Last Updated on June 14, 2022 by Stacey Smith

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We started the year with an unprecedented combination of low unemployment, growing inflation and another surge in COVID cases. In the face of such uncertainty, the employers we surveyed were looking for more money, more training and more flexibility to fill key roles in multiple sectors. Here are some of the highlights.

Show them the money!

Wages and total compensation are rising fast as prices surge and affordability becomes a key concern.  About 1/3 of respondents have increased wages for existing employees, and half plan to increase them at some point in 2022. While most indicate increases of less than 5%, they may need to revisit this if gas, housing and grocery bills continue to climb.

On the talent acquisition side, 40% have already increased wages for new hires, with another 40% planning to do so this year. Interestingly, 40% also say they will be using signing bonuses this year.

A balancing act

While 80% of respondents are seeking less experience for new hires than in the past, very few are relaxing their skills requirements. In fact, we’re seeing a strong focus on skills training for both new and existing employees, which may reflect recruiters’ focus on Gen Y and Gen Z candidates. According to the Harvard Business Review[1], younger workers, whose skills development in post-secondary education or first jobs was interrupted by the pandemic, are hungry for the opportunity to learn essential skills.

Snagging these younger employees is also a driving factor in a renewed focus on improved candidate experiences. In fact, 100% of our respondents say they are improving their application process and increasing candidate transparency and communication.

Flexibility rules

All of our respondents said they are offering flexible work hours and shifts as part of their recruitment marketing, particularly as part of their strategy to attract younger talent. While flexibility is key for new hires, only 2/3 of respondents are using flexible schedules as part of their talent retention strategies.

Other highlights:

  • Health and wellness benefits top the list of perks for both talent acquisition and retention
  • 40% are looking at unlimited vacation, fitness memberships and other perks
  • Most employers are promoting their ESG and DE&I programs to younger candidates
  • 90% of respondents are investing in their workplace culture this year

A big thanks to the busy talent acquisition professionals who contributed these important insights. If you would like to participate in future surveys (they only take a few minutes, we promise), click here to receive the link each month.

If you would like to see the full summary of our Q1 results, click here.

HirePower works with some of Canada’s top employers to help them understand the latest talent market trends. Connect with us to learn more about how we can help you find, grow and keep the right talent for your organization.


[1] https://hbr.org/2020/06/what-your-youngest-employees-need-most-right-now