Personal Finance

Here’s what employers in Canada offer workers during a labor shortage

Canadian business sectors have struggled with staffing, and as provinces reopen following pandemic COVID-19 closures, employers are struggling to find and retain their workers.

A July survey by staffing firm Robert Half suggests that employers are, in fact, doing their best to attract talent. Forty percent of those surveyed said they are offering additional paid vacations, 37 percent hope to persuade new hires with better job titles, while more than one in three offer signing bonuses.

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Thirty-year-old Ian Blechta’s first foray into home ownership is a 1,550-square-foot, three-bedroom house in Stayner, Ontario. The plan is to move in, with his girlfriend, in September. Ian bought the pre-construction home for around $ 500,000 and says similar units now cost $ 640,000.

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The engineer-in-training tells Global News that he is “excited” and “grateful” to reach this milestone he has dreamed of, thanks to the home buying program announced by his employer, land development company Crozier and Associates.

The company offers up to $ 20,000 to employees who have been with Crozier for at least one year and requires them to commit to the company for three years.

“We needed to show the bank that we could have a 20 percent down payment and it was Crozier’s money that made it possible,” Blechta said.

Engineer-in-training Ian Blechta in front of the home he bought with the help of his company’s First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program.

Photo credit: John Knox Photography

This is a significant incentive for residents, like Blechta, who live in the Collingwood, Ontario area, where home prices jumped 40 percent between May 2020 and May 2021, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association ( CREATES).

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Cash for housing is just one example of the creative efforts employers are willing to make to keep workers and attract new employees during a labor shortage. Hiring experts say the balance of power has shifted to workers in high-demand industries like technology, foodservice and retail, who have many job options to choose from.

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Crozier President Nick Mocan told Global News that his company wanted to offer something that would make a significant difference.

“I was hearing stories of struggles, of frustration, and the leadership team came together to find out how we can help our employees in their personal lives and solidify their ability to come to work on a day-to-day basis and really focus on their career.” he said.

Lazer Technologies’ flexible hybrid work model is designed to appeal to digital nomads from around the world.

Photo supplied.

The co-founder of Toronto-based software company Lazer Technologies says he has to offer something unique to stand out in the tech world because there is a global workforce shortage for the types of workers he hopes to attract.

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“It is one of the most difficult job markets to hire great engineers and what makes it more difficult for us is that we are looking for the top one percent within that group,” Arif Bhanji told Global News. “Our team of 60 people receives multiple offers from Square, Shopify, Facebook, constantly, with astronomical numbers. But beyond that, what really matters to them is flexibility. “

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Bhanji says Lazer’s hybrid work model allows employees to work remotely from anywhere in the world, while also having the option of working in a “mobile office.” The plan is to keep the Toronto-based company, but move its secondary office to a new location four times a year.

“Our first country is Costa Rica, because we have a couple of team members who live there today. In addition, we are planning in Uruguay, the United Arab Emirates and several other places in the United States, ”he said.

FILE – In this Saturday, March 14, 2020, file photo, an Apple logo adorns the facade of the Apple Store in downtown Brooklyn in New York.

AP Photo / Kathy Willens, File

He said employees in high-demand fields are looking for companies that offer more than just more money.

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“At some level, the extra $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 that you give to an engineer will not be a strong enough factor to move them,” he said.

According to Bhanji, flexible work arrangements, a strong work culture, and the ability to learn from co-workers with more experience on the job are paramount.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.