How Employers Can Prepare for the Upcoming Post-COVID-19 Hiring Surge


Countless businesses across the globe have had a tough go of it over the past few months. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on humanity in more ways than one. First, there’s the financial impact as many of us have been forced to stay home or have been laid off indefinitely. Then there are the emotional, psychological, and physical tolls of this virus.

Generally speaking, many people are having a hard time navigating the new normal. With businesses and schools reopening their doors during the fourth quarter of 2020, it’s almost impossible to predict what the results will be. Undoubtedly, there will be a huge post-COVID-19 hiring surge as people get off of CERB and re-enter the workforce.

While the average person is ready to go back to work, the question is whether businesses are completely prepared to manage the massive and inevitable hiring surge that’s coming their way. If you need help preparing for hiring during 2020’s Q4, you’re not alone.

Employment Outlook for 2020 and Beyond

Canadian employers are currently cautiously optimistic regarding their hiring rates for the final quarter of 2020. According to recent surveys, 12% of employers expect to increase their payroll, 9% foresee a decrease in payroll, and 73% don’t anticipate any changes at all. Based on these numbers, the Net Employment Outlook sits at about +3%. Adjusted for seasonal variations, the Net Employment Outlook doubles to +6% for Q4.

From Q3 to Q4, we saw a 15% rise in hiring sentiment, but that number is still six percentage points lower than it was this time last year.

Top Canadian Cities, Regions, and Industries

Understandably, certain cities, regions, and industries are expected to do very well in Q4, while others may continue to struggle to recuperate their losses for a while. Considering Ontario has the largest population, the province is expected to make a major comeback in the job market with the highest percentage of hiring intentions in Q4 with a Net Employment Outlook of +10%. While that’s a start 22% increase since 2020’s Q3, it remains unchanged compared to this time last year.

Data is only currently available for nine out of ten of the industry sectors in Ontario. The outlier is the Education sector. Employers across the remaining nine industry sectors report that they expect to see payroll growth in Q4. The Public Administrator role is expected to see the largest growth with a whopping +29%. In fact, this is the most growth this sector has experienced in 13 years!

Other sectors that are expected to see an employment uptick Q4 include:

All in all, these sectors will experience moderate to massive improvements in employment rates. Experts anticipate that the following cities across Canada will experience the most growth during Q4:

  • Surrey, BC (+35%)
  • Richmond-Delta, BC (+14%)
  • Ottawa, ON (+29%)
  • Thunder Bay, ON (+16%)
  • Monteregie, QC (+14%)

Canadian Employment Numbers Rose in August 2020

As businesses slowly began to resume operations in August 2020 after being shut down for a number of months, Canada saw a substantial rise in the national employment rates. Statistics Canada reported that employment rates across the country rose by 245,800 jobs in the month of August.

August also saw the national unemployment rate drop 0.7%, bringing it down to 10.2%. During the COVID-19-induced economic shutdown, the unemployment rates more than doubled, going from 5.6% in February to a shocking 13.7% in May.

Approximately 864,000 Canadians entered or re-entered the workforce in August, but 725,000 became unemployed. According to Statistics Canada, the majority of those who left unemployment became employed (58.3%), while most of those who became unemployed in August (59.2%) had been out of the labour force in July.

How to Prepare for the Post-COVID-19 Hiring Surge

Research shows that approximately 60% of workers prefer to work for employers that value their time and skill sets enough to offer additional support during unpredictable or difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the circumstances, it’s understandable that many employers, especially in certain sectors such as the restaurant and hospitality industry, might be hesitant to hire full-time employees. That’s why many organizations are instead opting to hire interim, temporary, or part-time workers for the time being. This may sound like they’re taking the easy way out, but with the large influx of applicants, it’s important for companies to be overly cautions with their new or returning hires.

Here are some useful tips to help organizations prepare for and deal with the impending hiring surge that will inevitably take place in Q4:

Align Recruitment and Business Strategies

Interim or temporary workers are a great solution to helping your organization fulfill its current and predicted hiring needs for Q4. This gives you the opportunity to acquire new talent without making a full or long-term commitment in the event that another shutdown occurs. To make this work, you need to combine your recruitment and business strategies harmoniously.

Discuss Hiring Strategies with Hiring Managers

Hiring managers work on the frontlines of your recruitment strategy. Consult with them regularly to make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of what skill sets and types of candidates your business needs.

Review Current Talent Pipelines

Hiring internally is a great recruitment strategy because your employees already know everything there is to know about your organization. They’re already familiar with the company culture and they’ve built up strong working relationships with coworkers, upper management, and clients. Giving existing employees the opportunity to advance their careers within the organization incentivizes them to work harder and become more of a company asset.

Hire a Professional Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies have the networking capabilities and access to large candidate databases that can help you directly reach out to desirable, experienced, and talented workers that are a good fit for your organization.

If you’re looking for a staffing agency in Mississauga, then look no further than Resolve Recruit Inc. Our dedicated and experienced recruitment team can help you expand your candidate pool and put you in touch with skilled job seekers who might have otherwise fallen through the cracks. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help prepare you for the upcoming hiring surge.