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Talent shortages in Canada are at an all-time high

Did you know that half of companies around the world cannot find workers with the skills they are looking for? In Canada, 48% of the employers we surveyed said they struggle to find workers with the right skills and qualifications. This number is almost double what it was 10 years ago, when 24% of employers said they couldn’t find the right talent.

Warehouse employees hard at workHere are the most difficult jobs to fill:

  1. Skilled Trades (electricians, welders, mechanics)
  2. Driving & Logistics (truck, delivery, construction, mass transit)
  3. Construction (labourers)
  4. Sales & Marketing (sales representatives/managers, graphic designers)
  5. Engineering (chemical,electrical, civil, mechanical)
  6. Teachers
  7. Healthcare (doctors, nurses, and other non-nursing health professionals)
  8. Accounting & Finance (certified accountants, auditors, financial analysts)
  9. Manufacturing (production & machine operators)
  10. Technicians (quality controllers, technical staff)


Read the full 2020 Talent Shortage report.

Automation and digitization are also fueling the need for outstanding workers

Over the last 5 years, you may have heard that robots will replace humans and employment opportunities will shrink as many processes and functions are digitized.

Our research shows this is not the case. In fact, the opposite is true: as technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will hire more people. This is because new technology results in the need for new roles, capabilities and the “soft skills” that no robot can duplicate.

What does this mean for job seekers?

Talent shortages and the creation of new and different roles means there are more opportunities for job seekers than ever. Now is the time to learn new skills, develop new habits, and strengthen your resume to make yourself stand out from other candidates.

Tip 1: Never Stop Learning.

Technologies Support office workers answering callsYou may not think of curiosity as a job skill, but it is. Continuous change is commonplace in many organizations and employers seek job candidates who can keep up. This means adapting to new working methods, learning how to use new equipment, machines, and tools, or learning a new computer program that has been introduced to automate certain tasks and processes. Employers can’t always plan for what will happen next and employees who are ready, willing, and able to learn are an asset. Find out your learnability score with our free assessment. In minutes, you’ll discover how ready you are to grow and adapt in the workplace.

Tip 2: Develop Your Soft Skills

There are some things that a robot just can’t do! While technical skills and qualifications are often requirements for a job, employers also value these human qualities: 

Customer Service and Relationship Building: Machines and robots may automate back-end tasks, but companies still rely on excellent front-end customer service to keep their customers happy. This includes the ability to build trust and communicate information effectively in a variety of styles and formats (in a team meeting, over phone, Skype, email, instant messaging, and social media).

Critical Thinking, Analysis and Problem Solving: As machines and systems become sophisticated enough to operate and maintain themselves with minimal user input, it’s important for workers to develop the “human” skills that complement these advancements. This includes the ability to critically process information, solve problems by analyzing and assessing data, and provide creative solutions to problems.

Human skills are growing in importance in every industry but are especially significant in manufacturing and production: employers plan to hire more frontline and customer-facing engineering and management roles. These require advanced communication, negotiation, leadership, and management skills.

Here’s a snapshot of how skills are evolving:

  Skills Today Skills Tomorrow
Administrative & Office Record keeping; time management; cost tracking Communication; relationship building; critical analysis
Finance & Accounting Adherence to process & detail; compliance; record keeping Recognizing patterns & trends; presentation & customer service
Human Resources Policy & procedure; employment law; recruitment Data analysis & assessment; talent strategy & planning
IT Technology installation & maintenance Critical thinking, analysis & problem solving; design & programming
Manufacturing & Production Operating machines; adherence to order & procedure Managing machines; complex problem solving
Frontline & Customer-Facing Data entry; numeracy & communication Problem solving; communication & relationship building; managing machines


For more information about future skills, read the Humans Wanted: Robots Need You report.

Make yourself an irresistible candidate for the most in-demand roles. Check out MyPath from Manpower.

MyPath is a collection of resources that enables our associates to move up in their careers. Personalized career guidance, along with skill assessments, education, and training gives our associates the knowledge, experience, and confidence to achieve more.

How to Stand Out in a Talent Shortage | Manpower