Companies struggle to attract and keep key employees

Global survey also found the highly prized are highly stressed.

September 19, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — Companies worldwide, including a growing number in Canada, continue to struggle with attracting and retaining high-potential and skilled employees needed to increase their global competitiveness, according to a new report.

A global survey of 1,605 companies conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson also found that employees are experiencing high levels of stress, a trend that many employers and employees expect to continue for the next three years.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Canadian respondents cite problems attracting critical-skill employees while just over 40% are having difficulty attracting high-potential talent and roughly a third (35%) are finding it hard to attract top-performing workers. More than 30% also reported difficulty retaining critical-skill, high-potential and top performing employees.

The survey reveals a mismatch between what employers are offering and what employees are looking for. Canadian employees, including top talent, are more focused on competitive base pay and job security, while employers are emphasizing other items such as challenging work and the organization’s reputation as a good employer.

The study also found that Canadian employees continue to experience high levels of stress at work. Close to half (47%) of Canadian respondents indicate that employees often experience excessive pressure in their job and 65% report their employees have been working more hours than normal during the past three years.

Fifty-three per cent expect to maintain this trend for the next three years.