Serious Labour Shortages Mean Employers In Canada Increasingly Recruit Tech Workers Abroad

Serious Labour Shortages Mean Employers In Canada Increasingly Recruit Tech Workers Abroad
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Tech jobs in Canada are increasingly being filled by foreign candidates as employers turn to international recruiting to fill positions going begging for a lack of qualified candidates to fill them. 

This means there are opportunities for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate through the Express Entry system.

“As digital dependency increases and new technologies drive change across all industries, tech jobs are rising,” reports human resources giant Randstad. “Companies continue to report skills shortages, leading to shifts in the average salary expectations for top jobs in tech.

“Employers are looking for qualified candidates who can develop and refine technology solutions and use data analysis to streamline existing systems. Other trending jobs in the tech sector involve developing security systems that reduce the risk of data breaches and building the architecture to support stable business cloud computing systems.”

In its Best IT and Tech Jobs in Canada for 2023 report on its website, Randstad lists the eight tech jobs that are in greatest demand in Canada this year.

They are, with their corresponding National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes:

  • Developer/Programmer (NOC 21232)
  • Business System Analyst/Administrator (NOC 21221)
  • Data Analyst /Scientist (NOC 21223)
  • Quality Assurance Analyst (NOC 21222)
  • Security Analyst/Architect (NOC 21220)
  • Cloud Architect (NOC 20012)
  • IT Project Manager (NOC 21311)
  • Network Engineer (NOC 22220)

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In April, the job-hunting website listed 3,094 jobs for software developers across the country, 368 for data analysts, 634 for cloud architect, and 775 for network engineers alone.  And the federal government’s Job Bank job-hunting and career-planning website rates the prospects for jobs in this sector as “good” to “very good” across the country for at least the next three years.

“Salaries are very competitive in the tech sector, in part due to severe skills shortages,” notes Randstad.

“In 2022, average salaries ranged from $51,900 to $154,300, though certain positions might pay even more. Expectations for salaries in 2023 have shifted slightly, with an average range of $74,000 to $130,600 and a median of $100,100.”

IT Jobs Among The Most In-Demand Through The Express Entry System

IT professionals are among the most often sought-after by employers looking to recruit foreign nationals through the Express Entry system. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data reveals software engineers and designers, information systems analysts and consultants, and computer programmers and interactive media developers were the top three occupations of new permanent residents immigrating to Canada under the Express Entry system in 2019 and 2020. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration to Canada was greatly affected due to travel and public health restrictions but those three occupations remained in the top six in 2021, the IRCC data shows.


In November last year, the Canadian immigration department adopted the National Occupational Classification 2021 and, then, earlier this year, upgraded its immigration plan to allow even more foreign nationals to become new permanent residents of Canada.

In its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Ottawa has set the target for 2023 at 465,000 new permanent residents. The country is to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and another 500,000 in 2025.

That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.

Foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada can do so through one the three Express Entry system programs and apply for permanent residency online if they meet the eligibility criteria. 

Canada’s Express Entry System Has Three Federal Programs For Immigration

Those three Express Entry programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST) and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC).

There are also participating provincial immigration programs which use the Express Entry system.

Candidates’ profiles are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 60 days.

If you are a candidate looking for a Canada job, or an employer looking to recruit foreign talent from abroad, can help. Access our expertise through our in-house recruitment enterprise, “the leader in foreign recruitment”.

Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can also nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada when they have the specific skills required by local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.

Canadian employers can also recruit and hire foreign nationals through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.

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