Any Canadian employers struggling with the labour shortage might be best served to tout the ability to achieve a healthy work-life balance on their job postings, according to a new poll.

A survey released by ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion on Wednesday found that work-life balance has ousted salary and benefits as a top employment perk for many Canadian workers.

Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of respondents said their work-life balance is more important to them compared to pre-pandemic times, with that number rising to 39 per cent of people surveyed who work remotely.

Workers' salary was the second-most sought after perk with 25 per cent of respondents ranking it as their top priority when looking for a job.

It “appears to be the first time ever” that salary and benefits have not been ranked as a number one employment perk, according to Heather Haslam, vice president of marketing at ADP Canada.

“The data shows there has been a significant shift in what working Canadians value within their current workplace,” she said in a release.

The survey also found 15 per cent of workers voluntarily changed jobs or left the workforce altogether during the pandemic – a number that rises to 22 per cent among remote workers.

Respondents said some of their reasons for leaving their job were personal life changes, wanting a reduced workload and stress, and more flexible hours.

Haslam noted those three reasons underscored a desire for a better work-life balance and said employers will have to consider these changing priorities if they hope to attract and retain top talent.

“This data draws a clear picture of what working Canadians are looking for, and what workplaces should be prioritizing as we move forward,” she said.

“Work and life are not independent entities fighting for a 50/50 balance,” she said. “Companies need to acknowledge work and life are intertwined with one affecting the other.”

The online survey was conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 3, and polled 3,032 Canadian adults with a +/- 2.2 per cent margin of error.