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Canadian employers are offering additional benefits, flexible working opportunities and broadening their view of talent pools to fill job openings, according to a new survey by ManpowerGroup Canada.

The survey, which polled 2,000 employers, found 41 per cent of survey respondents are having difficulty filling vacancies. Positions in the skilled trades such as electricians, welders and mechanics, are the most difficult to fill. After that category, the toughest positions to fill in Canada are: sales representatives, drivers, technicians, engineers, information technology workers, office support and health-care professionals. The top 10 is rounded out by professionals such as lawyers, project managers and researchers and teachers.

Read: Working longer could add $4.6 trillion to OECD economies: PwC

About two-thirds (68 per cent) of survey respondents are investing in learning platforms and development tools to bolster the talent pipeline, while 41 per cent are changing their educational or experience requirements. More than half (56 per cent) are broadening their view of talent pools, looking at employees such as boomerang retirees, parents returning to the workforce and part-time workers.

Some 41 per cent are offering additional benefits, 39 per cent are implementing contract, freelance or temporary positions and 28 per cent are offering flexible or remote working opportunities.

In terms of the reasons for the difficulty in filling job openings, 26 per cent of employers said there’s a lack of applicants, 19 per cent cited a lack of experience, 17 per cent said applicants lack necessary hard skills and 12 per cent said applicants expect higher pay than the job offers.

“Today’s job seekers don’t always have the skills employers need. To solve our growing skills gap, we need to take a new approach,” said Darlene Minatel, country manager for ManpowerGroup Canada, in a news release. “Employers need to buy skills in the short term, cultivate communities of talent by borrowing from external sources and help people with adjacent skills transition from one role to another. Above all, we need to build talent through upskilling and reskilling programs to develop a workforce with the skills companies and individuals need to succeed.”

Read: 43% of Canadian workers would quit job for better pay: survey

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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