Canada invests in talent – despite COVID-19 crisis

Failing to reward talent with an attractive compensation package could spell disaster for organizations

Canada invests in talent – despite COVID-19 crisis

Are you rewarding your MVPs with the right compensation package?

Four in five employers in Canada (82%) are concerned about losing top talent because of pay issues amid the COVID-19 crisis. However, companies that are aiming to recruit highly skilled employees are open to negotiating their offer and winning over the best of the best, new data from staffing firm Robert Half suggest.

The situation is increasingly challenging given the pressures of doing business during a global health and financial crisis.

“The pandemic has caused organizations to shift into high gear, and many employees have taken on heavier workloads,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half in Canada.

Failing to reward talent with an attractive compensation package could spell disaster for organizations – but it’s a reality that many have to contend with in the midst of a cash crunch.

“Although some companies are offering non-monetary perks such as options for greater flexibility in the workday or access to important health and wellness resources, many have also been forced to reduce or freeze salaries,” King said.

“Because of this, employers have growing concerns about their ability to retain high-performing employees as they continue to weather the economic impact of COVID-19,” he said.

Managers who are worried about their current pay structure cite the impact of salary reductions and pay freezes on their ability to hire and retain valuable talent (41%), Robert Half found.

Read more: How COVID-19 is hurting women's confidence at work

Investing in talent
Despite these worries, however, Canadian employers are willing to provide new hires with compensation that “meets or exceeds pre-pandemic numbers,” the firm said.

More than half of companies hiring amid the pandemic (56%) report starting salaries have remained stable throughout the crisis. One in five employers (19%), meanwhile, have raised their offers.

A quarter of businesses surveyed – particularly midsize companies with at least 500 employees and those in the technology sector – are more open to pay negotiations now than they were last year.

Read more: Are you investing in a strong people culture?

Even in a pandemic, employers are willing to invest in high-calibre professionals who have the right skills and expertise and who can support shifting business priorities, the study suggests.

“When it comes to negotiating job offers, not only do these candidates have an edge, but we’re finding employers are also more open to discussing compensation earlier in the hiring process,” King said. “Now is a critical time to be aware of current salary trends to ensure you’re prepared to offer the competitive salaries needed to quickly secure top talent.” 

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