More Than 1 in 3 Canadian Companies Have Open Positions They Can’t Fill

91% of Companies Expect to Face Hiring Challenges in 2023

TORONTO, March 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There is no end in sight for the labour woes facing Canadian companies, with more than 1 in 3 (37%) reporting they have open positions they cannot fill, according to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

The leading obstacle cited by nearly half of companies (45%) trying to fill vacant positions: a lack of applicants (45%). For those that do apply, companies mentioned issues with a lack of necessary hard skills (43%), relevant experience (42%) and desired soft skills (30%) as additional obstacles to filling vacant positions.

Almost all of the companies surveyed (91%) expect to face hiring challenges in 2023. Half of companies report difficulty in finding qualified candidates (51%), they are also struggling with increased competition for labour (28%) and their pay not being competitive (23%).

2023 03 08 CDA NR Open Jobs GRAPHIC

Beyond a lack of qualified applicants, companies continue to be plagued with employee turnover. A third of companies (29%) expect turnover to increase this year. An expensive occurrence, given the cost required to rehire coupled with lost productivity, as nearly a quarter (23%) of Canadian businesses project employee turnover will cost them $50,000 or more annually.

The most common reasons why companies expect higher turnover in 2023 include better pay and benefits offered elsewhere (34%), employee frustration with increased workplace demands (29%), employees taking advantage of the competitive job market (28%), better perks offered elsewhere (27%) and better company culture elsewhere (26%).

“The lack of workers, particularly qualified workers, in Canada should raise red flags for everyone from the government and educators to businesses and parents,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said. “This is a crisis that has been building for years and the fallout is only just beginning, unless we invest in creating more qualified employees through training and education.”

Survey Methodology
The Job Insights survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, among 506 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 one 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. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 4.6 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest. 

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
International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor
supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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 579,000 people globally in 2022 and more than 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit

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