A new survey of 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals by global talent services company Morgan McKinley has found that 45 per cent of professionals in Canada are looking to move roles in the next six months – down from the 76 per cent who said the same at the end of 2022.

The majority of professionals, 65 per cent say they are neutral, dissatisfied or highly dissatisfied with their current benefits packages. The five most desired benefits identified were health insurance, work from home, a pension, health and well-being support and life insurance.

Notably, 55 per cent of professionals said they were optimistic that they will receive salary increases in 2024. Just 43 per cent of employers said they planned to increase salary offers in 2024 for certain in-demand roles.

The report also indicates that poor recruitment experiences frustrated many candidates in 2023. “Those mandating return to office have found it challenging to find the right candidates, despite a saturated market,” they add.

Among the businesses surveyed, 60 per cent said hiring was very or quite competitive in 2023. The main barriers to recruitment in 2024 are no executive sign off for new hires, no budget to hire, lack of skilled candidates, uncompetitive pay and benefits and hiring process lengths.

“Employers will be counting on more from their current employees – having a formal retention strategy is vital,” says Ian Kinsella, managing director with Morgan McKinley Canada. “Offering meaningful benefits, with a clear focus on flexibility, will continue to play a key role.”