Chamber & Mohawk College Launch “Now Hiring Hamilton”, resources to address hiring, retention challenges for businesses

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Hamilton-area businesses facing workforce challenges now have more tools to help them find, hire and retain employees, with the launch of a new series of resources from Now Hiring Hamilton.

Now Hiring Hamilton – a collaboration between the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Mohawk College, Workforce Planning Hamilton and the Economic Development Department of the City of Hamilton – released the final report of its research as well as a series of online resources for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city. As well, employers will now have access to a library of information and sources to help them modify their HR policies and their onboarding, training and retention strategies.

Led by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Now Hiring Hamilton was established in June 2021 to extensively survey the Hamilton SME landscape to identify the needs, existing resources, and gaps in resources that businesses face – particularly in the context of COVID-19 recovery. That research has been collected and analyzed to produce a comprehensive final report that details the challenges facing SMEs in Hamilton, along with three companion resource guides to help them overcome those workforce challenges.

Key findings detailed in the report, Now Hiring Hamilton: Workforce Development and Retention Strategies for SMEs, include:

  • Recruitment is challenging for SMEs due to a significant mismatch between jobseeker expectations and what the employer is able to offer.
  • The high cost of living in Hamilton, and competition among employers to recruit, has created retention challenges as SMEs try to keep wages at pace with inflation.
  • Jobseekers of younger generations are very interested in how a job can become a career.
  • The qualified candidate pool is too small, and that those seeking entry-level employment often lack one or more basic skills.
  • SMEs are missing out on potential candidates because they are not equipped with the tools they need to facilitate inclusive, equitable, and diverse hiring (EDI).

Based on the report’s findings, the three Now Hiring Hamilton Resource Guides were developed: Recruitment & Hiring; Retention & Onboarding Essentials; and Workforce Development Essentials.

This initiative was funded by the Ontario Labour Market Partnership, supported by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

The full report, resource guides and community asset map can be found at


“Mohawk College is proud to play a role in Now Hiring Hamilton, helping employers to better understand the workforce landscape,” said Alison Horton, VP Academic at Mohawk College. “Through the college’s involvement in the collection and analysis of the project research, we hope to help small and medium-sized businesses establish practices that will address their workforce challenges and create fulfilling, productive and lasting jobs in Hamilton.”

“The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has stood by businesses since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Marie Nash, Interim CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “We have heard about the challenges they face with recruitment and retention, especially as the workforce changes. The Now Hiring Hamilton project and its resources are a direct line of support for SMEs to help them with their workforce development priorities.”

“Getting people and businesses back on their feet starts by investing in local businesses,” said Deepak Anand, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to support Now Hiring Hamilton, which will set small-to-medium-sized businesses up for long-term success and boost jobs and prosperity in the region.”

“I commend the partners who have collaborated on the Now Hiring Hamilton initiative,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “Our government recognizes that the inability of employers to find the skilled and qualified workers they need is an impediment to our economic recovery. The additional tools being offered to the business community to recruit and retain employees will help to grow the economy in Hamilton and around the Golden Horseshoe.”


An Ontario Labour Market Partnership is a project funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. The OLMP program provides financial assistance to local communities, sector groups, employee/employer associations, and employers in developing and implementing strategies for addressing and responding to local economic (employment) development, labour force adjustments and human resource planning.