Everything from where we work, how we work, how we hire, and who we hire has changed.
At the beginning of the pandemic, an ITS Global client went from 5,000 employees working from home to 20,000. For this company, and many others, this transition had to happen overnight. With employees working from home, companies also had to set up platforms to conduct virtual meetings, secure their networks, and focus on the wellness of their workforce.
I don’t think we’re going back to the way it was pre-COVID. We’ll continue to see employees working from home, our workforces will become more diverse, and companies will continue to access global talent markets virtually.
When looking to the future, 70-80% of companies will move to a hybrid work model where some employees work at the office while others work from home. Initial research findings are that productivity for companies increase exponentially since the unexpected onset of the remote work model.
Overall, I’d say these changes are good for the Canadian labour market. Canadian companies were originally extremely slow to embrace working from home. Now, companies are moving to hybrid work models, which allows them to shed costly real estate.
Also, companies are seeing that a skilled, diverse workforce has a positive impact on corporate culture, productivity, and profits. At ITS Global, we’re big proponents of diversity in the workplace. We know the benefits of having diverse ideas from different backgrounds. It’s good for business.
While I see the new hybrid model as a positive outcome of the changes wrought by COVID-19, we also are experiencing a shortage of available IT talent in Canada. Before COVID, tech hiring depended on immigration. With closed borders and limitations on travel, people are not coming into the country at the rate previously seen, which negatively impacts the tech sector.
Currently, Canada’s unemployment rate is around 8.20%. In comparison, the unemployment rate in technology is 3%. Tech companies can’t find qualified employees and the available high-quality talent comes at a premium.
Over the years, we’ve seen different market cycles. At the moment, we’re in a candidate driven market. This will ease up a bit when the borders open, but we won’t see an influx of talent until immigration increases. Companies will need to think of creative ways to find and keep talent.
You can email me with any questions they may have. I’m passionate about finding companies the right talent. There’s been so much change over a short period of time, and we’ve all had to adjust.