COVID-19 influencing how and where Canadians work

Randstad Canada – a leader in the HR services industry – has revealed its annual career forecast for 2021. While the initial shock of the pandemic may have worn off, its impact on the Canadian economy and workforce remains. In response, Randstad Canada has focused its career forecast for 2021 on two key areas: the fastest growing roles and the most in-demand remote roles. Both lists reflect the changes Canadians have experienced in their professional and personal worlds since March 2020.

“Resilience and agility are often discussed together, but in the context of COVID-19, 2020 tested our resilience, while 2021 will be the true test of our agility,” said Carolyn Levy, President, Randstad Technologies. “The shifts and trends we see in 2021 will be with us for a long time to come.”

in demand in 2021: fastest growing roles

For jobseekers, skills related to e-commerce, IT, security and healthcare will see the greatest demand. The fastest growing roles for 2021 reflect the increase in online purchases, the shift to remote work, the need for skilled healthcare professionals, as well as heightened precautions and sanitation measures in workplaces of every type.

The fastest growing roles in 2021:

  • Customer service representatives
  • Delivery drivers
  • Essential retail workers
  • Security analysts and architects
  • Administrative assistants
  • Procurement and supply chain specialists
  • IT and support desk specialists
  • Warehouse workers
  • Cleaners and maintenance workers
  • Registered nurses

Canada’s health care system faced a shortage of registered nurses before the pandemic. The influx of COVID-19 patients at hospitals, clinics, long-term care homes and other healthcare facilities has made the shortage of registered nurses more acute than ever. The same is true for IT personnel.

“Initially, organizations were focused on making sure their workforce had the technology they needed to remain operational, now the focus is on the long-term need for security. As a result, IT professionals, support desk specialists and security analysts will be among the most sought-after professionals in the years ahead,” Levy adds. “From a recruitment perspective, this will be challenging because the demand exceeds supply and skilled workers from other countries face challenges with immigration due to the pandemic.”

In recent years, retail workers and cashiers have appeared on Randstad’s top job lists. This year, the focus is exclusively on essential retail – such as grocery, pharmacies, bulk and discount stores. Online purchases are driving demand for customer service reps, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to get packages from warehouse or retail location to buyers – while procurement and supply chain specialists oversee logistics behind all of these operations.

no office, no problem: the most in-demand remote work roles

For many Canadian workers, the shift to remote work was sudden and dramatic. After the initial adjustment period, abandoning the commute and working from home has presented significant upsides.

“The pandemic has resulted in a permanent shift in how and where we work,” says Levy. “Remote work will become the default for many organizations. Leading employers are rethinking the role of traditional office spaces, and supporting their employees with home office set-up subsidies, and the technology their workforce requires.”

For jobseekers who want to continue working from the comfort and safety of home, the most in-demand remote work roles to look for in 2021 demand a range of different skill sets, ranging from sales and marketing, to IT support, administration and project management.

The most in-demand remote work roles in 2021:

  • Call centre representative
  • Administrative assistant
  • Help desk and IT support
  • HR administrator
  • IT consultant
  • Data analyst
  • Digital marketer
  • Accountant
  • Social media manager
  • Project manager

While it’s easy to see how these roles transition from the office to a remote setting, Levy stresses the needs for employers to think carefully about how they create and maintain a strong culture during this shift.

“This is a new situation for most employers and workers – the organizations that are thriving are those that had a strong culture and sense of purpose before the pandemic,” Levy notes. “Leading a remote team demands more from managers and building connections digitally is a new skill-set for most. While technology makes it possible, it can only succeed if organizations lead with empathy, and invest in building human connections in the digital world.”

Randstad Canada uses proprietary data and analytics to develop its list of fastest growing roles and best remote work roles. At, the company has also shared the top skills for jobseekers and the biggest job losses in 2021.

about randstad canada

Randstad Canada is a leader in the HR services industry and specializes in flexible work solutions. As a trusted partner in the digital world of talent, we combine the expertise and passion of our people with the most innovative HR technologies to support talent and organizations in realizing their true potential.

For more information or to book an interview with Carolyn Levy, please contact Melanie Thomas at