Experts Share Advice on Where Canadian Job Seekers Should Look

A recent survey conducted on behalf of staffing agency Express Employment Professionals (EEP) found that 31 percent of hiring decision-makers expect their company to increase hiring in 2021, while only 10 percent expect less hiring this year.

When a similar survey was taken at this time last year, only 16 percent of hiring managers expected their company to take on new workers.

Larger companies appear to be most bullish on hiring this year. According to the company’s survey, 42 percent of employers with 100 or more employees plan to add to their workforces in 2021, versus 17 percent of companies with fewer than 10 employees.

“The larger companies tend to be more resilient, they’re more diverse, they’ve got a little bit more flexibility from a cash perspective as well,” Jessica Culo, an EEP franchise owner in Edmonton, told CTVNews.ca via telephone.

“The smaller businesses tend to be not so optimistic.”

That lack of optimism is well-earned. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses estimates that 58,000 small businesses became inactive in 2020, and 181,000 – about one in six – are seriously contemplating following their lead.

Less clear is when over the next 11 months that hiring will happen. Most companies seem to be holding off for now, Culo said, anticipating that vaccinations and reopenings will have life somewhat back to normal before the end of 2021.

Some industries still get jobs even as the COVID-19 cases hit record levels.

Topping that list was manufacturing, which picked up 15,000 jobs in December. Culo said manufacturing and supply chain industries, such as transportation, logistics and packaging, are among those that seem to be hiring most in the first weeks of 2021 as well.

Beyond that, though, she is also seeing demand in medical services and supplies, construction, project management, business services and accounting.

Staffing and recruitment agency Randstad Canada sees similar trends. Delivery drivers, procurement and supply chain specialists, and warehouse workers all cut its list of the jobs expected to experience the most growth in Canadian demand in 2021.

The shift to remote work is not only affecting how employers interact with their employees, it’s also changing how companies deal with each other.

Culo said workers in sales positions have seen significant changes, as virtual meetings provide for a different sort of relationship-building with clients than the traditional face-to-face approach.

Spurred by the rise of remote work, some Canadians are already fleeing big cities for quieter and more affordable communities, expecting that they’ll be able to do their jobs from these places even once the pandemic is over.

Employers, likewise, are realizing that there are benefits to attracting talented workers who may not want to live near their offices or deal with long commutes.

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