate

Top Positions

Information systems analysts

Software developers

Data administrators

Computer programmers

Web designers/developers

Network administrators

Hiring Trends

44% of senior managers in technology said they are hiring for new positions in the second half of 2021. 55% said they are hiring only for vacated roles or bringing back temporarily laid off employees.

71% said they will be hiring contract workers to support year-end initiatives.

When recruiting for open roles, 57% said their company starts local and broadens its search if too much time passes without finding qualified candidates.

45% said their companies negotiate more paid time off for new and existing employees to attract and retain talent. 44% offer signing bonuses for new employees.

60% said turnover has increased on their team since Jan. 1, 2021, mainly due to employees’ concerns for their job security.

*Labour Force Survey, June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021.

Source: Robert Half survey of 167 senior managers with hiring responsibilities working in technology in Canada.

*Percentage reflects June 2021 unemployment rate

Top Positions

Law clerks and related occupations

Lawyers and notaries

Hiring Trends

55% of lawyers said their law firms or companies are hiring for new positions; 40% said they are hiring only for vacated roles or bringing back temporarily laid off employees.

57% of open positions, on average, will be filled on an interim, project or consulting basis.

89% said they are concerned with losing top legal performers to other job opportunities in the next 12 months.

*Labour Force Survey, June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021.

Source: Robert Half survey of more than 150 lawyers with hiring responsibilities in Canada

We Make Hiring Easy. It's that simple.

Just give us a few details in the form below and one of our staffing professionals will contact you.


About the Position


  • Please Select
  • Permanent Placement
  • Contract Talent
  • Project

Contact Information


By providing your email address, you consent to receiving salary trends, thought leadership and hiring advice for managers and business owners via email from Robert half Canada Inc. You may unsubscribe at any time.

I accept the Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

RH Hidden Fields

Or call us at 1.844.256.6540

The Cost of a Bad Hire

Percentage of senior managers who admit to hiring the wrong candidate for a role:

77%

Percentage of senior managers who said the negative impact is more severe now than it was a year ago:

56%

Biggest Tolls on Their Teams and Company

  1. Time wasted hiring and training the new employee
  2. Decreased staff morale and productivity
  3. Increased stress on the supervisor

Time Lost on Hiring Mistakes

11 — The number of weeks to terminate the bad hire

5 — Additional weeks needed to restaff the role

Anywhere Working: The Next Chapter

Flexibility is important to workers, and managers are working hard to provide it.

Worker Sentiments

How Employees Prefer to Work

51%

Hybrid of remote and in-office

30%

Fully remote

19%

Fully in-office

What Workers Want to Help Ease the Back-to-Office Transition

  1. Ability to set preferred office hours
  2. Employer-paid commuting costs
  3. Personal distraction-free workspace
  4. Relaxed dress code
  5. Employer-provided childcare

Employer Perspectives

Where Managers Want Workers

56%

Full-time in the office

Top 6 Ways Companies Support Workers

  1. Offering flexible work schedules (e.g., compressed workweek or flextime)
  2. Building and sustaining team morale
  3. Monitoring and managing workloads
  4. Increasing employee engagement
  5. Investing in employee collaboration tools
  6. Providing access to employee well-being resources

Boosting Career Options, Post Pandemic

The pandemic has taken a toll on workers with 27% experiencing stalled careers. This number jumps to 55% for Gen Z professionals. Upskilling, and better pay, helps all employees move forward.

Worker Sentiments

How Careers Have Taken a Hit During the Pandemic:

62%

Salary growth

62%

Career advancement

42%

Skills development

Top Reasons For Seeking a New Job

35%

Low morale and burnout

23%

Opportunities to grow and develop skills

Employer Perspectives

Top 6 Skills For Future Company Leaders

  1. Strategic and critical thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Planning and organization
  4. Technical
  5. Adaptability
  6. Creativity and Motivation (tied)

Start a smarter salary discussion

Hiring talent? Negotiating a paycheck? Get the Salary Guide from Robert Half now to:

  • Explore national and market-specific salary projections based on real job placements
  • Review trends reshaping your profession
  • Get insights into key perks and benefit offerings

Sources:

Labour Force Summary — June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021

Labour Unemployment Numbers — June 2021, Statistics Canada, July 9, 2021

Robert Half survey of 800 senior managers with hiring responsibilities in Canada; June 2021

Robert Half survey of 600 senior managers with hiring responsibilities in Canada; December 2020

Robert Half survey of more than 150 lawyers with hiring responsibilities in Canada; December 2020

Robert Half surveys of more than 500 workers 18 years of age and older in Canada; January, March, and April 2021.