Workopolis

Workopolis

August 26, 2015 08:00 ET

Thinkopolis: The Skills to Pay the Bills-What Students Need to Know

New Workopolis study uncovers what it takes to get a job in Canada in 2015 and what it means for students and entry-level job seekers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 26, 2015) - With students headed back to school this fall, the latest Thinkopolis Report by Workopolis takes a look at the skills that appear the most in Canadian job postings so that on top of grades, students can strengthen those soft skills that will set them apart on the job market. The report also highlights the top emerging skills that are trending upwards in demand right now in job ads. Adding these to your resume greatly increases the number of jobs you qualify for.

Despite speculation on whether the Canadian economy is taking a downturn, a recent survey of Canadian employers revealed that one-in-three hiring managers (32 per cent) intend to increase staffing in the next 12 months. The disconnect between the reality of employment numbers and the intention to hire may lie in the fact that 68 per cent of these managers said that it is difficult to find candidates that meet the position needs.

So what are Canadian candidates lacking? Nearly 4-in-10 employers (38 per cent) said 'experience', 29 per cent said 'soft skills', 23 per cent said 'technical skills' and most surprisingly, just 4 per cent said 'education'.

"We're seeing a lot of anxiety among recent grads when it comes to their job prospects, but we have found that employers are having a similar struggle filling positions," said Tara Talbot, VP of Human Resources, Workopolis. "With more than 3,000 different skills requested across our job postings, young job seekers would be wise to round out their resumes with more than just good grades and credentials."

The top 10 most commonly posted job skills are:

  • Communication skills
  • Writing
  • Customer relations
  • Sales
  • Organizational skills
  • Microsoft office
  • Policy analysis
  • Supervisory skills/leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

With communications, customer relations and teamwork skills topping the charts in terms of demand from employers, grads and young Canadians looking for entry-level work should demonstrate these skills acquired from part-time or first jobs.

How can candidates acquire that first experience, when nearly half (45 per cent) of entry-level jobs ask for two or more years' experience? Target those employers willing to invest in training staff. For example, McDonald's Canada hires roughly 45,000 people every year and for the majority, it is for their first or second job.

"We teach people communication skills they don't necessarily come in with: How to speak to their peer group, how to communicate with management, how to interact with customers," said Sharon Ramalho, Chief People Officer at McDonald's Canada. "This is also what we look for in stand-out staff who rise through the ranks: communications, teamwork, and decision making as evidence of leadership ability. Ninety per cent of our restaurant management started out as kitchen crew."

The Thinkopolis Report also uncovered the impact that the rise of technology and the digital age is having on the demand for skills. Digital literacy is the new norm, proven by the skills that saw the highest rise in demand this year.

The top ten skills for rising demand in 2015

  • HTML5
  • Social media platforms
  • Big data
  • nosql
  • jQuery
  • Tableau
  • MongoDB
  • Google Analytics
  • JSON
  • Revit

"Students and young job seekers should especially take note of the 'hot skills' that are in high demand with employers," added Talbot. "Basic computer literacy and document the price of admission for most jobs. On top of that specialized computer and digital skills are what makes a candidate stand out and opens many new doors to employment opportunities. Combining these skills with solid communications skills will give candidates a strong edge over the competition and ensure they're well positioned for the demands of the job market."

For a detailed look at the most in-demand skills by sector, click here.

ABOUT WORKOPOLIS

Founded in 2000, Workopolis is Canada's leading career site helping employers and candidates connect with each other online. In addition to the millions of monthly visitors to www.workopolis.com, Workopolis reaches users across the web through exclusive partnerships and community sites as well as through innovative use of social networking sites and mobile optimization.

Canadian owned and operated, Workopolis is an equal partnership between Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, and Square Victoria Digital Properties Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

LINK TO INFOGRAPHIC AND FULL REPORT: http://workopolis.com/research

To view the infographic, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/625.jpg

Contact Information

  • For more information or to set up an interview with
    Tara Talbot please contact:
    Shelley Thomas
    Narrative PR
    416.357.7829
    shelley.thomas@narrative.ca