Industry Statistics


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 2017 (most recent year on record)*

  • The employment services industry group realized total operating revenues of $14.5 billion in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016. Most of this revenue was reported by businesses in Ontario (58.3%), Alberta (16.1%) and Quebec (14.5%).
  • Temporary staffing services generated 51.0% of the revenue from sales of goods and services in 2017, followed by permanent placements and contract staffing services (39.6%). The main clients for this industry group were Canadian businesses, which accounted for 87.2% of total sales.
  • Operating expenses rose 6.1% to $13.9 billion in 2017. Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits (59.0%) and subcontracts (28.6%) were the main expense categories.
  • The operating profit margin (4.3%) in 2017 was up compared with the previous year (3.7%).

*Source: Statistics Canada Report on 2017 Survey of Employment Services - Released: 2019-02-14