Focus On Winnipeg: Manitoba’s Growing Job Market

Let’s head east in our three-part series addressing the recruitment challenges of The Headhunters’ respective branches. It is a testament to Canada’s diversity that while our Vancouver team is spearheading the recruitment of high-tech jobs, our Winnipeg office is meeting a classic challenge: sourcing skilled labour for remote locations.

A good problem to have?

Recruiting for traditional jobs sounds like a good problem to have, right? In some provinces it is. However, Manitoba has been experiencing the kind of growth normally associated with Alberta’s oil, and Saskatchewan’s potash, booms. In fact, Winnipeg, along with Toronto and Vancouver, is now one of Canada’s top three growing cities (while Calgary and Edmonton are shrinking in line with global oil price changes).

All indications are that Manitoban growth will continue long-term, with forecasts suggesting that the province’s economy will create 176,100 job openings between 2014 and 2020. Alberta has endured 65,000 lay-offs in its current crisis, so even in a fantasy world, where every laid-off Albertan was offered a newly created job in Manitoba, less than half of the positions would be filled.

Of course, Manitoba’s decision makers have more realistic plans. First of all, statisticians calculate that by 2020 the Manitoban workforce will experience 114,700 retirements and deaths. These vacancies will be filled in tandem with 60,600 new positions. With this mind, Manitoba’s plan is for 95,100 new entrants (largely young people) to join the market; as well as 44,100 migrants to enter Manitoba from within Canada and abroad, while a further 36,100 Manitobans return to work.

Statistics say little about the right fit

Of course, politicians, city planners and statisticians must plan for labour shortages. But do these statistics take into account the subtleties of individual Manitoban businesses? What about company cultures? Management styles? Niche markets? Highly specialized skills? Furthermore, fifty-five thousand of these forecasted jobs are in technical and skilled occupations that require college or apprenticeship training. This means that employers cannot afford to hire just anyone. Manitoba’s growth will demand skilled, experienced workers with mature soft-skills and, in many cases, an understanding of what life in rural Manitoba is really like.

Realistically, most new graduates and new arrivals to Manitoba cannot meet such requirements. Which is why The HeadHunters and TempsAhead believe we are a vital asset for Manitoba’s future. As we have watched the province grow in recent years, our team has seen a rise in demand for estimators, site managers and project managers who have mature work experience. And such strong demands for skilled workers in the construction industry will continue for the next ten years and beyond. Thankfully, we have been building a network of skilled workers in these diverse industries for years now.  In fact, our recruiters have earned a reputation for recruiting in the remotest of areas! This year, our Winnipeg team even breached Manitoba’s northern border and placed happy candidates in Nunavut!

Bring it on

Manitoba is growing and that is great news for the economy and its skilled workers. It can also be good news for every employer in every part of the province, no matter how high-skilled a recruitment challenge is. At The Headhunters we believe a unique and changing job market is a good problem to have—so bring it on, Manitoba!