How to Start an Employment Agency in Canada

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An employment agency can link companies with high-quality employees.
An employment agency can link companies with high-quality employees. (Image: Logotype image by Max creative from Fotolia.com)

Canada is facing a growing labor shortage in certain specialized industries that is expected to continue until 2016. Despite Canada's proximity to the U.S., the fields in demand--for example physicians and engineers--have not been moving north in large numbers. Many entrepreneurs are looking for ways to fill this demand by opening an employment agency. You will still need to research the specific areas of demand; determine and comply with the regulations of the province; determine how to tap into the labor supply; and create relationships with companies or individuals that are looking for temporary or permanent employees.

Research areas where there is labor demand. Industries with the greatest demand include medicine, computer programming and many skill sets related to the extraction of oil and petroleum. Talk to human resource managers to determine specific needs and whether they would be willing to hire either temporary or permanent employees. Find out the salary that these managers would be willing to pay. Keep a record of the name, labor needs, and contact information for the HR managers. To find HR managers, call companies in the targeted industry or try to gain contacts through a HR organization, such as the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations.

Research and complete the regulatory requirements to open an employment agency for the province where you will be doing business. Each province has its own requirements. For example, Alberta mandates that an employment agency must be licensed by Service Alberta to do any business within the province, even if the company is not located there-- but supplies labor to companies located there. The regulations state that fees can only be charged to the employer, but not to the employee. Review the Canada Business website for all regulatory requirements.

Find labor talent for your clients. Employment agencies use different tools and strategies, including websites and recruiting agents that look for and sign up talent. Your strategy will depend on how short the labor supply is; the education level required; and the salaries that the industry will pay. Language proficiency in both English and French can also be a skill highly sought by Canada's employers. The higher the salary, the higher the amount of work you can expect to put into providing labor for your client company.

Call your human resources contacts. Once you start to get talented prospects signed up with your agency, and you have screened their qualifications, go back to your contact list of HR managers and make contact again. Always ask the HR manager if there are other managers that may need skilled employees. A referral can open doors to new demand for your business.

Tips & Warnings

  • The long-term survival and success of your business depends on keeping your clients and HR managers satisfied that you are looking out for their needs.
  • The screening process for job candidates is critical. An HR manager will give priority to an employment agency that provides prospects who meet the company's criteria.

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