ECO Canada

Cautious recruitment and safe spending necessary for survival in uncertain times


Source: ECO Canada

Last week 113 environmental organizations provided a glimpse at how the current challenging economic climate may be affecting the environmental sector.

According to participants, environmental organizations are struggling most to recruit in areas of science and engineering. They state two predominant challenges in recruiting for these positions – a lack of experienced workers in the sector and a lack of workers that properly match the organizations’ culture and work ethic.

Nearly all organizations state having taken at least some steps to better cope with the negative affects their businesses have felt due to economic conditions. Most operations are simply reducing unnecessary expenses such as staff functions and unneeded company travel while one-third of companies have resorted to freezing or cutting salaries.

The larger majority of organizations expect to be in a ‘cautious’ hiring frequency for the next 6 months – findings which have shifted since ECO Canada last asked the question in June 2009. The many organizations who expected to have no intention of hiring then, have now moved to a tentative outlook. Likewise, many operations that stated their expectations to be either consistent with past years or even potentially hiring at increased rates, in June 2009, have also shifted to a cautious forecast.


Question: “If your company’s strategic direction has changed over the past year, please describe some of the ways that it has shifted.”

“We are moving some of our market emphasis back to the industrial side of the business, after a couple of years of municipal focus.” Greg Jackson, President - ACG Technology Ltd.
“Our strategic direction has not really changed except to more aggressively apply, where possible, for government funding for environmental projects.” Jeff Mercer, Director of Finance & Administration - Paradigm Environmental Technologies, Inc.
“We are now more focused on internal optimization and long term strategy execution of our business.” Brenda Sweeney, Manager, Human Resources - Newalta Corporation

About ECO Canada’s Flash Poll Program:

The ECO Canada Flash Poll is a program aimed at collecting and relaying critical, timely research on human resources issues that matter to the Canadian environmental sector. The poll is delivered to employers and key industry professionals operating in a human resource capacity and the results which are generated within 5 days of the poll opening serve to inform media, government and industry leaders to assist in strategic planning and policy development.

About ECO Canada:

ECO Canada develops programs that help individuals build meaningful environmental careers, provides employers with resources to find and keep the best environmental practitioners, and informs educators and governments of employment trends to ensure the ongoing prosperity of this growing sector. For more information please visit:

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