As the busiest time in the retail year approaches, employers are struggling to hire enough seasonal workers.
Last month, for instance, two malls in Ontario hosted large job fairs to fill hundreds of vacancies for part-time, full-time, and seasonal positions. Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket is looking to fill about 220 positions while Square One in Mississauga, the biggest mall in the province, is looking to fill 250.
Here’s what you need to know.
Why Is Hiring Seasonal Workers So Hard?
Canada has enjoyed a strong recovery over the last year or so following a release of pent-up consumer demand and government spending. However, long-term labour trends are threatening to slow growth. A combination of retirements and reduced immigration has created a labour shortage across Canada.
It’s important to highlight that this will be a long-term challenge. According to RSM, the labour participation rate has dropped to below 65 per cent. Between March and October this year, over 200,000 people left the workforce, choosing to leave as opposed to businesses laying them off.
This problem is being exacerbated by Canada’s aging population and declining fertility rates. To address these challenges, policymakers are looking to bring in over 400,000 immigrants between now and 2024. But the government will have to streamline the process to fill these job vacancies quickly.
In the meantime, what are employers supposed to do?
Shot-Term Solutions for Hiring Seasonal Workers
One obvious short-term solution for hiring seasonal workers is to increase wages. However, according to one survey, only 6 per cent of retailers were planning to offer raises or bonuses this fall. Considering the cloudy economic outlook, many employers have determined they simply cannot afford it.
Nonetheless, it would be wise to consider retention strategies for key performers in important roles.
If employers aren’t going to offer more pay, then they will have to be creative to entice seasonal workers. Students, for example, are often prime candidates for seasonal jobs. To be competitive, employers should offer flexible hours.
Additionally, employers can work to streamline the recruitment process. An efficient onboarding program that gets new hires up to speed quickly will make the most of a lean hiring season.
We Can Help
While you address the long-term challenges of hiring seasonal workers, we can help fill gaps any gaps you may have in your team across the country. Marketsupport offers a field team of more than 500 trained specialists who can offer interim help in many different industries such as consumer goods, hardware, pharmacies, grocery stores, retail, and more.
Call 1 905 847 6513 or visit our new website today to request a consultation.« Back to Blog