From the start of 2020 through the end of 2022, Canada’s tech talent workforce expanded by 150,000, according to data from CBRE’s 2023 Scoring Tech Talent report.
Momentum halted last year, though, when 150,000 tech workers were laid off globally across 1,000 companies.
Since then, things have been fairly quiet.
New data confirms what we could all sense: Hiring rates are down by more than 20% year-over-year in Canada, data from LinkedIn show.
In the firm’s Global Talent Trends report for October 2023, LinkedIn surfaced data insights from both its Economic Graph and broader member community to understand labour-market trends impacts on people and workplaces.
The report reveals that, of 20 countries, Canada saw the 7th-largest drop in hiring in 2023 versus 2022. Only a few countries, such as Australia (25%) and New Zealand (27%) fared worse.
Granted, even the better-faring nations are experiencing recruiting slowdowns. Hiring in Indonesia—the top-ranked country—was still down 5%, according to LinkedIn.
“The rate of decline is slowing in certain regions and countries, which we can take as a sign of stabilization,” offers Karin Kimbrough, who serves as chief economist for LinkedIn.
Of course, many Canadian companies are still actively recruiting—just not as aggressively as before.
“I’m looking at this period as a gentle rebalancing in the labour market,” Kimbrough continues, “meaning employers are hiring, but at a more cautious pace, and employees are staying put for longer.”
Her counsel moving forward? Uncertain economic climates require that businesses be agile—and that’s especially true when it comes to talent strategies, according to Kimbrough.
Leaders taking a cautious approach to talent acquisition have the chance to focus on understanding and developing internal talent, the chief economist says, setting up their organization to withstand future macroeconomic fluctuations.
To lubricate the gears of internal mobility, companies should consider helping employees build up skillsets. The concept of perpetual “upskilling” is gaining steam throughout the tech economy as skills within the laptop class continue to evolve.
“Businesses need new skills at a rate faster than I’ve ever seen before,” says Jennifer Shappley, who serves as vice president of global talent acquisition for LinkedIn, “which means they need to help their employees evolve via upskilling and internal mobility.”
It’s a change in tactic that employers must adjust to.
“In years past, companies might have relied more on talent acquisition to ‘buy’ the new skills they needed,” Shappley explains, “but that strategy no longer works in isolation for today’s labour market and business environment.”
Adopting a “dynamic talent-management model that brings together talent acquisition and talent development functions” is key to boosting both internal mobility and retention, according to the report.