Companies Anticipate Business Growth and Skills Shortages in 2013

A new survey says companies expect to increase business activity in the coming year but also predict difficulty in filling key roles

Written by Melissa Campeau

Canadian businesses expect a busy year in 2013 but they may have trouble finding the right manpower to make it happen. A new survey by the Canadian arm of international recruiting firm Hays found 62% of respondents believe 2013 will bring with it an increase in business activity.

The anticipated growth for 2013 will shine a spotlight on the difficulties employers face finding candidates to fill key roles. The survey suggests 78% of businesses will experience moderate to extreme challenges recruiting top talent this year.

“In 2012, as the economy began to recover, many companies significantly ramped up recruitment to refill roles that were lost during the recession,” says Rowan O’Grady, president of Hays Canada. “Hays expects hiring practices in 2013 to be largely strategic in nature where professionals with key skill sets will cost a premium.”

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More than a third of companies (35%) expect permanent staff levels to increase in 2013. Between 3% and 6% foresee an increase in salaries of more than 10%, with 37% of businesses bumping salaries up between 3% and 6%, and 48% increasing them by less than 3%.

More than 50% of employers reported career progression as the biggest influencing factor when it comes to attracting top employees. In today’s war for talent, Hays believes companies must do more to improve their ability to recruit the best and the brightest and should focus on attraction, screening and staff retention to become more competitive.

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In the long term, Hays suggests, some of the pressure can be reduced if companies take a more aggressive position on sponsoring qualified overseas candidates. In 2012 only 19% of employers did so, despite acute skill and candidate shortages at home. In 2013 the majority of Canadian companies (58%) say they will not sponsor overseas candidates or are undecided about sponsoring. Almost half (45%) of all Canadian companies cite a burdensome, lengthy immigration process as the biggest barrier.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com