Recruitment Market Update- Building Materials Q1 2022

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Coming into the new year, and off an unprecedented year for Building Materials industry, everyone was curious to see how things would play out as people settled into life post pandemic. While job counts slightly dipped in Q1 compared to last year, the demand for candidates is still very strong across the industry. Caution is creeping into the market as both workers and organizations watch macro-economic events carefully. Key factors that DMC Recruitment see influencing the building materials industry at the beginning of Q2 2022 are;

Demand Is Up

A factor consistent with the market in 2021 is that demand is up. This translates into an increased need for people, with organizations needing to hire to accommodate their sales. However, a remaining factor influencing the demand is lingering supply chain issues. Supply chain issues are still impacting many businesses, providing opportunities for some and challenges for others. For example, one large manufacturer currently has national hiring freezes as it battles with challenges in meeting existing demand.  On the other hand, businesses not experiencing supply chain issues are benefitting from the high demand for Building Materials and need to hire talent to service it. Demand in our Architecture and Design practice remains extremely high which is good for Building Materials companies as projects continue to come down the line.

People Are Not as Willing to Move

This is a big change from a relatively fluid candidate market in 2021. This quarter people aren’t as willing to change jobs. This may be because people that were unhappy during covid and wanting to move already have, or due to the macroeconomic factors causing concern such as inflation, the rising cost of living and political unrest. Considering the average Canadian house price hit over $800,000 in February of 2022, up 20% from last year and the highest on record, we have yet to see that level of growth for salaries. There has certainly been pressure on organizations to pay better and we have generally been placing candidates at the higher end of the salary bands, but we have not yet seen growth equivalent to the increase of house prices.

An additional reason workers have been less willing to move has been due to the higher bonuses they received last year. Many employees being paid out for sales in 2021 seem to want bonuses from previous years matched by potential employers, however no new employer is going to promise those same bonuses because they are not able to promise the same sales activity.

The summary of Q1 would best be described as employers having had to work harder than ever before to attract and retain the best talent. Per our recent salary survey, the top things people look for in a new position are company culture/working environment, earning potential, and growth and career opportunities. In this market, it’s not just a case of getting one of those right to attract people to your organization, it is important to be offering a full package to with multiple factors that are valuable to candidates.

More High-Profile Jobs Open

We are seeing more high-profile jobs on the market, at the Director level, VP level or even above. Whereas last year there were more junior positions on the market, Q1 has seen more senior roles coming onto the market, indicating that people at that level are beginning to consider moves and companies are beginning to look at strategic hires for their organizations.

Struggling Job Boards

In this market job boards are not able to drive the same number of relevant candidates to jobs as they have done previously- and this is largely because of the resistance of employees to move. As a result, the major job boards have been less particular about the applicants that they drive to jobs whilst increasing their prices to make up for lost revenues. This puts more pressure on employers who are relying on job boards for their hires because they are not able to find high quality candidates.

Overall, the recruitment market for Building Materials remains extremely busy. It remains a candidate lead market and employers are having to work hard to attract and retain good staff. DMC has visited multiple industry events this year such as the WRLA showcase in Winnipeg, Buildex Vancouver and IDS in Toronto. These events reminded us that this industry is more about people that anything else and was a great opportunity to get people together again. While there were less buyers than in previous years, people were happy to reconnect face to face. It clarified to us that that’s one of the biggest selling points of the industry- the quality of people that we work with, and that’s why we love building materials.

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