7 Feb

Seasonal Hiring Trends in the Canadian Construction Industry

Posted by Jamie Dargie

Whether you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager, seasonal hiring trends are important to you. If you’re looking for a new job, it’s helpful to know when employers are likely going to be hiring. Applying for a job during a slow part of the hiring cycle can result in frustration. You’re more likely to land a new gig if you apply at peak hiring season.

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Hiring managers should know when they’re likely to face increased competition for the top talent. Seasonal hiring trends will also influence how busy you’ll be at any point in time. You can make the appropriate preparations if you know you’re going to need to hire a number of people in May but fewer hands in November.

What seasonal hiring trends affect the construction industry in Canada?


The Winter Slowdown

The first thing anyone involved in the construction industry in Canada can tell you is there’s a slowdown in the winter months. From November to March, new construction starts usually fall. Most construction companies try to wrap up the projects they already have underway, although winter weather may force them to stop work until the warmer weather returns.

Building construction may continue through the winter months so long as the foundation is already in. New starts usually stop as soon as the ground freezes. Given changing weather patterns across the country in recent years, when exactly the slowdown will hit varies from place to place and year to year. In Alberta, snow hit early in fall 2017, while Ontario remained mild until November.

The long and short of it is construction companies need fewer workers during the winter, although you may find a few open positions as some workers leave for other employment.


Preparing for Spring

The return of the nice weather in the springtime is another seasonal influence on the construction industry in Canada. Depending on the year and the location, construction may begin to pick up anytime from March until May. Lingering winter weather can slow down the return to form.

Most companies begin hiring earlier than March. They may begin hiring for spring construction projects in January or February. This is an attempt to hire the best talent before competitors can hire them. If you wait until April, you may have a harder time hiring the best people. Job seekers who wait until April may have more difficulty finding a position.


The Strong Summer

The peak of hiring season for the construction industry is often reached in the early summer, in May or June. Most companies have projects underway and plans to start more throughout the summer and into September and October.

They want their people in place before July rolls around, so you’ll see an increase in construction hiring in May and June. Hiring will continue throughout the summer as people leave their roles and new projects get underway.

With the ongoing skills shortage and the construction boom continuing in 2018, you can expect to see increased competition between employers for the best and most talented construction workers. It’s a great time to be looking for a construction job.


Another Story: The Office

There’s another, oft-forgotten side of the construction industry: the office. Engineers and procurement specialists are employed year-round, even during the winter slowdown. In fact, these professionals may have an inverse trend to the rest of the industry.

Why? Professionals like engineers do much of the behind-the-scenes work. While the ground is frozen, new foundations may not be going in, but engineers are hard at work drawing up plans for new projects. Procurement specialists will be working to ensure different project sites receive everything they need once they do break ground.

Seasonal trends in construction clearly influence hiring patterns for the industry. Whether you’re hiring or looking for a job, having this information will help you.


The-2017-2018-Technical-and-Engineering-Salary-Guide

Topics: Hiring

Jamie Dargie

Jamie is responsible for leading, developing, and executing the vision, strategy, and business objectives for Eastern Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. A recruitment expert across three continents for over 20 years, Jamie possesses deep industry knowledge having run multi-disciplinary teams for international and domestic recruitment campaigns within contingent search and workforce management for RPO and MSP projects.

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