Increased Workloads and Employee Turnover Top Reasons Businesses Are Hiring

  • 43% of Companies Plan to Increase Size of Workforce

A growing number of Canadian companies Hiring plan to expand the size of their workforce in the first half of the year, according to a new survey from Express Employment Professionals conducted by The Harris Poll.

More than 2 in 5 companies (43%) plan to increase their number of employees in the first half of this year, up significantly from 16% in the first half of 2020 and 33% in the first half of 2021.

Large (100+ employees) and medium-sized (10-99 employees) companies are more than twice as likely as small businesses (2-9 employees) to increase their number of employees in the first half of this year (54%, 54% and 22% respectively).

The top two reasons for hiring more workers are employee turnover (52%) and need to manage increased workloads (47%).

While many companies require additional employees to manage increasing workloads, half say they do not have the capacity to hire (49%).

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According to Terry Stewart, an Express franchise owner in Surrey, British Columbia, companies are trying to catch up to business that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seems the supply chain is opening up from the bottle neck that was strangling business and some industries are showing an upswing of business which they are trying to keep up with,” said Stewart. “In our area, there are so many job opportunities but not enough qualified workers looking for work. It seems like everyone is looking for staff.”

Express franchise owner Dwayne Williams, in Guelph, Ontario, agrees, but says it’s hard for companies to increase their workforce when they are both losing workers due to turnover and unable to find candidates to replace them.

“Companies are behind in getting work done due to supply chain issues and interruptions to work with staff having to isolate for several days due to the pandemic,” said Williams. “Even though pandemic restrictions are loosening, it’s hard for companies to catch up because turnover is an issue and we also continue to see a lack of available candidates to fill the open positions in our area.”

The inability of many companies to find or keep employees to manage increasing workloads has caused more work for existing employees.

“I think burnout has increased with the current COVID wave and we are seeing the use of mental health days on the rise,” said Stewart. “People are feeling tired of the constant start and stop of lockdowns and the associated challenges with higher costs for things like housing and food compared to a few years ago.”

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According to Williams, more companies are offering training as a way to deal with labour shortages and a lack of candidates applying for open positions.

Stewart says employers need to be more proactive if they want to keep their staff.

“It has always amazed me that some companies will spend money to find new workers, but don’t want to spend any money to retain their existing people,” said Stewart. “Businesses have to get creative to retain existing employees. Employees want better pay, the ability to work remotely if possible, shorter commutes, among other things.”

Creating a quality company culture is a good investment, even when labour market conditions are more ideal, said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express Employment International.

“If you nurture an environment where people feel valued and motivated, the rest will follow,” he added. “It’s tough times like these where businesses should be growing, but on a foundation that can support it.”

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, 2021, among 510 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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