Labor shortages force Canadian businesses to cut jobs

TORONTO, March 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Want to apply for a job but worried you won’t be considered because you don’t meet all the criteria? Well, now is the time, because according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, more than a quarter of Canadian businesses (26%) say that to deal with labor shortages and turnover high on staff, they hired people they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Among companies that have hired candidates, they normally wouldn’t: half say they overlooked a candidate’s lack of soft skills (50%), nearly half overlooked a candidate’s years of experience candidate (45%), more than one in three recruited workers without the required specialist skills (37%), more than a quarter ignored a candidate’s ability to pass a background check (26%) and 1 in 5 overlooked the lack of education credentials (20%).

Large companies are more than three times more likely to have removed hiring requirements than small companies (41% of companies with more than 100 employees, 26% of companies with 10-99 employees and 12% of companies with 2 to 9 employees).

Still, Canadian businesses think these serious hiring problems may be short-lived, as half believe the tight labor market will end before next year (51%).

Express experts across the country report that employers are easing hiring requirements to address labor shortages.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Express franchise owner Shane DeCoste sees this trend across all industries.

“We’re seeing companies across a wide range of industry segments, including administrative, accounting, finance and even specialist trades, making adjustments to their requirements,” DeCoste said. “The focus is on candidates who have an aptitude for acquiring skills.”
Brent Pollington, owner of an Express franchise in Vancouver, British Columbia, says some businesses are slower to adapt than others.

“We continue to encounter situations where clients submit a request for candidates with specific skills and experience, and we often need to coach them on what is realistic and hireable in today’s market,” Pollington said. “Incredible candidates are still available in the market, but they come at a higher cost.”

Pollington adds that while many employers are relaxing hiring criteria, there’s still a strong desire to try to ensure new hires are a good fit with company culture.

When it comes to what employers are willing to give up when hiring, Hanif Hemani, owner of an Express franchise in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, says employers are willing to hire people who are younger. more experience than they usually need.

“Companies are changing the amount of ‘direct’ experience a candidate needs,” he said. “Usually it’s not skill specific, employers are more willing to hire candidates with less experience in a given skill area. For example, less driving time or less “Canadian-based” experience.

Hemani’s advice to employers: “Whenever possible, hire for attitude and train for skills.”

He says more and more employers are doing just that and providing new and current employees with training to give them the required skills, as it has become more difficult to find and retain staff who already have the required skills.

But it’s not just training; employers are adapting and using many incentives to deal with labor shortages according to Pollington.

“Yes, we are seeing more and more companies offering training to enable current employees or new employees to acquire the skills required for vacant positions,” he said. “But it’s not just about training – companies are looking at all possible areas to identify competitive advantages and ways to attract and retain talent.”

According to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller, removing barriers to employment is key to removing workers from the margins.

“However, careful considerations for the safety and health of co-workers should be taken into account when waiving employment requirements,” he said. “With the right investments in training and education, companies can train their skilled workers, ready to mentor the next generation.”

Survey methodology
The survey was conducted online in Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between November 10 and December 2, 2021, among 510 Canadian hiring decision makers (defined as adults aged 18 and more in Canada who are full-time or self-employed, work in businesses with more than one employee, and are fully/meaningfully involved in hiring decisions in their business). The data have been weighted, where appropriate, by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

If you would like to arrange an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Ana Curic at
(613) 858-2622 or email [email protected]

About Bill Stoller
William H. “Bill” Stoller is President and CEO of Express Employment International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international recruitment franchisor supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and associated brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading international recruitment company with franchises in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

About Express Employment Professionals
At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the people business. From job seekers to corporate clients, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international franchise network provides localized recruitment solutions to the communities they serve in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 586,000 people worldwide in 2021 and 10 million since its creation. For more information, visit

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