Jeff Aplin Talks Job Hunting and Hiring in a Pandemic [Audio]

David Aplin Group CEO, Jeff Aplin, talks with CBC News about job hunting and hiring during the pandemic with Calgary Reporter, Kyle Bakx. He provides insights on which industries are seeing more talent demand, and which won’t be hiring any time soon. [Audio]



Audio script:

KB: Good morning, as the economy continues to reopen and the country tries to recover from the pandemic, job hunting remains a challenge. Jeff Aplin talks to companies every day about their hiring intentions. He’s the President of the David Aplin Group, a national staffing firm with offices stretching from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. And he joins me now. Let’s start with your take on what’s happening to the labour market and intentions by companies to rehire.

JA: It’s pretty much devastation across the board. But as people start to try to step by step build back their companies, and their business and their organizations, what I’m seeing is basically if you break it down at a high level across Canada you have about 60% of organizations that have been very clear that their not going hire anyone any time soon. And that means probably 6 to 9 months that they’re just not going to hire.

The uncertainty is too high, their revenues have been reduced, you know there’s just so many other variables to adjust to, working from home, not working from home, second wave, no second wave, all of these things. Impact of government programs, etc. So, about 60% of employers even if they need to hire or want to hire, they’re not going to hire for any time soon, probably like I said 6 to 9 months, which puts us into early 2021. Of the remaining 40% of employers, what I’m seeing is basically 20% that are still going to continue to trim jobs because they’re struggling so much, and they’ll continue to do layoffs.

And then the final 20% of the total labour market will consider hiring in the near term, so in the next sort of 3 months or so. So, that’s what I’m seeing. In large buckets, 20% still shrinking, 60% stay the course, not hiring, just status quo, see what’s happens. And then 20% would actually pull the trigger and move forward and hire people at this point.

KB: Are some provinces faring better than others?

JA:  The labour market is very choppy everywhere. So, it’s full of kind of stop/start, “we might hire, we may not, we’re in a hiring freeze, it’s being extended, no wait it’s not”, so it’s very volatile and that goes right from Halifax through to Vancouver.

KB: Do some industries stand out right now?

JA: You know, for sure technology as a broad industry in all the job categories in the tech industry continue to experience shortages. So, whether that’s technical roles like software developers and software engineers, there’s on-going labour shortages in those job categories. That has not changed through the pandemic so there is excess demand for people with those skills. And then there’s the functional roles around the tech industry as well, the other functions like marketing, and finance, and HR, etc., that also continue to have good demand.

Because the tech industry has generally done well in the pandemic. And then there’s other categories as well, of course grocery, food, delivery, so anything that’s delivery to home, logistics, couriers, these types of organizations continue to do well. And telecommunications and security, as people pivoted, the labour market from working in offices to working from home, a lot of organizations realized the security risks for their technology with people working from home so they’re trying to close those gaps. And so, if you’re a technology security company or telecommunications security company, you’re going to be experiencing increased demand during the pandemic compared to where you were at before COVID-19 hit Canada.

KB: Jeff Aplin is the President of the David Aplin Group, a national staffing firm. For CBC Radio, I’m Kyle Bakx.


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