As Canada's economic recovery plods on, a new poll suggests that some hiring managers are having a difficult time filling key positions.

Just over two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadian businesses are struggling to find skilled talent, a new poll from consultancy firm KPMG suggests. More than half of respondents said they are concerned they may need to recruit outside of Canada to fill vacant positions.

The findings suggest its employees with digital skills that are proving hard to find with nearly 80 per cent of businesses polled said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their business, and they now need more employees with IT skills.

“The pandemic clearly provided a catalyst for many businesses to accelerate their digital strategies,” sais Armughan Ahmad, digital president & managing partner at KPMG in Canada. “But implementing these strategies is becoming more difficult, as the competition for digitally-skilled talent is accelerating globally.”

“To address this, companies are looking inward for solutions, and upskilling their existing workforce to become more digitally focused. But for many businesses, these won’t be enough as they need to innovate and re-think their business models, which will also require access to global talent to fill highly specialized roles.”

While the talent pool may be thin, the poll did indicate that a number of positions will be opening in the near term.

Nearly seven out of every 10 business owners polled said they plan to hire more staff over the next three years. Cyber-security and data analytics came in as the top two skills businesses are looking for.

For this online survey KPMG polled 505 small and medium-sized businesses between Aug. 6 and Aug. 15.