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The Big Stay: 77% Hesitant to Move Jobs Due to Job Security

  • 77% not looking for a new role due to concerns around job security in new firm
  • 80% put job security over pay, when considering a new role
  • 65% state that the economy plays a ‘significant role’ in whether to move jobs
  • 74% of companies say that questions around job security come up during the interview process
  • 82% of companies have seen an increase in job offer declines this year
  • 67% of companies are now trying to be more ‘transparent’ about their company performance, in order to attract professionals who may be concerned over stability
  • 27% not transparent at all about their financial health, for fear of putting professionals off applying.


Over three quarters of Canadian professionals (77%) have admitted that fears around job security is preventing them from moving jobs.

Two thirds (64%) have stated that job security is a concern (on varying scale) when considering a new role, while 13% admit that fears around new job security has stopped them from applying for a new role in its entirety.

The findings come from a recent poll from global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters – which unveils the unprecedented number of professionals who are choosing to remain with their current employer, a phenomenon which the recruitment firm calls ‘The Big Stay.’

Martin Fox, Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada comments:

 “It was just three years ago where we saw evidence of The Great Resignation – where professionals were taking new job opportunities at a record high, which was also matched with high new starter salaries.

“The emergence of ‘The Big Stay’ is testament to the volatility of the economy – which has had a severe dent on business and employee confidence.

“On the one side we are seeing a month-on-month decline in the number of new permanent job roles – underpinned by risk averse organizations trying to be cost conscious. And on the other side – employees are choosing to stay put, and in the process sacrificing better pay, progression, and skills development that they could gain elsewhere, in the belief that they may be more ‘secure.’

“Economic growth is underpinned by labor movement – organizations need fresh perspectives in order to remain competitive, and employees need movement in order to not remain stagnant or pigeonhole themselves. Statistically professionals who move jobs more often will earn more over their working life than someone who has chosen to stay put.

“A prolonged trend of ‘The Big Stay’ will be counterproductive for Canada’s economy.”

Shift in Priorities

An overwhelming 80% of Canadians state that they would now prioritize job security over pay – with over a quarter (27%) admitting that this was not something that ‘crossed their mind’ before, but does now.

In fact, 74% of Canadian employers stated that prospective employees now bring up the topic of ‘job security’ during the hiring process - with 53% stating that this has been a more recent occurrence in 2024.

When asked further on renewed priorities, two thirds of professionals (65%) state that the state of the economy plays a ‘significant role’ in their decision on whether to move roles – with inflation (40%), unemployment rates (21%), and GDP growth (4%) being primary considerations.

Martin adds: “There is clearly a lot playing on the minds of professionals at the moment – even if a company can promise job security, the unstable economic environment is casting some serious doubts over any important life and/or career changes.”

Companies Struggle to Attract

82% of hiring managers stated that they have noticed an increase in prospective employees declining job offers in 2024 – with the large majority (52%) stating that this is down to salary or culture fit, followed by concerns around job security (16%) or company stability (14%).

As a result, 67% of companies have stated that they have made changes to their recruitment strategies in order to address concerns prospective employees may have over job security – these include; sharing growth plans (52%), and being upfront about company performance (11%).

Just 4% have stated that they are more open about industry challenges – with many companies worried this may deter professionals from joining them.

When it comes to the financial health and long-term company plans, organizations are increasingly taking a more transparent approach – a third claim that they are now very transparent (34%), followed by somewhat transparent (24%) and slightly transparent (15%).

Over a quarter (27%) state that they are not at all transparent about financial health of the company during the recruitment process.

Martin adds: “It’s a tricky one for employers to know whether some details about an organization may deter professionals from accepting a job offer. However, from my experience, when a company is fully transparent about their financial position or industry barriers – this only helps to ensure that the ‘right fit’ accepts the job and is frankly ‘up for the challenge.’ 



About Robert Walters

With more than 4,300 people in 31 countries, Robert Walters Group deliver recruitment consultancy, staffing, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services across the globe. From traditional recruitment and staffing to end-to-end talent management, our consultants are experts at matching highly skilled people to permanent, contract and interim roles across all professional disciplines, including; Accounting & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Engineering, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Sales & Marketing, Secretarial & Support, Supply Chain & Procurement. www.robertwaltersgroup.com

For media enquiries contact:                        

Georgia Peglar

Senior Marketing Executive, Robert Walters Canada

E: georgia.peglar@robertwalters.com

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