Survey Shows More than Half of Canadian Companies Expected to Hire in 2012, Especially in the Prairies

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Don't mind chilly winters? Canadian employers are as bullish on hiring now as they were a year ago, and the number of those planning to cut staff in 2012 is slightly lower than in 2011, according to stats just published by the Bank of Canada.

The hiring outlook was a bright spot in a winter report that pointed to lower sales growth and concerns about the availability of credit. On the other hand, the report stated that more than half of firms surveyed—54 percent—expect to hire more workers in the next 12 months, with companies in the resource-rich Prairies most keen to add to their headcount.

The number of firms planning to increase staffing levels rose two percentage points from a year earlier, while those planning a smaller workforce fell 5 points to 9 percent.

The report did not break out expectations, but Janice Detta Colli, a Boyden managing director in Toronto, tells eFinancialCareers that 2012 hiring levels among the major banks and financial services boutiques should be level with last year as far as capital markets jobs are concerned.

“The engine for 2012 will come from western Canada where the resource industries continue doing well,” she says, adding that “in finance, I think hiring will be about the same.” Most likely, the banks and the boutiques will continue to make smart and strategic hires, says Detta Colli.

She also expects a continuation of a more conservative approach to hiring in Canada, where typically “it takes quite a while for the hiring process to unfold.”

These days, she says, Canadians are being required to meet with more people in the organization and interview with much more senior level executives.

“The sign-off on the compensation package, even down to the associate level, goes much higher up in the chain than prior to 2011, and I think that will continue as well," says the recruiter.

Commenting on the Bank of Canada report, the Toronto Star said that TD Economics expects the jobless rate to increase to 7.7 percent from the current 7.5 percent in 2012, though job growth will likely be stronger in the second half of the year.

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