On-Site Magazine

Hiring numbers lower than expected in Canadian construction industry

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January 8, 2014 by On-Site Magazine

A new survey from Hays Canada has discovered that despite a severe skills shortage, many Canadian construction industry leaders over-estimated their business and hiring prospects.

Polling more than 400 Canadian construction employers in November 2013, Hays’ 2014 Salary Guide also found an eight point difference between forecasted and real decreases in business activity last year, translating into fewer people being hired for permanent positions. And, seven per cent of construction businesses expected to decrease permanent headcount in 2013, when in fact 20 per cent did.

Nonetheless, business leaders remain optimistic: 66 per cent of Canadian construction employers predict business activity will increase in 2014.

When asked about potential causes for skills shortages, 27 per cent cited lack of training and professional development, while another 44 per cent think too few people are entering the labour market.

Hays recommends creating more partnerships between colleges and construction companies, arguing a drastic increase in guaranteed apprenticeships will help promote the construction industry to the younger generations.

To help fill the job shortages gap in the interim, Hays advises to hire slightly less experienced candidates with transferable skills that can be trained and mentored. The main drawback, however, is that employers will have to invest more in their human capital to achieve the desired results.

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