Despite a drastic decline in business and hiring activity last year, optimism for 2014 remains high among Canadian business leaders—though the resource sector is split, reveals Hays Canada’s 2014 Salary Guide.
The international recruitment agency collected data from more than 150 employers in November 2013, finding there was a significant difference between expected and real business activity slowdown last year. Only 11% of the employers surveyed said they expected a dip in activity, while 42% of them actually experienced one.
This translated into fewer people being hired for permanent positions: 10% expected to cut their permanent headcount last year, when in fact 45% did.
The report, however, points toward renewed optimism for 2014. More than half (64%) of experts interviewed by Hays expect business activity to increase this year, the highest it’s been in three years.
While considering only the resource and mining sector, the numbers are equally positive, with 45% predicting more deals this year.
“It’s worth noting that corporate Canada remains optimistic even when data suggests that a more temperate outlook would be more prudent,” said a statement from Rowan O’Grady, president of Hays Canada. “Companies would be better served by producing more accurate assessments of their growth prospects and adjusting their hiring plans accordingly.”
Against this backdrop the skills shortages challenge persists, highlights the firm. According to the survey, two-thirds (66%) of companies suffer from moderate to significant skills shortages. When asked about potential causes for skills shortages, one-third (33%) cited lack of training and professional development, while another third (35%) thought too few people are entering the labour market.
Reprinted by permission of MINING.com