New Survey: Businesses Reporting It’s Even Harder To Find Workers

83% of Businesses Say “Difficult” to Recruit and Hire

Still a Job Seeker’s Market

TORONTO, Jan. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With Canada’s unemployment at the lowest rate in 40 years, it is becoming more difficult for businesses to staff up, according to a new survey by Express Employment Professionals. Some companies are even resorting to automation or relocation, in part to make up for a lack of workers.

According to Ted Maksimowski, an Express franchise owner of three operations in Ontario (Hamilton, Burlington and Brantford), recruiting new workers is a constant challenge for local companies. “It is a great time to be looking for a job, especially for candidates that have skills and experience.”

Daniel Purdy, an Express franchise owner in Abbotsford, British Columbia, reports that several local companies have automated their facilities to eliminate more repetitive jobs. Some companies are even relocating.

“We are seeing more companies relocating east of Vancouver,” said Purdy. “With newer business condos, quicker access to major transportation routes and hubs, and larger tracts of land, they draw a growing population of both skilled and unskilled workers who can no longer afford to live in the city.”

In a December survey of 445 businesses, Express found that more businesses are reporting difficulty recruiting and filling positions than in any of the previous four quarters.

Fifty (50) per cent say it is “somewhat difficult” to recruit and fill positions, while 33 per cent say it is “very difficult.” Only 14 per cent say “somewhat easy,” and 2 per cent say “very easy.”

More respondents said “very” or “somewhat difficult” than in any of the previous four quarters.

What are businesses to do in this environment?

According to Maksimowski, employers are getting creative in recruiting and retaining talent to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the economy.

“Employers are forgoing trial or probationary periods for new employees, and instead offering full-time permanent status right away,” said Maksimowski. “Companies are also more likely to pay for training, especially for a skilled trade, with the guarantee of full-time employment on completion.”

“Other examples include employers providing lucrative referral bonuses to existing employees that provide a referral that leads to a full time offer of employment for the referred candidate,” he added.

Purdy is seeing the same trend of employers doing more to recruit workers. “Several smaller companies recently improved their benefit packages to include Group Retirement Savings Plans, Group Tax Free Savings Accounts, and even extended health plan coverage.” 

“The tight labour market poses challenges for all sorts of companies, but it’s a sign of the continued health of the economy,” said Bill Stoller, the CEO of Express. “The jobs are out there. And more than ever, businesses are ready to accommodate the individual needs of job seekers. There are workers still on the sidelines, though, who don’t have the needed skills. School, business and government leaders should focus on expanded job training opportunities so we can get those people into the workforce, rather than forcing companies to resort to automation or offshoring.”

The survey of 445 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in December 2018 to gauge respondents' expectations for 2019. 

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

About Bill Stoller
William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit  

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Businesses Reporting It's Getting More Difficult to Find Workers It's Getting More Difficult to Find Workers