Canada: Job Insights for 2021

Third-party research sheds light on hiring trends for the first half of 2021.

To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters commissions an ongoing Job Insights survey to track employment and hiring trends across a wide range of industries.

INSIGHT: Hiring Outlook for the First Half of 2021 Trends Upward
Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses around the world, there are encouraging signs that hiring trends are on an upward trajectory as more Canadian hiring decision-makers say they plan to increase their employee count in 2021 as compared to 2020. Some of the hiring hotspots include Sales (21%), General Labour (18%), Customer Service (18%), and IT/Technology Support (16%).

According to hiring decision-makers, in the first half of 2021:

  • 31% plan to increase the number of employees at their company
  • 55% expect no change to the number of employees
  • 10% anticipate a decrease in employee count

INSIGHT: COVID-19 Has Made a Lasting Impact on the Hiring and Workplace Experience
Hiring experiences and future practices are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic with companies prioritizing soft skills more than ever before when considering applicants to hire. Additionally, keeping employees safe at work is a challenge that has prompted many companies to make changes to their work processes and physical spaces.

Forty-one per cent of Canadian hiring decision-makers have had open positions during the COVID-19 pandemic for which they’ve hired or are hiring.

  • 72% are willing to overlook long career gaps in resumes right now because of the pandemic’s impact on the applicant pool
  • 73% agree that as a result of the pandemic their company values soft skills more than ever before when considering applicants

INSIGHT: Companies Taking Action on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
Businesses are making significant and meaningful strides in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Although there is still much work to be done, according to the survey, more than 2 in 3 hiring decision-makers (69%) say their company has taken action on DEI.

The most common DEI initiatives cited in the survey include:

  • Providing training for employees (33%)
  • Offering safe methods for reporting discrimination and harassment complaints (29%)
  • Revising policies and procedures in regard to DEI (27%)

Download the full Job Insights report!

The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between November 16 and December 7, 2020, among 506 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.


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