Recent Postsecondary Graduates In-Demand as Hiring Ramps Up

Job Market Also Positive for Postsecondary Students

TORONTO, June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Postsecondary graduates are in big demand this year according to a new survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Close to half (46%) of Canadian hiring decision-makers say their company plans to hire recent university and college graduates, 35% plan to hire university and college students, and 29% say they plan to hire vocational/career tech graduates.

Especially promising for new graduates, two-thirds (65%) of the largest companies (with more than 100 employees) say their company plans to hire recent postsecondary graduates this year. Additionally, 44% plan to hire postsecondary students and 42% plan to hire vocational/career tech graduates.

In Sarnia, Ontario, Express franchise owner Bruce Hein believes that the labour market outlook for recent postsecondary graduates is positive, but it depends on the degree.

“We are much more optimistic for graduates this year compared to the same period last year, as hiring increases in our community and companies are not as timid about adding to their workforce,” said Hein. “Of course, it does depend on what kind of degree you have completed, but there continues to be demand for certain industrial and trades positions, as well as professional roles in accounting and engineering.”

“I am very optimistic for recent college grads this summer because as businesses begin to open or expand in 2021, many office-based functions are emerging again,” said Hanif Hemani, Express franchise owner in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. “In-office duties that were put on the back-burner are now slowly coming on-stream and business need to clean up this backlog. These factors lend well to individuals, like recent graduates, who have strong computer skills, administrative skills, and analytical skills.”  

While recent postsecondary graduates are expected to do well this year, the outlook for postsecondary students and high school students, while optimistic, continues to have challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Current postsecondary and high-school students may have a harder time because part-time and summer jobs tend to be in industries hard-hit by the pandemic, such as the restaurant, hospitality, tourism, and retail sectors,” said Hein. “Many of the positions we fill are not summer jobs, as our clients are looking for people who can stay on full-time or at least longer than a couple of months to fulfill a contract.”

Nevertheless, Hemani reports that a lot of businesses are ramping-up temporary hiring to help with work that has become backed up because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many companies are still hesitant to hire permanent staff at this point, but optimistic enough to hire some temporary staff to clear up and clean-up work that has been piling up,” said Hemani. “Postsecondary students can be ideal for these types of temporary positions.”

These survey results from The Harris Poll are a good sign for those new to the workforce who need the experience of a first job, Express CEO Bill Stoller said.

“Younger employees deserve a chance to build their resumes early in their career, and it looks as if the market is picking them back up swiftly,” he said. “With the desperate need for skilled labor, these initial jobs allow them to explore different career paths and discover which industries are going to be most lucrative with in-demand positions while gaining experience.”

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between March 23 and April 12, 2021 among 505 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than 1 employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Ana Curic at (613) 858-2622 or email

About Bill Stoller
William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing company has more than 830 franchises in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since inception, Express has put more than 9 million people to work worldwide. 

About Express Employment Professionals
At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 526,000 people globally in 2020. For more information, visit

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Hiring Plans for Recent Graduates and Students