Why are so many Canadians ‘rage applying’?

Survey finds two-thirds of workers are looking elsewhere – but the top reason isn't pay

Why are so many Canadians ‘rage applying’?

More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of Canadian workers have “rage applied” or angrily sought out new positions due to some less-than-great feelings toward the current employer.

But it’s not all about pay, according to recruiting company Robert Walters Canada.

“Interestingly, it’s not issues relating to pay or progression that’s creating this reaction, but the work environment itself — something well within the control of the employer,” says Martin Fox, managing director of Robert Walters Canada in Toronto.

The survey heard from 2,000 Canadian professionals. Rage applying involves someone quickly and sometimes irrationally applies to a number of new jobs all at once. Fifty-six per cent of those respondents who did rage apply did so for multiple jobs since Jan. 1.

Toxic culture

When asked about the most important considerations when deciding to look elsewhere, a poisonous environment was the top reason for 51 per cent of respondents.

“Toxic workplace cultures can be very much invisible but the knock-on effect to employee happiness is significant — from a staff member’s mental and physical safety in the workplace, productivity levels, ideas generation and innovation,” says Fox.

Poor or non-existent work-life balance was also one of the top reasons behind rage applying for 23 per cent of workers, while 17 per cent of employees listed unmanageable workload as one of the biggest workplace stressors.

On the lower end, nine per cent of respondents said that they rage applied over an argument with their managers, according to the survey.

HR must account for this

With labour shortages on the minds of HR professionals, it’s important to get on top of these employee feelings to keep retention high, says Fox.

“By and large, it continues to be a candidate-driven market — with more jobs than people available — so rage applying is really something that most employers cannot afford to happen. As a result, we are increasingly seeing more ‘culture matches’ in the hiring process, where both the company and prospective employee are vocal about what kind of worker or workplace they are looking for.”

Instead of worrying about what employees are doing in terms of whether they resign or not — because you can’t really control, according to one HR expert.

Latest stories