Staffing shortage: what can Canadian companies do?

The staffing shortage is currently pushing Canadian companies to deploy various tactics to attract the best candidates and retain their employees. According to a study published by Statistics Canada in July 2022, the job vacancy rate has reached unprecedented levels in the country over the past year.

Data from the Canadian Business Conditions Survey, collected in the first quarter of 2022 from private companies in Canada, revealed that 38% of organizations surveyed expected to face labour shortages and implement measures to better manage their recruitment and retention needs. Three strategies in particular stand out in the survey. 

Increase salaries and benefits

The study shows that almost half of the companies surveyed (46%) affected by the labour shortage intend to increase the wages of new employees. A high percentage of them – 64%, also plan to give existing employees a pay raise. Enhanced benefits are also provided for new and returning employees to deal with the crisis. On average, wage growth reached 6.1% for businesses struggling with staffing problems, compared to 3.6% for those without labour force difficulties. Some organizations (12%) also plan to offer bonuses or incentives to new employees. 

Remote work and personal life

Many of the organizations affected by the current labour shortage are focusing on more flexible work arrangements to attract and retain employees. In fact, 34% want to offer flexible working hours over the next year. Still popular with candidates and current employees, remote work will be offered by 14% of companies experiencing recruitment problems. The study also shows that the flexibility offered is likely to vary depending on the nature of the jobs, technological constraints and available budgets. 

Encourage training 

The results of the survey reveal that 31% of companies that reported being affected by a manpower shortage, see encouraging employee training as a potential solution. For 23% of them, training programs that allow employees to take on other positions within the company are an attractive proposition, while 15% of organizations will provide their employees with paid learning and professional development time. 


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