New poll reveals two-thirds of Canadians ready to leave their job

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December 2021

Findings from a recent Hays Specialist Recruitment survey show two-thirds of Canadians (65%) are seriously considering leaving their current role. The new figures represent a 16-point spike over last year’s high of 49 per cent as employees cite factors including compensation, well-being, declining job satisfaction and a lack of career growth. Hays experts say the country’s rebounding economy and tightening job market are contributing to a worsening staff retention crisis and warn that employers should brace themselves for a long, difficult road ahead.

When asked about well-being, only 34 per cent of employees describe it as either positive (34%) or somewhat positive (48%) and a combined 18 per cent report feeling somewhat or very negative. Employee sentiments also show a year-over-year decline in job satisfaction (51% versus 58% one year ago). As the country’s post-pandemic recovery gains momentum, most employees appear to be directing their energy into quitting their current job and finding work elsewhere. 

Confirming that staff departures are more than empty talk are Hays’ numbers that show staff have already begun their exit. Forty per cent of employers concede that people have walked over higher compensation offered elsewhere and they are having difficulty filling vacancies. 

Some might assume the salary issue will be resolved in the final weeks of the calendar year, a time when staff typically receive raises however, employers have other ideas. Less than a quarter (23%) of employers say they will increase salaries and where raises do happen, staff can expect conservative amounts between one and five per cent, which is only a slight bump over 2021 when nearly three quarters of salaries were frozen.

While findings show that the talent struggle is real, employers were asked about their other strategies for retaining staff. Encouragingly, half are building better communication and 39 per cent are focused on improving company culture – moves considered critical when much of the country’s labour force is still working remotely. Employers have also started making changes in support of their teams including encouraging people to take vacation, actively promoting work-life-balance and mental-health days.

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