Canadian security systems firm Fitch Security Integration was forced to lay off employees at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year but is now willing to pay a $7,000 bonus to bring in new staff.
“The signing bonus numbers just came up in desperation,” said Edward Fitchett, president of the Toronto company, which typically fills jobs through networking and rarely put outs job vacancy ads.
Fitchett is not alone. The use of signing bonuses for common jobs signals that “these are desperate times” for some companies, says Marie-Hélène Budworth, an associate professor with the School of Human Resource Management at York University.
Canada’s jobless rate stood at 7.8 per cent in June, and there are currently around 830,000 workers aged 25-54 without full-time work. Yet as pandemic restrictions ease, some sectors are finding it hard to track down the workers they need.
The Bank Of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey notes some companies are struggling to find specialized labor while the Royal Bank of Canada cites retirements and a slow return to immigration as among problems in the labor market.