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Half of Canadian workers are looking, or plan to look, for a new job: Survey

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January 4, 2023
By Talent Canada

Photo: fizkes/Getty Images

Take a look around your workplace: Odds are that half of your staff are polishing their resumes and looking for a new job, according to a new survey.

Despite the economic uncertainty, the survey by staffing firm Robert Half found many workers are eyeing greener pastures in the new year.

According to the company’s biannual Job Optimism Survey of more than 1,100 professionals in Canada, half of respondents are currently looking or plan to look for a new role in the first half of 2023, up from 31 per cent six months ago.

Most likely to make a move

Those most likely to make a career move in early 2023 are:

  • Gen Z and Millennials (56 per cent)
  • Technology professionals (57 per cent)
  • Employees who have been with their company for two to four years (61 per cent)
  • Working parents (55 per cent)

“Many Canadian workers continue to have confidence in the job market despite news of layoffs and a slowdown in hiring,” said David King, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half, Canada and South America. “Professionals with in-demand skills know they have leverage given the talent shortage, and are open to new opportunities that offer more fulfilling work, a higher salary, and improved perks and benefits.”

The call of contracting and ‘employers past’

Increased demand for contract talent may be why nearly three in 10 professionals (29 per cent) are considering quitting their job to pursue a full-time contracting career. Returning to a previous employer is also a consideration with four in 10 professionals willing to go back to a former company if given a salary equal to or higher than their current pay.

Job search motivators

For the fourth Job Optimism Survey in a row, money ranked as the top motivator for making a career move. Workers said the main reasons they plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2023 are:

  • A higher salary (62 per cent)
  • Better benefits and perks (39 per cent)
  • Better advancement opportunities (30 per cent)
  • Greater flexibility to choose when and where they work (27 per cent)

Employers looking to land top talent in 2023 should refine and streamline hiring processes and showcase their company culture. When applying for positions, top turn-offs that cause candidates to lose interest are:

  • Unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities (55 per cent)
  • Poor communication with the hiring manager (46 per cent)
  • Misalignment with the company culture and values (35 per cent)

“While we don’t know what the future holds as the labour market continues to evolve, prioritizing employee well-being, engagement and recognition will always be critical to attracting and retaining valued talent,” added King.

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