Back to all posts

For Employers

Trend 3: Hiring in 2024

Bring on the specialists

Published on

January 19, 2024


Note: This post is part of our Special Report: Top 10 people & culture trends for 2024.

According to a recent survey by TEC Canada, 52% of business leaders across Canada expect to increase their headcount in 2024.  

However, rather than the jobseeker’s market of the pandemic times, we think 2024 will see the pendulum swing back toward employers, driven by higher unemployment (predicted to reach up to 6.6% by year end), fewer open roles and unprecedented numbers of talented newcomers arriving to Canada.  

There will be more choice of candidates, with some notable exceptions. Certain industries, such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare and retail trade have severe labour shortages that will only be compounded by upcoming retirements. For example, experts predict roughly 700,000 skilled trades workers will retire by 2028.

And while we heard about restructuring and thousands of layoffs across sectors last year—especially in the tech sector—don’t expect to see a surplus of experienced talent looking for work.  

Not only was the 2023 layoff rate actually below pre-pandemic levels, but in the tech sector, one study found that layoffs were largely concentrated in sales, marketing and customer-facing roles, meaning that many of those hard-to-find, specialized tech workers will still be very much in demand (e.g., experienced cybersecurity specialists, network and change management specialists, IT architects, etc.).  

We also predict that overall, the shift from hiring generalist to specialist roles will continue this year.  

Tips for 2024

  • Be as flexible as possible with your requirements. The more specific the requirements, the narrower the candidate pool. For example, instead of seeking a 100% onsite Logistics Manager with 5+ years of experience in the automotive industry, consider less experienced candidates from other industries and regions (i.e., offer remote work, if possible).
  • Keep experienced older workers engaged as long as possible: Don’t let knowledge and skill walk out the door. Ask workers approaching retirement if they’d like to shift away from high-pressure management roles into something different (e.g., mentorship—even part-time, for less money); offer them a gradual transition to retirement (e.g., working fewer days/hours) rather than a sudden on/off switch; and offer benefits like flexibility and paid grandparent days.

Read our next trend to watch in 2024: Trend 4: Compensation and total rewards: Candidates will be seeking more of both in 2024.

Share this post

Your next role starts here.