Roughly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadians are seriously considering leaving their job because of issues such as compensation, declining job satisfaction and overall well-being, according to a new survey by Hays Specialist Recruitment Canada Inc.

The survey, based on responses from more than 4,200 employers and employees, found roughly 40 per cent of employers reported that staff have left for higher pay elsewhere. In addition, 83 per cent of employers are confident in the economic recovery and 53 per cent plan to increase their permanent head count. However, only 23 per cent said they plan to increase pay and those that do said they plan to give employees raises of between one and five per cent.

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When asked about their other strategies for retaining staff, roughly 50 per cent of employers said they’re building better communications and 39 per cent are focused on improving company culture. Employers have also started making changes in support of their teams, including encouraging employees to take vacation (59 per cent), actively promoting work-life-balance (53 per cent) and offering mental-health days (34 per cent).

Among employee respondents, nearly half (48 per cent) described their well-being as somewhat positive, followed by positive (34 per cent) or somewhat or very negative (18 per cent). Employee sentiments also showed a year-over-year decline in job satisfaction (51 per cent versus 58 per cent one year ago).

Read: Employers raising wages, offering bonuses amid labour shortages: surveys

Giving significant pay raises to current employees would create pressure to do the same for other staff with a similar position, said Travis O’Rourke, president of Hays Specialist Recruitment Canada, in a press release. “Employers are taking calculated risks and they’re letting people leave because it’s cheaper than giving everyone a raise.”

He said employers are finding it difficult to fill some roles, especially at the same pay rate, but that it’s generally more acceptable to pay a new hire more than current staff compared with giving only some existing staff a raise.

The staffing crunch will likely go well into next year and possibly even 2023, but at some point, there will have to be a reversal of current pay competition and some new staff with high pay might be let go, said O’Rourke. “The great resignation will turn into the great termination at some point. Everything is cyclical and some of the wages . . . and counter-offers we’re seeing thrown around out there are not sustainable.”

Read: Small businesses increasing wages, benefits to attract talent: survey