Canada: Professionals' 2016 Starting Salary Growth 3.4 Percent, Survey Projects

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By Peter Menyasz

Sept. 14—Canadian employers expect to provide 3.4 percent increases in base starting salaries for new professional employees in 2016, smaller than the 3.7 percent growth projected for 2015, human resources consulting firm Robert Half said earlier this month.

The 2016 salary growth projection demonstrates that attracting and retaining skilled professionals remains a priority for Canadian organizations as competition for top talent heats up, Greg Scileppi, president of Half's international staffing operations division, said in a statement accompanying release of the firm’s 2016 Salary Guides.

“We are seeing this notably in the technology areas of big data and mobile application development, while finance and accounting, general accounting and business analysis skills continue to be in particularly high demand,” Scileppi said.

Why They Leave

The survey of 450 Canadian professional employees found that top factors prompting a move to another company include:

• bigger salary (cited by 71 percent of respondents),

• more growth opportunities (38 percent),

• better work-life balance (36 percent),

• shorter commute (24 percent) and

• better job title (16 percent).


The survey also found that it would take on average a 23 percent salary increase to convince professional workers to change companies.

What They're Paid

Starting salaries in 2016 are projected to increase in all major sectors included in the Salary Guides:

• technology (a 5 percent average increase) with high demand for big data engineers, mobile applications developers and data security analysts and the largest starting salary increase for data scientists (8.5 percent);

• accounting and finance (4 percent) with steady demand for business systems analysts, staff accountants and financial analysts and above-average starting salary increases for individuals with advanced technology skills and specialized industry experience;

• administrative and office support (3.3 percent) with demand for human resources administrators to assist with hiring and retention;

• legal (2.7 percent) with increased litigation driving up demand for lawyers and law clerks with experience in insurance defense and personal injury; and

• creative and marketing (2.1 percent) with particularly high demand for content strategy and mobile development skills as organizations focus heavily on initiatives to connect with customers.


The annual Salary Guides, published since 1950, are based on job searches, negotiations and placements managed by the firm’s staffing and recruiting managers, as well as ongoing surveys of corporate executives.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Menyasz in Ottawa at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

The salary guides are available at

For more information on Canadian HR law and regulation, see the Canada primer.