Skills Shortage: Survey Says Canadian Employers Have Difficulty Finding the Right Talent

Oct 03, 2012, 07:00 ET from RANDSTAD CANADA

According to Randstad Canada's latest global Workmonitor survey, many Canadian employers struggle to find the right talent for specific jobs amidst a growing skills shortage.

TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As the country continues to experience skills shortages in key sectors of the economy, Randstad Canada describes the country's growing shortage of highly skilled labour as critical, predicting shortages in the Manufacturing, Automation and Energy and Utility industries. Supporting this view are findings from Randstad's latest Global Workmonitor, surveying employees in 32 countries around the world, which reveal that Canadian businesses are reporting serious problems finding the workers they need amidst a growing skills shortage.

Jan Hein Bax, President, Randstad Canada says many businesses are experiencing difficulties finding skilled workers to meet their specific needs. "The demographic shift resulting in retirements, a deepening shortfall of skilled workers and the growing mismatch between the skills needed and those available has evolved into an undeniable skills crisis," he says.

According to survey respondents, two thirds (66%) of Canadian employers have trouble finding the right people for specific jobs. And even more (58%) believe Canadian employers are experiencing problems finding highly qualified people. Additionally, 55 per cent of Canadian employees say they expect a shortage of highly qualified employees within the next three years. While more than half of Canadian respondents also say they expect to see a shortage of staff in specific jobs.

The lack of skilled workers is affecting many of Canada's sectors, regions and employers, says Bax. "According to our internal figures, Randstad Canada has seen shortages in the Manufacturing, Automation and Energy and Utility industries this year," he explains. "And within these three industries, the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal and Calgary regions specifically experienced difficulties finding Engineering talent. In terms of roles, draftspersons, mechanical engineers and mechanical designers proved to be the roles that were hardest to fill within the above regions and industries," adds Bax.

The skilled trades industry is also feeling the effects says Bax. "In Quebec, in particular, we are seeing a strong demand for machinists, electro mechanics, industrial mechanics, welders, and supervisors in industrial management," he says.

But the skills shortage is a real issue not just in Canada but all over the world. According to the Workmonitor survey results, globally, almost 60 per cent of respondents say employers have difficulties finding the right person for the job. Especially in Brazil, where 71 per cent of employers reportedly have difficulties finding the right talent.

Similarly, finding highly-qualified people is an issue for almost half of the world's employers. This is less of a problem in Greece, Italy, Spain and Denmark where approximately just one third of employers experience this. Globally, 47 per cent of employees also expect a shortage of highly qualified staff within the next three years, especially employees in Hong Kong (67%),China and India (both 65%). On the other hand, Czech Republic (34%), The Netherlands and Denmark (33%) have the lowest proportion of employees expecting a shortage of highly qualified staff.

According to Bax, the skills shortage is becoming one of the great challenges facing the world of work. "To combat the lack of essential skills, there is a strong need to cultivate continuous learning and employers must invest more into their workforces," he says. "We need to confront this issue head-on in order to improve the productivity of our workforce."

Visit Randstad Canada's HR Newsroom to find out more about skills shortages in Canada's engineering industry along with more timely HR news.

The Randstad Workmonitor: After the successful introduction of the Workmonitor in the Netherlands in 2003 and more recently in Germany, the survey now covers 32 countries around the world, encompassing Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time. The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the third wave in 2012 was conducted from July 17 to August 15, 2012.

For the complete set of findings, including comments on differences in opinion by generation, gender and education, visit:

About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit