Canadian labour force capitalizing on skills shortages by retraining for new opportunities

While corporate Canada grapples with the challenges associated with Canada's ongoing skills shortage, Canadian employees see a silver lining. According to Hays Canada's survey What People Want 2013, which collected data from more than 3,000 working and non working Canadians, 88 per cent plan on, or are considering acquiring news skills to capitalize on skills shortages in other industries.

Canadians are well aware that many industries face a talent gap. Seventy-five per cent believe there is a moderate to extremely high skills shortage and a corresponding number (78%) experience moderate to extremely high workplace pressures because of it.

The Hays Canada survey complements Hays' second annual Global Skills Index (created in partnership with Oxford Economics), released today, which reveals that the talent mismatch is widening in Canada. Canada scored 5.9 on a 10 point scale (up from 5.6 in 2012) because of perceived tightening immigration legislation, and an increase of working age Canadians entering the labour market.

"Canadian businesses have options when it comes to dealing with skills shortages," said Rowan O'Grady, President Hays Canada. "When the perfect candidate does not leap off the page they can invest in those who come across as smart, with related education and work experience, someone who can be trained for the position. Making this investment in an employee allows for career progression and brings rewards in terms of loyalty and retention."

Additional statistics from Hays Canada's What People Want 2013 survey:

56% of the Canadian labour force doesn't know what the federal government's Canada Job Grant program is; of the ones that do 44% don't believe it's a good solution to the skills shortage issue.
38% of the Canadian labour force is likely to highly likely to relocate for the right opportunity, and 70% rank their level of mobility within Canada as moderate to extreme.
The Hays Global Skills Index 2013 measures several key indicators that determine a country's skill shortages including strength and resilience of its economy, labour market health, quality and flexibility of education, and the demand and supply of labour (particularly in high-skills industries and occupations). A score above the mid-point of 5.0 suggests that employers are witnessing difficulties finding the key skills they need and are suffering market friction. Canada's 2013 score indicates an intermediate degree of elevated wage pressures.

Hays Canada's What People Want 2013 report collected data from more than 3,000 Canadian professionals, from 16 industries and 20 functional departments ranging from administration to C-level executives. To download a free copy visit

The Hays Global Skills Index 2013 reviewed data from 30 countries to help employers, employees, and policy makers understand the dynamics of their labour markets, and to make comparisons across geographies. Interested parties can download the report here

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 oil and gas, Information Technology, finance and accounting, and construction and property, and mining and resources sectors.

About Hays Canada:

Hays Specialist Recruitment Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hays plc, which has been at the forefront of the global recruitment industry for over thirty-five years. With annual revenues of over £2.1 billion, Hays Specialist Recruitment is the largest specialist recruitment consultancy in the world.


2018 Hays Salary Guide