Find the right talent at the right time, even in a tight labor market

December 15, 2023

In the tightening Canadian labor market with a record number of citizens approaching retirement, many companies are looking to hire contingent workers to fill the personnel gap. Yet, with core systems and processes designed for permanent employees, those same corporations can struggle to manage their new contract staff effectively.

The Canadian labor market is shrinking and will continue to shrink for the foreseeable future. Not only is the talent pool becoming smaller, but hiring patterns are changing. In October 2023, full-time employment fell by 3,300 even as part-time work grew by 20,800.

For example, by fall 2021, employment had recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and in May 2022, there was an unprecedented number of job vacancies, peaking at 1 million. As the baby boomer generation (born 1946-1964) leaves the workforce, the trend toward talent scarcity may continue.

Despite a rise in unemployment, up from 5.5% in September to 5.7% in October 2023, the pressurized hunt for talent continues. Recruitment consultant Robert Half says that “job openings still outnumber candidates nearly two-to-one,” and “even amid layoffs in some sectors, many organizations nationwide are hiring, and the labor market remains tight.” Sectors such as finance and accounting, administration, customer support, technology, marketing, creative, legal, and human resources (HR) all feature on the ‘in-demand’ list. By some estimates, Canada’s digital economy will face demand for 250,000 additional tech jobs by the end of 2025.

Productivity and performance are vital

Clearly, the pandemic years played some part in changing the employment landscape, teaching both employers and employees about the importance of performance and productivity rather than presenteeism. With that in mind, business managers may now be more inclined to consider filling permanent posts with contingent workers or changing the nature of the role to fit the contingent talent.

As an immediate benefit, the re-thinking of work patterns increases the potential talent pool. However, contingent workers are usually managed by the standard procurement process, with little or no integration with corporate HR.

While contingent workers remain outside the HR team’s view, businesses may struggle to meet the challenges of the labor market. For example, an existing contingent worker might have the right experience to be promoted to a vacant role. In turn, it will become easier to fill the now-vacant junior role from external recruitment. If contingent workers can be recruited and managed effectively – in the same way HR systems focus on permanent workers –organizations will open new channels for accessing this highly valuable resource.

Integrate contingent labor into workforce planning

Beeline offers comprehensive contingent workforce management capabilities, enabling both HR and procurement departments to support the business more effectively. By delivering an integrated overview of contingent workers, companies will be better placed to understand current skillsets, training status, experience and more, and consequently identify how best to manage recruitment and retention for this increasingly critical element of the workforce.

Specifically in the current Canadian jobs market, the aim is to evaluate and recruit contingent workers and contractors more quickly, and match gaps to talent as rapidly as possible. At the same time, because Canadian diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and language legislation applies across the entire workforce, by fully managing contingent workers and contractors as an integrated process alongside permanent employees, corporations can measure, achieve, and confirm compliance.

Streamline talent acquisition

With Beeline in place, companies can streamline their management of the growing contingent workforce and implement tailored processes to help accelerate onboarding. For example, experience shows that with Beeline the resumé review time can be cut by 90 percent, and time-to-fill can be cut by 30 percent. In short, with full understanding of how contingent workers and contractors are deployed and the roles they fill, HR departments can exploit existing skills and capabilities more effectively and serve the needs of business units more successfully.

To find out more about how better contingent workforce management can help you to tackle the Canadian talent shortage, talk to Beeline today.