Nearly a third (32 per cent) of Canadian small- and medium-sized employers are currently facing challenges in attracting employees, according to a new survey by ADP Canada.

The survey, which polled more than 750 Canadian business decision-makers and employees from SMEs, found, among those that reported difficulty attracting and retaining talent, 69 per cent said they’re taking action to combat it, including with compensation (29 per cent), flexibility (26 per cent) and increased benefits (20 per cent).

Read: Survey finds SMEs using benefits to attract, retain employees

However, 49 per cent reported not feeling worried about their ability to compete. Indeed, 21 per cent of SMEs cited having to let employees go due to inflation. More than half (53 per cent) reported feeling negatively about the Canadian economy and 19 per cent said the current economy was a primary source of stress. Notably, 47 per cent of respondents said they still feel optimistic, despite the current economic climate.

When asked about the benefits of working at a small business, respondents cited a closer relationship with management (42 per cent), a stronger team bond (41 per cent) and a better work-life balance (40 per cent).

Additionally, six in ten reported taking action to ensure operational needs are still met such as making their processes more efficient (19 per cent), becoming more personally involved in the end-to-end running of the business (17 per cent) and hiring individuals with skillsets previously unexplored (15 per cent).

Read: Labour shortages, employee retention among SMEs’ top business concerns for 2024: survey