Looking for work? These industries are hiring in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic

As restaurants, bars and other businesses shut their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, laying off tens of thousands of people, there are other industries in the city looking to hire workers -- and and they're not just retail and cashier jobs.

Accounting, e-commerce and IT jobs need to be filled, recruiters say

Some companies are still hiring for a variety of professional positions, including advertising, marketing and creative roles. ( / Shutterstock)

As restaurants, bars and other businesses shut their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, laying off tens of thousands of people, there are other industries in the city looking to hire workers — and they're not just retail and cashier jobs. 

Sure, cashier positions are in abundance now at places like grocery stores, says Marc Belaiche, president of

But he urges job seekers to look closely at the postings coming out of Loblaw, Amazon and other companies like them experiencing a sudden hike in demand for online sales and deliveries from people who've been told to stay at home.

"Within those [companies] you have the other support mechanisms, like accounting, operations and management, that are all needed to handle [the retail] surge," said Belaiche, whose company deals with internet recruitment and staffing within the Great Toronto Area. 

There's also been a huge uptick in IT jobs as more people are working from home, says Belaiche. 

Digital ad agencies 'doing exceptionally well'

"E-commerce focused companies and digital advertising agencies are also doing exceptionally well during this time," said Trina Boos, president of Boost Agents. 

Recruiters urge people to look at the postings coming out of the food sector since grocery and delivery companies are looking for a variety of positions. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Boos's company recruits candidates for mid- to high-level positions in the marketing, communications, digital and creative sectors. Jobs are being posted, but she warns that there could be a lot of competition. 

"There's a lot of talent in the marketplace, really great talent ... temporarily laid off. It is a good time for companies who are looking to pick up great talent," said Boos. 

Hourly rates higher during COVID-19 pandemic

To help the thousands of servers, bartenders and cooks currently out of work, the mobile employment app Hyr is trying to connect them with businesses that have short-term needs. The company says it's taking steps to help workers in the gig economy suddenly in need of temporary work get the cash they need quickly.

The Hyr app, created in Toronto, connects businesses with workers who can fill in on a per-shift basis. It's now working to connect those let go because of COVID-19 with temporary work in other industries. (Submitted by Hyr)

"We've eliminated our service fee," said Joshua Karam, CEO at Hyr. 

"All the money that flows through Hyr goes directly into the pockets of those who need it most … They get the money deposited into their bank account within 72 hours," said Karam. 

There are more than 25,000 Canadians currently using the app and Karam says that number is growing daily. 

Some of the jobs being offered through Hyr are grocery order fillers, delivery drivers and security guard positions. 

The best part, Karam says, is that most of these gigs are receiving higher hourly pay than usual.

"We're seeing it across the board," he said. 

Walmart, Dollarama and some food-delivery companies like Goodfood announced last month that they'd be hiring more people during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep up with demand.

Recruiter tip: let people know you're out of work

The City of Toronto is also looking to bring on staff to help support six newly opened shelters for people experiencing homelessness. Duties for these positions include on-site support and cleaning. 

Meantime, if you are out of work and are planning on applying for the government's Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Belaiche says you should still let your professional circle know that you're out of a job, in case something comes up. 

He says opportunities could arise and if people know you're looking they could reach out to you directly. 

"Reconnect with old employers, former coworkers, update your resume and LinkedIn profile."