Shifts in Canada’s labour market have changed how jobseekers behave and feel about work, recent insights from LinkedIn reveal.
The tables have turned on employees. A couple of years ago, every tech company was competing for top talent; that is no longer the case (except for maybe talented software engineers).
From 2020 through 2022, Canada’s tech talent workforce expanded by 150,000, according to CBRE’s 2023 Scoring Tech Talent report. Momentum halted, though, when 150,000 tech workers were laid off globally.
Worryingly, the situation extends past mere economics. Sentiment has sunk too: Compared to a year ago, respondents in LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index are less confident in the prospects available to progress their careers.
The situation is particularly bad in Canada, where confident rates are down eight points on the index—tied with Australia for the second-worst drop in confidence of all 12 countries ranked. Over the same time period, other nations saw a smaller confidence dip (India and Italy sank just two points each), while some countries were able to improve workforce confidence (the UK, Brazil, and Japan all experienced year-over-year gains).
The stark finding from LinkedIn confirms data released by HP in September showing that 77% of Canadian knowledge workers do not have a healthy relationship with work, higher than the global average.
It’s a salient concern because we have “long known that employees consider career-development opportunities to be one of the top reasons to stay at—or leave—their company,” according to Stephanie Conway, senior director of talent development for LinkedIn. “The difficult but important work comes in better understanding what career development really means to our diverse employee populations.”
To boost workforce confident, Conway counsels corporate teams to help employees “identify their North Star.”
“We know that employees who set clear career goals are more likely to stay the course,” she explains, “especially because they’ll have a better understanding of what skills to build.”
One key enabler, Conway says, is a shift away from looking at specific job titles.
“Instead it is more effective to identify specific skills they want to develop and experiences that might help them do that,” the talent executive offers. “Show employees what career development at your company looks like through any number of programs, like job shadowing, rotations, or sharing internal-mobility stories.”
This can foster both personal career development and “organizational resilience and agility,” according to Conway.
Enrique Lores, chief executive of HP, agrees.
“There is a huge opportunity to strengthen the world’s relationship with work in ways that are both good for people and good for business,” he stated last month. “The most successful companies are built on cultures that enable employees to excel in their careers while thriving outside of work.”
Despite a slowdown in hiring, Canada remains full of actively recruiting companies; sample a free upcoming Tech Talent Job Fair for proof.