More Hamilton companies planning to hire, survey shows
Hamilton employers are experiencing a sense of optimism this year, according to early findings from a local labour force survey.
More than 70 per cent of those who responded to this year’s Employer One Survey said they had plans to hire, with expansion being the most cited reason, said Viktor Cicman, a labour market researcher at Workforce Planning Hamilton.
This is a slight increase from last year’s results, he added.
“It seems like at least in Hamilton, the dust is settling,” Cicman said.
“The uncertainty seems to be going away.”
At the same time, construction and manufacturing companies seem to be faced with the continuing challenge of wanting to hire but struggling to recruit skilled workers, he added.
“There seems to be some skills challenges or skills mismatches,” Cicman said. “They can’t necessarily find the right candidates.”
Overall, 21 per cent of employers who responded to the survey said they found recruitment “very challenging” — a decrease from last year’s results, he noted.
The majority of companies — 51 per cent — characterized the availability of qualified workers as “excellent” or “good.”
While the manufacturing and construction sectors pointed to a need for technical skills, overall, employers highlighted soft skills as one of their demands.
“Year after year, we find work ethic is actually one of the big ones,” Cicman said, noting selfmotivation and teamwork are popular attributes as well.
What did not seem to change in Hamilton this year was the startup sector. According to the survey results, about 20 per cent of businesses said they had launched within the past five years, which is about the same as last year, Cicman said.
“The good thing about startups is they’re actually more likely to hire as well,” he added. “They’re more likely to say they are growing.”
But when it comes to hiring, recruitment tactics seem to be shifting. Both this year and last year, more employers cited social media as a recruitment tool, he noted. “That one keeps increasing.” While online job postings are important, Cicman noted, people sometimes forget about the value of word of mouth.
Cicman said about 240 employers responded to the survey — an increase from last year’s 144 companies. Workforce Planning Hamilton expects to release the full report on local labour market needs at the end of March.