As Canadian employers and employees prepare for the post COVID-19 new normal, some industries are poised for early success, while others may take longer to adapt.
Express Employment Professionals asked franchise owners across Canada which jobs they think will be most in-demand in the coming weeks and months. Among the jobs identified were:
- Manufacturing in the Auto Sector
- Procurement and Supply Chain Management (PSCM)
- Plant Operators
- Production Leads/Supervisors
- Skilled Labourers/Machinists
- Inventory/Warehouse Personnel
Jessica Culo, Express franchise owner in Edmonton, AB, recently surveyed several clients and “70% said their priority will be to bring back the employees they laid off.”
Sarnia, ON, Express franchise owner, Bruce Hein noted that he expects companies to prioritize hiring for positions that were put on hold since mid-March. Perhaps not surprisingly, he also expects that “some companies will likely hire temperature screeners.”
Brent Pollignton, Express owner in Vancouver, BC, worries government programs such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) have incentivized much of the workforce to stay home. He notes that while “this has been hugely helpful in flattening the curve, it’s also had an adverse effect where workers have been disincentivized to go back to work.”
Pollington expects industrial and labour-type positions will continue to be in demand, and he anticipates these needs growing as business and life normalize.
“Businesses will face hiring challenges because a large number of foreign workers have returned to their home countries,” he notes. “Businesses have relied on these workers for a long time and will now struggle to meet their needs.”
Dan Purdy, Express franchise owner based in Abbotsford, BC, notes that one of the main concerns of business owners and executives “is whether or not their former employees will return to work for them, their competitors or another industry entirely.”
The franchise owners all agree that businesses are keen to get back to work safely and as soon as possible.
“I think businesses are eager to get started again,” says Dwayne Williams, Express franchise owner from Guelph, ON. He notes that businesses in his area understand that there is still a risk, “but being shut down for this long has been financially challenging for many companies.”
In the Sarnia area, “companies are antsy to move forward and get back on track,” Hein said. “The priority will be ensuring employees are comfortable returning to work by having strict social distancing measures in place.”
Pollington thinks that many people hope to return to the new normal as soon as possible.
“Remote work has been manageable but not optimal,” he said. “Teams thrive in environments where they can leverage each other’s strengths and adapt to new issues more quickly. Although those who have managed are doing just that, managing, I feel the majority want to return to some normalcy and to be able to focus on growing as opposed to triage and adapting to the change that has been forced on us.”
Culo notes that business here in Canada “seem more cautious” than our neighbours to the south. However, “those who have been laid off want to get back to work,” she says. “Those who kept their jobs are trying to pick up more hours/more work and are also eager to see their colleagues back to work.”
“As we move to the new normal post-COVID, there will be abundant opportunities to get back to work safely, which helps workers and will have a positive impact on local economies,” said Express CEO Bill Stoller.