Cropped image of young woman holding resume over white

Half of Canadian workers plan to look for a new job in 2023, a nearly twofold increase from just a year ago, according to a new poll by recruitment firm Robert Half.

The survey conducted in the fall found 50% of respondents indicated they planned to search for a new job in the next six months.

That number has risen steadily over the last year and a half, from about 21% of employees on the hunt for a new job in June 2021 to 28% a year ago and 31% six months ago.

The latest polling found the workers most likely to make a career move include employees who have been with a company for two to four years, generation Z and millennials, tech workers and working parents.

The top reasons for searching for a new job include a higher salary, better benefits and perks, more advancement opportunities and greater flexibility to choose when and where they work.

The survey also found that nearly three in 10 professionals would consider quitting their job to pursue a full-time contracting career.

David King, senior managing director of Robert Half for Canada and South America, said many Canadian workers continue to have confidence in the job market despite news of layoffs and a hiring slowdown.

“Professionals with in-demand skills know they have leverage given the talent shortage, and are open to new opportunities that offer more fulfilling work, a higher salary, and improved perks and benefits,” he said in a statement.

Employers looking to land top talent this year should refine and streamline their hiring processes and showcase their company culture, Robert Half said.

When applying for positions, the top turn-offs for potential candidates include unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities, poor communication with the hiring manager and misalignment with the company culture and values.

“While we don’t know what the future holds as the labour market continues to evolve, prioritizing employee well-being, engagement and recognition will always be critical to attracting and retaining valued talent,” King said.

The independent online survey was conducted Oct. 17 to Nov. 7 and included more than 1,100 workers from multiple sectors including finance, technology, marketing and human resources, Robert Half said.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Canadian Research Insights Council, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

The latest jobs data from Statistics Canada, for December 2022, is set to be released Friday.