Millennial Workers on the Move in 2016: More Than Half Would Like a Career Change


A new poll of working Canadiansthe ADP Canada Sentiment Survey, reveals that workers ages 18 to 34 are looking of make a change in the year ahead—a full 55 per cent would like to change jobs, start a business or return to school this year. A similar sentiment exists in only about 30 per cent of the remaining demographics.

“Our Sentiment Survey tells us that Canadian workers are restless, particularly Millennials, and this makes a strong case for investing in a great employer brand, built on culture, opportunity and leadership,” says Virginia Brailey, vice president of marketing and strategy at ADP Canada. “We’re also seeing a diversity of ambitions around looking for more money, more responsibility, more training and greater flexibility around how work is done.”

Age matters
Millennials (ages 18-34) are more likely, compared to other age groups, to say they would like to make a career change – such as finding a new job, going back to school or starting a business (55 per cent vs. 31 per cent of other age groups).

Those ages 18-44 are more likely to say they would like to advance their career, focusing on things such as getting a raise, taking on more responsibility and getting a promotion — compared to those who are over 45 (46 per cent vs. 26 per cent).

“HR teams are under tremendous pressure to keep the right people in the right jobs and to build a strong funnel of talent so they can respond to changing business needs,” Brailey explained. “They are challenged, however, by a growing administrative burden that takes time away from high-value strategic work such as driving culture and engagement.”

The online Sentiment Survey of 1,547 Canadians was conducted between December 21st and December 23rd, 2015 using Legerweb. The figures in this release are based on an unweighted total of 1,124 Canadians who plan to work in 2016. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Highlights of the ADP Canada Sentiment Survey:

Time for a change

  • 27 per cent of employed Canadians would like to find a new job
  • 11 per cent would like to start their own business
  • 10 per cent hope to go back to school


  • 25 per cent are seeking a pay raise
  • 14 per cent want to take on more responsibility
  • 12 per cent are seeking a promotion
  • 11 per cent want to work more

Flexibility and balance

  • 15 per cent would like to find more flexible work hours
  • 14 per cent want to work less
  • Eight per cent hope to work remotely
  • Three per cent would like unpaid time off


  • 18 per cent would like to learn a new work-related skill
  • 15 per cent say they’d like to get more training
  • 11 per cent would like to get a certificate, degree or diploma
  • Four per cent would like to job shadow someone else

Best Practices for building employer brands:
Build an employee value proposition – Developing a compelling employee value proposition is important for employees and candidates, and is a foundation for an employer brand strategy.

Get strategic – A strong employer brand strategy includes culture, work experience, external perceptions, key talent drivers, management practices and leadership vision.

Apply the employer brand – Developing owned resources, such as careers pages and improving candidate communications, builds a brand’s social proof.

Create experiences and advocacy – Employees, former employees, candidates and the organization as a whole must support the employer brand at every touch point from hiring to promotions to work-life flexibility.

ADP Canada gives organizations of every size the tools to help their people thrive. From basic payroll to complex people management systems and analytics, we help business leaders make better decisions.Visit us at or follow us on Twitter @ADP_CDA.

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