ACSESS Fact Sheet

The Staffing and Recruiting Industry

  • Canada’s staffing and recruiting industry group represents about two million temporary workers or 13.6% of the country’s workforce. (Statistics Canada)
  • The staffing and recruiting industry generates more than $15 billion in revenue toward Canada’s economy.
  • The industry supports the following functions: information technology (IT); engineering; administrative support; sales & business development; finance & accounting; human resources; professional/managerial services; healthcare; and industrial services.
  • The industry is primarily engaged in:
    • Permanent placement
    • Temporary placement/staffing
    • Executive search
    • Co-employment staffing services
  • Many staffing and recruiting firms also offer:
    • Contract staffing
    • Temp-to-hire
    • Direct hire
    • Managed service provider (MSP)
    • Skills assessment
    • Training and upgrading
    • Payroll and benefits administration
  • Canada’s workers use staffing and recruiting firms’ services to:
    • Break into the workforce
    • Bridge to a permanent job
    • Access expert support to attain the most attractive offer, benefits and perks
    • Enhance their skills
    • Transition to a new career
    • Gain Canadian experience
    • Support side pursuits through flexible hours
    • Ease into retirement
  • Canadian businesses turn to staffing and recruiting firms’ services to:
    • Gauge employee fit before hiring
    • Access a wider range of talent, including candidates with specialized or scarce skills
    • Fill positions quickly
    • Adjust workforce to meet rapidly changing business needs (to special project, seasonal, long-term or unanticipated absence needs)

Statistics Canada Highlights for 2016 (most recent year on record)*

  • The employment services industry group generated $13.4 billion in operating revenue, with an operating profit margin of 3.6%.
  • More than 86.3% of total operating expenses went to salaries and subcontract expenses, followed by salaries, wages and benefits (58.9%) and subcontract expenses (27.4%).
  • Most of the industry’s operating revenue is generated by firms in Ontario ($7.8 billion or 58.5%), followed by those in Alberta (16.8%) and Quebec (13.5%).
  • Temporary staffing services contributed the most to the industry group's sales (50.4%), followed by: permanent placement and contract staffing services (40.3%); and other sales of goods and services (9.3%).
  • The business sector accounted for the majority of total sales in the industry (85.9%), followed by: government, not-for-profit organizations and public institutions (11.1%); and individuals and households outside Canada (0.7%).
  • E-commerce sales represented 1.6% of total sales made by the employment services firms.

*Source: Statistics Canada Report on 2016 Survey of Employment Services - Modified: 2018-02-27

Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS)

  • The Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) or Association Nationale des Entreprises en Recrutement et Placement de Personnel is the national voice of the recruiting, employment and staffing services industry.
  • It was formed in 1998 when the Association of Professional Placement Agencies & Consultants (founded in 1962) merged with the Employment and Staffing Services Association of Canada (founded in 1968). 
  • ACSESS advances best practices, ethical standards and workplace safety for the staffing industry to foster its growth, as well as dignity and respect between all roles. ACSESS achieves this mandate through: research, professional development, government relations, advocacy and resources for its members.
  • Specifically, ACSESS:
    • Keeps industry members informed of legislation and regulatory changes that may affect their businesses and responsibilities as employers.
    • Hosts professional development initiatives and administers its Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) Certification Program.
    • Represents the staffing industry and its membership to government through input on employment legislation and regulations at national and provincial levels.
    • Promotes the industry’s credibility and visibility to business, government and the public.
    • Provides members with strategic support services, programs and tools.
  • Its CPC Certification Program candidates must meet: post-secondary education; length of service in the industry; compliance with the Code of Ethics; and testing requirements.

ACSESS Members

  • Corporate members are independent organizations engaged in providing permanent placement, temporary placement/staffing, executive search, contract and co-employment staffing services to the public sector and business community in Canada.  
  • ACSESS has 400 corporate members and represents more than 1,500 branch offices across Canada.
  • Members are represented by eight chapters, which include: British Columbia (Vancouver); Alberta (Calgary); Saskatchewan (Regina); Manitoba (Winnipeg); Toronto; Capital City (Ottawa); and Quebec (Montreal).
  • Member companies pledge to uphold its Code of Ethics & Standards. They commit to an industry that empowers clients to respond to business realities and changing technologies, while offering all levels of workers a growing range of employment opportunities.
  • ACSESS members represent more than of 85% of the total volume of business in the staffing services industry in Canada.

For further information, contact:

Mary McIninch, B.A, LL.B (Membre du Barreau du Quebec)
Executive Director, Government Relations/Directrice Générale, ACSESS
At or by telephone 905-826-6869 | Toll-free 888-232-4962