Canadian Employers See No Let Up in Stress LevelsTORONTO, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - A vast majority of companies worldwide, including a growing number of Canadian companies, continue to struggle with attracting and retaining the high-potential and critically-skilled employees necessary to increase their global competitiveness, according to a new survey conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). The survey also found that employees are experiencing high levels of stress, a trend that many employers and employees expect to continue for the next three years. The Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey, a study of 1,605 companies globally, found that nearly two-thirds of Canadian respondents (61%) cite problems attracting critical-skill employees while just over 40% are having difficulty attracting high-potential talent and roughly a third (35%) are finding it hard to attract top-performing workers. More than 30% of respondents also reported difficulty retaining critical-skill, high-potential and top performing employees. "The demand for the best talent is as strong as ever, especially given a challenging economy and ongoing growth in global competition. However, many employers are not taking advantages of opportunities to attract, retain and engage high-value employees by offering a work environment and total rewards programs that are most important to them," said Ofelia Isabel, Towers Watson's Canadian Leader for Talent and Rewards. In fact, there appears to be a mismatch between what employers are offering and what employees are looking for. According to the survey, Canadian employees, including top talent, are more focused on competitive base pay and job security. Employers, on the other hand, are emphasizing other items such as challenging work and the organization's reputation as a good employer. The study also found that Canadian employees continue to experience high levels of stress at work. Close to half (47%) of Canadian respondents indicate that employees often experience excessive pressure in their job and almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) report their employees have been working more hours than normal during the past three years. The majority (53%) expect to maintain this trend for the next three years.