DAILY NEWS Jan 9, 2013 11:46 AM - 0 comments

Most Canadian companies expect business activity to increase: survey

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More than a third of Canadian firms believe the nation’s economy will strengthen this year, and the same number anticipate staffing increases in 2013, according to a new survey.

Conducted by recruiting firm Hays Canada, the survey found 62 per cent of Canadian companies expect business activity to increase in 2013, and say they need to increase staffing levels to match.

That won’t be easy, though, as the same survey found 78 per cent of firms will experience moderate to extreme challenges recruiting top talent.

In today’s war for talent, Hays believes companies must do more to immediately improve their ability to recruit the best and the brightest and should focus on attraction, screening and staff retention as a means of becoming more competitive.

According to Hays, over 50 per cent of employers reported career progression as the biggest influencing factor on attracting top talent.

Investing more in existing staff can help define clear career goals for employees, while addressing skills shortfalls.

In the long term, Hays says some of the pressure can be reduced if companies take a more aggressive position on sponsoring qualified overseas candidates.

In 2012 only 19 per cent of employers did so despite acute skills and candidate shortages, the survey found.

In 2013 the majority of Canadian companies (58 per cent) will not, or are undecided about, sponsoring overseas candidates.

Almost half (45 per cent) of all Canadian companies cite a burdensome, lengthy immigration process as the biggest barrier.

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