Many Canadian employers across the country are struggling to attract and retain talent as employees prioritize higher pay and flexible work profiles.

New survey data from human resources firm Robert Half show 35 per cent of workers said they’d look for a new job this year if they don’t receive a pay raise, while three in four said a flexible work schedule is the top perk they look for in a job.

Meanwhile, Robert Half found that 92 per cent of hiring managers said they face challenges hiring skilled talent. As a result, four in 10 employers said they plan to increase starting salaries in 2024 to attract and keep highly skilled workers.

The firm’s survey also found that 39 per cent of employers said they are adding new perks and benefits for their workers next year.


Nearly 40 per cent of surveyed workers said their greatest frustration about job hunting is not being offered a pay package in line with their expectations, and more candidates reported negotiating salary during the interview process.

It also found that 35 per cent of hiring managers reported an uptick in candidates negotiating compensation packages before they were hired.


Flexible work was prioritized by many of the surveyed professionals. Robert Half research found that six in 10 workers would rather stay in a job with flexible work options rather than accept a position with higher pay and “rigid in-office requirements.”

Nearly half of workers surveyed said they believe a hybrid schedule is the ideal work structure, and 54 per cent of hiring managers agreed.


Almost half of the workers surveyed said their greatest frustration was a lack of transparency from employers about pay and benefits, with 63 per cent of workers saying they would take themselves out of consideration for a role if the hiring employer did not provide salary ranges.

The survey also found that a slight majority of hiring managers were in favour of pay transparency, with around 54 per cent saying they believe including salary information in job postings helps attract qualified candidates and saves time in the interview process.

Across the board, significant percentages of both employers and workers lamented that the hiring process takes too long. Nearly half of employers said their biggest frustration was not being able to hire quickly enough to land the best available talent.


The data referenced is based on online surveys developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. Respondents included hiring managers and employees from small (less than $50 million in revenues), midsize ($50 million to $1 billion) and large ($1 billion or greater) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations across Canada.