Even in the midst of the pandemic, Toronto was named the fastest-growing city in North America. Now, as it begins to recover from lockdown, it is offering a tremendous opportunity to anyone seeking a job in the region.
The job market is improving and much of the power in the hiring process is in the job-seeker’s hands. Salaries have even increased significantly and we’re seeing many employers become open to work flexibility.
So, what exactly is available to jobseekers in the GTA now, and for the foreseeable future?
Current Market Trajectory
One advantage Toronto candidates have over their neighbors to the south is that things are going to be a little more predictable, at least in the short term. Simon Adair, and Executive here at Michael Page, explains: “We’ve been pretty much four months behind the US the whole time.” As a result, candidates and business owners alike can see the trends in the States and learn from them.
So, what has that meant for the market? “We’ve been job-heavy and there’s a huge candidate shortage,” Adair explains. That gap is closing, though, as people are more optimistic.
Ali Qazi, a Michael Page Associate Director specializing in sales and marketing, has seen a similar trajectory. He says that at the start of the pandemic, hiring was put on hold and some roles were even moved from Canada to US. “The market has picked up a bit,” he says. If you’re looking for an entry-level position, there are plenty of opportunities in this area.
Page Executive Partner Martin O’Doherty says he’s seeing the same: “For more senior roles the market in many industrial sectors has come back to pre-2019 levels.
As many companies are emerging with their growth plans after navigating the pandemic, there are more senior roles for candidates who have expertise in leading businesses through change. This gives good candidates more options when they go to the job market.” In manufacturing, he’s seeing demand for technical leadership specifically on the rise. “
The Recovery of the City
Part of the draw of working in a city will always be the city itself. So, what exactly does life in Toronto look like?
Michael Page Director of Technology Rebecca Faiazza paints the picture: “There are definitely people who have left Toronto. In the last six months, the market has shifted, and people are returning to the city.” While people moved to the suburbs outside the city to find more affordable living, this drove the housing market in these areas up. Now, the city is actually the more affordable and it’s expected that people will return to the city to avoid a lengthy commute once they return to the office.
Qazi confirms: “The condo market downtown has dropped quite a bit – the price of condos and the rent.”
So, if you’ve ever wanted to move to Toronto, now is likely an ideal time.
Better Offers for Candidates
The market is on the rise and so is the city of Toronto, but what can you expect from the hiring process? Right now, the answer is the upper hand.
Michael Page Associate Director Michael Cytrynbaum comments: “We’re seeing a lot of counter-offer situations. We’re seeing certain situations where multiple offers are popping up, so processes need to be tighter than ever.” This means fewer interviews and less time in between, and probably a more attractive offer the first time around to avoid negotiation.
Adair says salaries are definitely increasing as a result: “I think they’ve gone up pretty significantly, probably in the region of 5-10% in 2020 and a little bit more in 2021.
This is simply a reflection of how competitive the market is.”
In terms of work flexibility, it appears that hiring managers are listening to what the candidates want. About 57% told us in a LinkedIn poll they’re offering flexibility for this exact reason.
Qazi confirms: “I think almost every client has said they will have the role hybrid at the least in order to attract candidates.”
“Most places will have a hybrid model,” Adair agrees. He says even construction companies are allowing some roles to be remote where possible to attract the best talent. He also mentions that this was a conversation before the pandemic. “I think COVID just sped it up,” he says.
Ready to Find the Right Job?
As this region recovers and things normalize, the appeal of the city will only grow. If you want to strike while the iron is hot and find the perfect opportunity in the Greater Toronto Area, please reach out to our team today.
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