The Canadian Staffing Scene – Areas of Heavy Investment you Need to Watch

Here at Raymond George, we recognise that the after effects of the global pandemic will continue to be felt for a long time. Certainly, with the new delta and beta variants, businesses across the globe have taken a slow return to business – but not in Canada.

As a result of this, we wanted to take a deeper look at the Canadian staffing scene, highlighting areas of growth you (as a recruiter) should be aware of.

The Canadian Staffing Index (released by the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services) rose 8% from June – May to an overall level of 99, following a trend of recovery. This meant that year on year, the index was up 24%, despite COVID-19.

Timothy Landhuis, research director at Staffing Industry Analysts commented “We continue to see a trend of recovery in staffing volumes across Canada, although a full recovery remains a ways away.

Furthermore, Statistics Canada reported that around 94,000 jobs were added to the staffing market in July, making a combined total of nearly 18.9 million jobs. Alongside this, Canada’s unemployment rate also fell to 7.5% in July from 7.8% in June – if you are debating moving jobs, now may be the right time.

Statistics Canada concluded that:

  • The lion’s share of the gains in July were in full-time employment, which rose by 83,000 jobs
  • Part-time employment rose by 11,000
  • Looking at just Ontario, the province added 72,400 jobs in July alone causing their unemployment rate to fall from 8.4% in June, to 8.0% in July


The most obvious areas of growth as a result of rapid digitalisation is of course Canada’s technology sector.

IT staffing gross margins have historically followed economic trends, with gross margins trending downward since the Great Recession in 2008. However, in 2020, IT staffing gross margins proved to be remarkably resilient, despite the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy. (Research according to SIA)

Moreover, recent reports have also highlighted Canada’s dominance in the race towards AI supremacy. Canada is a world research leader and home to extraordinary AI-driven businesses, playing a vital role in the advancement of AI.

The country houses hundreds of fledgling AI companies like Element AI and Deep Genomics. Alongside deep learning pioneers such as Yoshua Bengio and Geoffrey Hinton – who have cultivated top-notch talent in AI in Canada for years, even when AI was an emerging field. With over $125 million pledged by the Canadian government, it is certainly an area to watch.

Senior Appointments

Not only large corporations making gains such as Astek Canada’s acquisition of the Canadian subsidiary of Ineat (a provider of IT consulting). They are also making senior appointments as a result of these gains and subsequent market demand – great news for Rec2Rec recruiters looking for a new mission.

For example, Engineering staffing provider Airswift recently announced the appointment of Joti Dhillon as regional director as they continue their diversification strategy. Succeeding the former regional director, Albert Kahlow, who moves into the role of group sales director, Dhillon will be based in Calgary.

At RGC, we’re excited about these developments and the increasing demand for specialised, senior recruiters. Having a whole service line dedicated to Rec2Rec senior sourcing, our team excels at sourcing and identifying the very best senior staffing individuals.

The Future Workforce:

As noted above, the vast investment and development in AI is not to be ignored. Recent figures suggest that nearly a third of all oil and gas jobs in Canada could be fully automated in the next 20 years, according to a report by EY Canada and the Petroleum Labour Market Information Division of Energy Safety Canada. And it’s not just manufacturing adopting technological advancements.

The Employment and Recruiting Agencies industry in Canada is projected to grow at a faster pace over the next five years as technological developments increase the value of industry services. AI tools designed to improve workflow through rapid candidate screening and profiling by harnessing multiple data points.

In Toronto alone, there are already 14 AI staffing startups – this is definitely an area to watch.

At Raymond George Consultancy, we provide a boutique approach to Rec2Rec staffing. If you’re contemplating your next project, speak to a member of the team today or, see our full range of insights.

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