More Hamil­ton com­pa­nies plan­ning to hire, sur­vey shows

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - NATALIE PADDON npad­don@thes­ 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

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.

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