Employees irked over stalled wage hikes ‘ready to be lured away’

Study suggests employers share the blame for Canada’s widespread labour shortages

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Employers share the blame for Canada’s current labour shortage and a potentially “extreme” increase in staff turnovers this year, according to the eighth annual Hays Canada Salary Guide, which found that stagnant wage increases and a reliance on temporary workers are common.

“Employers appear to have an increasing appetite for hiring temporary and contract help while offering teams salary increases of less than 3%,” the influential survey contends.

Nearly 75% of employers surveyed by Hays believe there is a skills shortage in Canada.

In Metro Vancouver the construction industry, restaurants and retailers are among sectors facing a shortage of workers.

Hays also found that 90% of employees would consider leaving their current role for one that met their expectations – a sentiment the company believes might trigger considerable business-threatening employee departures in 2018.

“The dark days of the downturn are a fading memory for most of Canada’s employers, but our research shows they’re staring down the barrel of extreme retention challenges,” said Rowan O’Grady, president, Hays Canada. “Frankly, employees have already told us they are ready to be lured away. All the warning signs are there, and those who refuse to acknowledge this reality are taking their biggest risk in at least five years.”

The survey found that 53% of employers expect to offer a salary increase of less than 3% in 2018, while only 7% said they would increase salaries by more than 5%.

When asked what the biggest challenge was in hiring workers, however, 54% of employers said it was applicant salary expectations.