Employers Ready to Spend on Top Talent but Slow to Grow Hiring

With a new year comes the need for new talent and Canadian companies are willing to spend. Findings from the 10th annual Hays Canada Salary Guide show the majority (66%) of the country’s employers are ready to exceed payroll budgets to attract new hires and more than a third (34%) plan to boost salaries for existing staff in the year ahead.

“It’s great to see companies tackling compensation issues but our data shows that workplace dissatisfaction is growing alongside employers’ plans to slow the pace of hiring in 2020,” said Rowan O’Grady, President, Hays Canada. “More pay is always a good thing but it won’t solve issues around staff morale or career development. Larger paycheques are typically eclipsed by heightened stress and staff burnout. Balancing pay with adequate staffing is a crucial consideration.”

The other side of the coin is that fewer employers will increase headcount says Hays Canada. Despite a general state of economic optimism, only 40% of companies said they will take on additional permanent staff over the next year — a 12% year-over-year drop that could worsen workplace stress, morale and efficiency.

Drawn from survey responses from more than 3,000 employers and employees across the country, the 2020 Hays Canada Salary Guide revealed that 62% of employers believe their industry will grow over the next year. Hays analyzed salary trends over five years and found that raises of more than 3% are on the rebound. At the same time, hiring activity is expected to slow as employers opt to do more with fewer resources. This comes at a point when 58% of employee respondents expressed serious interest in leaving their current role citing factors including pay dissatisfaction, lack of career advancement and weak company culture.  Heading into 2020, more than three-quarters (79%) of employers said they suffer from a skills shortage while nearly half (47%) report local competition for talent and compensation is among their biggest hiring obstacles.

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