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Your role as an HR professional includes staying on top of your company’s hiring needs and employee turnover rates. However, this has become increasingly more difficult in today’s quickly changing and unpredictable work environment. Many workers are also making significant changes, like moving to flexible work arrangements or leaving the workforce altogether. This year’s continued economic uncertainty adds another layer of unpredictability.
Developing your annual hiring strategy can feel like a giant guessing game, in which you hope to outpace your company’s turnover rate.
Although turnover is an inevitable part of doing business, it’s important to understand when your turnover rate is too high.
Mercer surveys deliver turnover trends across industries, job roles, and demographics. Our survey results are your key to identifying turnover trouble spots and making plans for future talent needs.
The 2022 US Mercer Turnover Survey and Canada Turnover Survey provide valuable insights into which jobs and industries show the highest turnover and explore how companies plan to respond with recruitment and internal growth plans.
Let’s dig in!
Canada’s turnover insights look slightly more positive than those in the US, but still show an upward trend in turnover rates across all industries. Here are some specific results from Mercer’s Canadian turnover survey.
The 2023 Canadian survey shows that only 38.6% of businesses have plans to add staff this year, with only 18% planning to increase their headcount. Only 4.6% of organizations plan to reduce their staff this year. This means that many Canadian businesses are still planning for relatively high voluntary and involuntary turnover rates.
The average voluntary turnover rate in Canada during the latest survey period was 15.5%. This is an increase of 12.4% over last year’s result. This could be a sign that employees are still looking for more flexibility in their work environments or are feeling dissatisfied with their current employers.
The average involuntary turnover rate (where the business lets the employee go) was 4.1%, a decrease from 5.6% last year. These two numbers together could indicate that the labor market is still tight. Employees are taking advantage of better work situations, while businesses are holding on to more employees.
Canadian organizations saw the highest overall turnover rates in the following areas:
The industries with the lowest average turnover rates include Chemicals and Energy at 9.3% and 9.7%, respectively. These trends closely follow the results from the US survey.
Respondents also reported low turnover rates among employees in more experienced and higher paid positions, like executives and management, than in blue- and white-collar roles.
Canadian survey results showed slightly lower voluntary turnover percentages among specific functions than did US turnover rates. Here is a glimpse of some average voluntary turnover rates:
In Canada, the function with the highest average voluntary turnover percentage is Sales, Marketing, and Product Management, at 10.4%. The lowest average turnover rate by industry is Real Estate Management, Property Development, and Investment with a surprisingly low rate of just 1.0%. Interestingly, the Real Estate Management function also had the lowest average voluntary turnover rate in the US at 2.2%..
Of the 50.2% of Canadian companies who reported difficulty hiring or retaining employees, the Non-Financial Services sector is hurting the most, with 69.4% of companies having difficulty hiring employees. The industry that has the easiest time hiring employees is Life Sciences, with only 32.8% of organizations having difficulty.
The top five sectors where hiring is a challenge in Canada include:
Publicly traded organizations have the easiest time hiring new employees, while state-owned enterprises have the hardest time finding new employees, with 72.7% reporting difficulty.
Companies in this sector should devise a hiring strategy that ensures these challenging roles are filled quickly.
If your turnover rates are becoming unmanageable, consider investing in employee experience programs. It will always be cheaper and more beneficial to your organization to keep the employees you have instead of having to search for, hire, and train new ones.
Mercer offers an extensive lineup of employee experience tools to help create a more welcoming, modern work experience. Choose from products like:
The full survey takes you deeper into these categories, providing more specific information on turnover rates experienced by companies this past year. Use our reliable data and real results instead of guesswork to build your 2023 hiring strategy.
For more in-depth data on this essential topic, consult the US Mercer Turnover Survey or the Canada Mercer Turnover Survey.
For the latest insights on how the workforce is changing, consult Mercer’s Workforce Movement survey.