BC Labour Snapshot: Businesses Challenged with Retention, Recruitment and Skills Mismatches

The Burnaby Board of Trade, through its membership in the BC Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to provide this BC Labour Snapshot.  

From labour shortages to significant skills mismatches, British Columbians will ring in Labour Day against a backdrop of labour challenges — according to a recent BC Chamber MindReader™ survey done in partnership with the BC Government, which canvassed business leaders across BC.  Click here to view the full report, or read below for highlights of the survey.

Survey highlights:

Two-thirds of BC businesses had positions that were difficult-to-fill in the past year. A notable result is that the majority of difficult-to-fill positions were for higher skilled or senior positions, which outnumbered entry-level vacancies by a factor of two-to-one despite there being only about half as many managerial positions as front-line positions in the economy. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of businesses had middle or senior manager positions vacant for over six months, and only one-third of respondents (34%) indicated they had no difficult-to-fill positions.​​​​​​​

There was a diversity of specific skills mismatches, ranging from the most common gaps in job-specific technical skills (57%) and other direct on- the-job experience (46%) for which education and training are only partial and/or long-term solutions, as employers require skilled workers with direct experience in these cases. Customer service experience gaps were common for over one-third (37%) of respondents while leadership skills mismatches were common for just under one-third (31%) of respondents.

More than half of respondents indicated they were increasing wages (56%) and/or benefits (52%) as a strategic tool to retain staff. However, working conditions and business culture are typically the main factors, and indeed are the case in BC, with nearly two-thirds (63%) focusing on improving working conditions to retain staff.

BC MindReader:

The survey behind the BC Labour Snapshot is powered by the BC MindReader platform.  This innovative program brings together business owners and professionals from across British Columbia to share feedback and perspectives on a variety of issues, and provides real-time data on the concerns of the business community.  It is free to participate and the Burnaby Board of Trade encourages members to sign up.  Click here to ‘Use Your Voice’ and join BC MindReader!