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Employers optimistic about 2016 but staff issues loom

Hays study says lack of training, succession planning and an inability to hire pose challenges


Employers are focusing on salary, company culture and benefit packages

Employers are focusing on salary, company culture and benefit packages

TORONTO — Canadian employers may be optimistic about their business prospects but they face they face major vulnerabilities related to staff going into 2016, says a salary study by Hays Canada.

Findings of the sixth annual Hays Salary Guide reveals looming staff retention and recruitment problems, a lack of succession planning and reputational issues, which the Toronto-based recruitment specialist says could ultimately spell big trouble for Canadian employers.

Conducted in October, the Hays 2016 salary guide found nearly three-quarters of respondents anticipated business increases during the year, however only 46% actually saw gains, and they noted business activity was down more than 10% versus 2014 levels, suggesting the unsteady economy caught many off guard.

Many businesses report staff are under considerable pressure but efforts to alleviate burnout and low morale over the past year have had no effect. To help lighten the workload, half said they plan to hire staff in 2016 but lack the resources to properly recruit new hires. Nearly one-third don’t offer competitive salaries or are unaware of current market rates. A quarter said finding candidates was more difficult in 2015 than previous years.

Employee advancement and succession is a low priority, yet employers believe Canada suffers from a skills shortage, which is often due to a lack of staff development.

Hays asked if recent graduates or more junior candidates were a hiring option and 65% said they aren’t actively recruiting them, citing a lack of industry knowledge, soft skills, loyalty costs and training costs.

Here are some additional survey highlights:

• 77% of Canadian employers have moderate to extreme difficulty recruiting talent.

• 61% have moderate to extreme difficulty holding onto staff.

• 29% of employees will leave an organization that doesn’t support their career development goals. Half of employers recognize the importance of career development goals to their employees, but choose instead to focus on salary, company culture and benefit packages

• 42% of employers feel that the skills shortage has resulted in productivity issues

• 49% of Canadian employers find social media to be an effective tool for recruiting staff.

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