Majority of Canadian companies expect business activity to increase in 2013, Hays survey finds

Persistent skills and candidate shortages will remain an ongoing challenge across all sectors

Corporate Canada has found itself in the challenging position of being unable to find candidates with key skills, just as it predicts continued increases in business activity for 2013. This is a key conclusion in a new report from Hays Canada which collected data from more than 3,000 Canadian companies in November 2012. The data shapes insights into projected hiring challenges/trends, business optimism, salary levels, and benefit packages that are found in Hays Canada's 2013 Compensation, Benefits, Recruitment and Retention Guide.

"In 2012, as the economy began to recover, many companies significantly ramped up recruitment to refill roles that were lost during the recession. Hays expects hiring practices in 2013 to be largely strategic in nature where professionals with key skill sets will cost a premium," said Rowan O'Grady, President Hays Canada. "Increased efficiencies and improved productivity is the goal of companies today and individuals who can help make that happen in organizations are in high demand."

According to the survey, 62 per cent of Canadian companies expect business activity to increase in 2013. At the same time talent mismatch will persist 78 per cent will experience moderate to extreme challenges recruiting top talent.


In today's war for talent, Hays believes companies must do more to immediately improve their ability to recruit the best and the brightest and should focus on attraction, screening and staff retention as a means of becoming more competitive. Over 50 percent of employers reported career progression as the biggest influencing factor on attracting top talent. Investing more in existing staff can help define clear career goals for employees, while addressing skills shortfalls.

In the long term, some of the pressure can be reduced if companies take a more aggressive position on sponsoring qualified overseas candidates. In 2012 only 19 per cent of employers did so despite acute skills and candidate shortages. In 2013 the majority of Canadian companies (58 per cent) will not, or are undecided about sponsoring overseas candidates. Almost half (45 per cent) of all Canadian companies cite a burdensome, lengthy immigration process as the biggest barrier. However, the Conservative government's proposed changes to make the immigration system faster, flexible and to give employers a greater role in selecting new Canadians, may encourage more overseas hiring.



34 per cent believe the economy will strengthen in the next six to 12 months, and 55 per cent believe it will remain static.
62 per cent expect business activity to increase in 2013
Staffing and salaries:

35 per cent expect permanent staff levels to increase in 2013, 53 per cent expect permanent staff levels to remain the same
Expected salary increases at Canadian companies:
48 per cent will increase salaries by less than three per cent
37 per cent will increase salaries between three and six per cent
Five per cent will increase salaries between three and six per cent
Two per cent will increase salaries by more than 10 per cent
Most prevalent benefits being offered by Canadian companies

Extended health benefits
Individual performance-related bonuses
Training and/or certification support
Pension/RRSP contribution/matching
More than 10 days vacation for new hires
Flexible work hours
Hays is an international recruitment consultancy with a strong Canadian presence with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa. Hays has more than 150 specialized consultants offering a broad range of corporate recruiting expertise, with particular specializations in serving the Information Technology, finance and accounting, and construction and property sectors.

The 2013 Hays Compensation, Benefits, Recruitment and Retention Guide is Hays' sixth edition of this annual report. Parties interested in requesting a free copy should visit for more information.


2018 Hays Salary Guide