How to Overcome Canada’s Talent Shortage?

Canada is currently grappling with a pressing challenge – a shortage of skilled talent across various industries and sectors. This phenomenon, commonly known as talent shortage, occurs when employers struggle to find adequately qualified and skilled individuals to fill job vacancies. 

While stemming from a complex interplay of factors, including technological advancements, shifting job requirements, and demographic changes, the shortage has prompted concerted efforts from both the government and industries to address this critical issue.

Canada’s Talent Shortage in Numbers:

Across a wide spectrum of fields including manufacturing, marketing, transportation, and trade, employers are encountering significant difficulties in locating individuals possessing the optimal combination of technical proficiencies and essential human attributes. 

This trend is growing. According to a Manpower study (2022), In 2012, the talent shortage in Canada was at 25%, and by 2022, it had increased significantly to reach 77%.

Source Canada’s 2022 Talent Shortage, ManpowerGroup

The business skills gap within their workforce varies across different industries. Statistics Canada (2022) reports the top five industries with the highest gaps as follows: Accommodation & food services (78.8%), Utilities (69.5%), Retail trade (67.8%), Manufacturing (67.6%), and Educational services (65.4%).

Source: Statistics Canada

In terms of businesses acknowledging skills gaps, the data from StatCan (2021) reveals that the broadest gap was observed in technical, practical, or job-specific skills (57.5 percent), closely trailed by problem-solving skills (46.2 percent). Additionally, according to the study “Empowering People for Recovery and Growth: 2022 Skills Survey Report,” Canadian employers also express the expectation that candidates possess soft skills such as interpersonal skills, communication, industry knowledge, and resilience.

Source: Empowering People for Recovery and Growth: 2022 Skills Survey Report, Business Council of Canada

This is the point at which an opportunity arises to address and overcome Canada’s Talent Shortage.

Overcoming Canada’s Talent Shortage

To overcome Canada’s Talent Shortage, several strategies and approaches can be employed:

  • Invest in Education and Training: Allocate resources to enhance educational institutions, vocational training programs, and online courses that align with the evolving needs of industries. This helps individuals acquire the skills required for the modern job market. Furthermore, companies can invest in university programs to identify candidates with the necessary skills and provide them with initial work experiences that not only drive them to connect with the company culture but also offer career development aligned with the company’s needs.
  • Promote Skilled Trades: Encourage interest in skilled trades and technical careers through awareness campaigns, apprenticeship programs, and partnerships with trade organizations. These trainings do not necessarily need to be in-person. At MBI Talent Group, we offer a range of virtual consultancies and both group and individual trainings that have enhanced the performance of teams worldwide. 
  • Remote Work Opportunities: Embrace remote work arrangements to tap into a global talent pool. Allow individuals from different locations to contribute their skills and expertise, potentially filling gaps in specific industries or roles. Ideally, this strategy should be complemented by diversifying recruitment methods. Rethinking recruitment strategies to include non-traditional candidates with adaptable skills and a strong willingness to learn is essential. In this regard, having a partner headhunter can be immensely beneficial. They can contribute their expertise about the market, industry, and cultural fit of candidates to identify the best individuals to fill the available positions.

We can help you!

At MBI Talent Group, we are a diverse team of over 60 talent-strategy experts dedicated to helping you discover the right talent. With over 15 years of experience conducting searches worldwide, we have a presence in more than 17 locations and guarantee to provide you with a curated pool of candidates within just five business days. If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us through the following link:

Publication date 8/25/23