Survey: Over 90 per cent of employers say finding skilled workers is a growing challenge right now

The current hiring environment with record low unemployment in Canada is making it difficult for companies to attract the staff they need. This is increasingly causing delays in the hiring process and hampering business development.

Those are the findings of a new survey of over 300 Canadian CFOs conducted by Robert Half. The results show that more than nine in 10 (92 per cent) said it’s challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions. As a result, respondents said their search could take a month or more – four weeks, on average, to fill a staff-level position and five weeks to hire for a management-level role.

“It’s a competitive labour market, and organizations should make recruitment an ongoing priority, even if they are not actively looking to fill an open role,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half. “Cultivating relationships with a strong roster of potential candidates and being flexible with hiring requirements will ensure that when additional support is needed, talent is readily accessible.”

The staffing firm also offered some advice for employers struggling to find workers.

Hire faster with a streamlined hiring process:

Hone your job descriptions. Accurately describe the skills needed for the position, keeping the focus on three or four most crucial responsibilities that top applicants will really need to have.

Similarly, rethink that laundry list of requirements. Too many job descriptions contain long lists of advanced credentials and experiences above and beyond what is actually needed for the job. This discourages talented applicants – who could excel in the role – from ever applying.

Hire for attitude and soft skills. Communication, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous learning are all attributes that can indicate a new hire has long-term potential for growth with the company.

Be ready to hire, before you start the hiring process. Make sure all of the necessary approvals for the position are in place at the outset, and that you have a flexible compensation range so that an offer can be made quickly when a top candidate is selected.

Consolidate multiple interviews. Coordinate the schedules of all the relevant stakeholders so that if you need to bring back the candidate for a second round, you can do so in the next day or two. Long delays cost you top talent.

Keep in touch. It is a candidate’s job market right now, and they can lose interest in the position or find another opportunity if they are kept waiting. Communicated openly with potential candidates at every step of the hiring process so they know you are still interested. (Its also just common courtesy to let them know promptly if you are not.)

These can be tough times for hiring managers in Canada facing a shrinking candidate pool. However, eliminating unnecessary job requirements and convoluted job descriptions, streamlining the hiring process, and keeping in touch with top talent at every step can go a long way to shortening your time to hire.

Source: Robert Half – 9 in 10 Executives in Canada Say it’s Challenging to Find Skilled Candidates for Professional-Level Positions

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