Hiring issues for small businesses in Canada


While there seems to be an endless amount of advice for job seekers out there, there is a lot less focus on the issues businesses themselves have in today’s workforce climate.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) attempted to shed some light on some of these issues by engaging over 8,800 small business owners in a survey about their views on the Canadian workforce. The report was published in September 2015.

The results showed that Canadian small business owners rank their employees as the most important element in their business success. Most feel like they do everything they can to keep good staff, but the issue lies in finding valuable employees in the first place. According to the survey, employers feel that when it comes to hiring there is a serious lack of qualified applicants and one of their biggest concerns is the quality and work ethic of new hires.

Over 2/3 of the small businesses surveyed said they have had trouble hiring within the past year. Besides the lack of qualified applicants, business owners found that many applicants expected a salary that was much higher than they were able to provide.

“Applicants need to be realistic about the progression of pay rate in conjunction with the level of experience. They need to understand the concept of an entry level position”, the Health and Personal Care Store in Alberta told the CFIB.

Some business owners reported that certain applicants did not seem interested in the interview and even sometimes failed to show up at all.

Productivity of employees also came up as a concern in the survey. Sixty one percent of business owners surveyed said they had witnessed their employees spending excessive time on personal calls, emails or texts during work hours.

There is no doubt that the job market in Canada is a tough one right now. However, it is important for job seekers to see things from the employer’s perspective. According to Statistics Canada, there were 1,087,303 small businesses in Canada as of 2012. Considering the concerns of these business owners is a key factor in people finding a job and also promoting the health of the Canadian job market as a whole.


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