Labour shortage: The most in-demand workers and skills in Canada in 2018

Canadian employers are having an increasingly difficult time hiring the staff they need in today’s tight labour market. Forty-one percent of Canadian employers report difficulty filling jobs, according to the ManpowerGroup 2018 Talent Shortage Survey released just this morning.

At a time when organizations are facing the lowest unemployment in 40 years, most of the jobs where demand is growing are mid-skilled roles that require post-secondary training, although not necessarily a full university degree.

Skilled trade workers (electricians, welders, mechanics), sales representatives, drivers, engineers, and technicians have consistently ranked among the top five hardest roles to fill in Canada for the past ten years.

It’s not getting any easier. One in four employers now says that filling skilled trades roles is harder this year than it was last. ManpowerGroup found that more employers than ever are struggling to fill their open positions. Globally, forty-five percent say they can’t find the skills they need (forty-one percent of Canadian employers say this is their main hiring challenge).

More than half (58 per cent) of large organizations in Canada – those with 250+ employees – say that are experiencing talent shortages this year.

While the labour shortage is resulting in a general lack of applicants for open positions, Canadian employers also say that many of those people who do apply aren’t qualified. Darlene Minatel of ManpowerGroup Canada explains: “Today’s job seekers don’t always have the skills employers need.” Nearly a quarter, 24 per cent, of employers in this country, say applicants lack the right skills, whether they be technical skills, cognitive, social, emotional skills, or all of the above.

Globally, more than half (56 per cent) of employers say communication skills, both written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths followed by collaboration and problem-solving – however, these are also the hardest to find.

In the digital age, employment will not always depend on the completion of a formal education but will rely heavily on job seekers’ willingness and ability to continually develop new skills. Even the oldest and most ubiquitous jobs are being augmented to some degree by technology, calling for candidates who can keep up.

The ten most sought-after skilled workers in Canada right now

Skilled trades: electricians, welders, mechanics
[See skilled trades jobs]

Sales representatives: B2B, B2C, contact center
[See sales jobs on CareerBeacon]

Drivers: truck, delivery, construction, mass transit
[See open positions for drivers]

Technicians: quality controllers, technical staff
[See available jobs]

Engineers: chemical, electrical, civil, mechanical
[Open jobs for engineers]

IT: cybersecurity experts, network administrators, technical support
[View IT jobs available now]

Office support: administrative assistants, PAs, receptionists
[Open positions in admin and support]

Healthcare professionals: doctors, nurses, other non-nursing health professions
[See job openings in healthcare]

Professionals: project managers, lawyers, researchers
[View professional jobs on CareerBeacon]

[View open teaching jobs]

“No matter what your qualifications are, whether you’re an engineer, salesperson or marketer, if you don’t have a foundation of soft skills, you will fail. And you need the right soft skills because there are so many. The best formula is to focus on the universal qualities of learnability: ability, likability, and drive,” said Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup.

“Companies that manage to create that culture of curiosity and nurture their workforce’s “hungry mind” can be expected to outperform their less curious rivals in the future…”

You can read the full 2018 Canadian Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup here.

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