New Survey: Canadian Companies Say Senior-Level Positions Most Difficult to Fill

Almost Two-Thirds of Canadian Companies Have Difficulty Hiring

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Close to two-thirds of Canadian companies (59%) say it is difficult to recruit and fill positions—with senior-level roles being the most challenging to fill, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Among businesses planning to hire this year, a large majority say it will be difficult to recruit and fill C-suite executive (75%) and senior-level (73%) positions. A majority also say they will have trouble filling mid-level positions (55%).

A smaller proportion say they will have difficulty filling entry-level (33%) and individual contributor (46%) positions.

“There are no levels which are easy to fill right now, and employers continue to seek skilled, qualified, quality candidates for every level,” said Brent Pollington, Express franchise owner in Vancouver, British Columbia. “We have seen the most turnover in entry-level labour positions and have had more success filling positions in the skilled trades, office services and accounting/finance positions.”

Sarah Vitelli, an Express franchise owner in Richmond Hill, Ontario, says small- and medium-sized businesses are having the hardest time finding workers, especially for entry-level positions.

“Finding top talent has become hard for every company, but small- and medium-sized businesses are often not able to compete with large increases in wages and benefits,” Vitelli said. “Some small businesses have had to close their doors because they cannot find enough qualified staff to fill orders.”

Difficulty finding qualified workers has resulted in some companies hiring people with a lower skill level than a job requires, but Pollington says that often doesn’t work out.

“Raising wages and improving benefits can result in more job seekers applying who don’t meet the skill level, and some employers have hired lower-skilled workers out of desperation,” Pollington said. “However, some employers in our area who have done this have seen service errors and lost customers, increases in damages, and lower sales. As a result, they’ve had to reassess the minimum requirements for new employees.”

Even when the pandemic subsides, Vitelli expects that, while more people will be looking for work, labour shortages at all skill levels will remain a problem for the foreseeable future.

Companies are having trouble hiring at all skills levels, so they need to make a concerted effort to understand what attracts qualified talent, Express CEO Bill Stoller said.

“The problem of companies being unable to recruit and retain skilled employees is not going away anytime soon,” he added. “Even with higher pay, better benefits, and more flexibility, many companies are losing out, so they have to look at additional factors like company culture, that will help them become the employer of choice.”

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

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Difficulty of Recruiting By Skill Level