Compensation isn't the single driving force for Canadians when evaluating a job opportunity. This is a key conclusion in the inaugural report from Hays Canada which collected data from more than 3,000 working and nonworking Canadians in August 2013. A combination of less traditional remunerable factors including benefits, career progression, company culture/reputation and "new challenges" at work are defining what success looks like.

According to the Hays report What People Want 2013 71 per cent of Canadians would accept a reduction in pay for a new job opportunity that met benefits, career progression and company reputation expectations.  Forty-three per cent are willing to take a 20 per cent reduction in base salary for an opportunity to potentially earn more through performance based bonuses* highlighting how many Canadians can be motivated by setting clear challenges. Almost half (43 per cent) rank "place within the organization's hierarchy" as more important than job title.

"The generational mix of Canadian employees is altering how we define success at the workplace," said Rowan O'Grady, President, Hays Canada. "We've long heard about rising interest in work life balance, but businesses that stop there when creating employee packages will miss the mark. In virtually every sector we're seeing that employee demands are much more nuanced, and that traditional hallmarks of success such as job title and salary level are being replaced by a combination of measures that build a more rounded workplace identity."


  • A performance related bonus is the most popular benefit that the Canadian labour force wants added to a benefits package.
  • 34% would accept a reduction in pay of up to 10% if offered an ideal job – 25% would accept a 10% to 20% pay cut.
  • 75% are unwilling to accept less vacation time as part of a new job offer.
  • 55% would be willing to give up flexible work options for an opportunity that had ideal career growth, compensation and company culture.
  • After compensation, career growth is the second most important factor when evaluating a new job offer.
  • "New challenges" are the most important factor for professional development superseding paid-for education and internal training.
  • 60% aspire to mid to senior levels of management, only 10% aspire to C-suite level.

Hays Canada's What People Want 2013 report collected data from more than 5,000 Canadian professionals, from 16 industries and 20 functional departments ranging from administration to C-level executives. To download a free copy of visit