New data released by CPHR Alberta indicates companies across the province will continue to expand their workforces for the remainder of 2017. The latest Hiring Confidence Index (HCI) shows human resources professionals expecting workforce growth outnumber those who are expecting declines by two-to-one. The semi-annual survey collected 1,478 responses this June, and provides a forward-looking indicator into the province’s labour market.
A Drop in Confidence is a Good Sign for Alberta’s Economic Recovery
The HCI dropped slightly compared to December 2016 data – from a score of 64.9 to 64.1. The index weighs two components: a six-month employment projection and an assessment of expected candidate qualifications. The result is a labour market indicator that draws on the unique position of HR professionals in organizations.
“A drop in confidence isn’t always good news, but in this case it is,” said CPHR Alberta CEO Peter Dugandzic. “The rise in hiring expectations was offset by concerns of shortages for skilled workers. This means more jobs are coming for Alberta, and it reinforces the importance of policy shifts to address labour mobility and skills training in the province.”
Manufacturing Sector Most Concerned about Skills Shortages
Some industries are expecting more competition for skilled workers than others. HR professionals in the manufacturing sector showed the highest concern for finding skilled workers. Jesse Grieder (CPHR) is Vice President, Human Resources at Applied Industrial Technologies in Edmonton. “We're seeing top candidates receive multiple offers while we are actively recruiting them - our ability to act quickly and competitively is becoming more critical.”
With Alberta’s unemployment rate dropping, the nation’s highest workforce participation rate, and a projection for continued employment growth, pressures on the available talent pool to meet the qualifications for new positions will continue to grow.
The HCI forms part of the Alberta HR Trends Report commissioned by CPHR Alberta as part of a regular series to help fill the labour information void for CPHR Alberta members and Alberta employers.
The Alberta HR Trends research initiative was started in December 2013 in collaboration with Abingdon public opinion research firm and was expanded in 2016 to include all four western Canadian provinces, in partnership with their respective Human Resources provincial associations. Access all of our research here.