New Poll: Recent Graduates in High Demand in Tight Canadian Labour Market

43% of Companies Plan to Hire Recent Graduates in 2022

TORONTO, April 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There is good news for students graduating soon from university and college, as a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals has found recent graduates are in high demand and benefitting from the persistently tight Canadian labour market.

More than 2 in 5 (43%) Canadian hiring decision-makers say their company plans to hire recent university and college graduates in 2022. This is a notable increase from 36% in the first half of 2020.

Current students are also increasingly on the radar of hiring decision makers, with more than 1 in 3 employers saying they plan to hire university students (36%) and/or vocational/career tech graduates (31%) in 2022.

The survey results mirror trends seen by Express experts across the country.

“There is growing demand for recent graduates right now,” according to Niven Lee, an Express franchise owner in Delta, British Columbia. “With the labour market not growing from population growth, combined with the retirement of Baby Boomers and Gen X, employers are looking at all options, including recent graduates.”

Shane DeCoste, an Express owner in Halifax, Nova Scotia, expects the trend of hiring recent graduates to grow in the future.

“We are seeing a consistent increase in companies hiring new graduates year over year as employers are looking to new graduates more than ever before to help stem labour shortages across all industries,” said DeCoste. “The days of finding experienced workers for almost every role in your organization are gone and many employers are seeing the potential that new graduates bring to their organizations. Companies often look for soft skills that meet the needs of specific roles and offer training to upskill recent grads to help meet business objectives.”

Both Lee and DeCoste say there are many benefits to hiring university and college graduates.

“The benefit of hiring recent graduates is that they are more digitally dexterous in this increasingly digital world,” said Lee. “They bring not only digital skills but the ability to be flexible and adaptable.”

“New grads often bring great soft skills that help enhance the organization and even its culture,” said DeCoste. “They bring creativity, a fresh perspective, strong communication skills and they learn quickly while being eager to help organizations meet business objectives.”

When it comes to what advice they would give to graduates looking to enter the workforce, they both advise new graduates to focus on learning and getting experience.

“Get out there and try new things even if that means failing a few times before you succeed, as leaders admire people that give it their all—they know you are learning and they will respect you for trying,” said DeCoste. “New graduates often have a different perspective, a different way of looking at things—so share your ideas in a constructive and respectful manner and you will be well received. Organizations and leaders are looking for people that can help create solutions in their business—be that problem solver!”

“Take time to know what career you want and take small steps to working there,” advises Lee. “The majority of people do not know what they really want in a job. Don’t just wait around for the ‘perfect’ job, take jobs to get some relevant work experience so you can start your career and figure it out from there.”

The labour market is ideal for these new graduates, and they should take advantage of this kickstart in their career paths, according to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller.

“With higher wages and more demand for their talent than many previous generations, we congratulate the Class of 2022 and look forward to seeing their impact on the workforce,” he said.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, 2021, among 510 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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
International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

About Express Employment Professionals
At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 586,000 people globally in 2021 and 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit