, with employers looking to maintain efficiency and productivity and remain attractive to candidates.
Canada’s employees are in the best position to say which companies and organizations are offering the strongest opportunities—so we asked them.
Working with online statistics provider Statista, Forbes asked more than 8,000 Canadian workers to determine, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they were to recommend their employer to someone else. Further, how did they feel about the other employers in their industry?
The resulting list includes 250 employers across 25 industries–ranging from corporate giants to community-based financial institutions to universities and government agencies–where employees feel right at home at the office.
That sense of employer-generated well-being is more important than ever right now as Canada weathers a commodities-driven dip.
“It’s a very challenging time because the name of the game is talent retention—that’s certainly quite apparent to the best and smartest employers,” said Tom Knight, associate professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at the University of British Columbia ’s Sauder School of Business.
“If you look, for example, at Alberta, which is oil central in the Canadian economy, they’re cutting jobs left and right. And yet, there are some employers who are not just following a conventional cutting routine as the way to deal with the recession in their industry. What they’re doing is applying some more flexible approaches.”
Knight says for those employers, providing security and benefits in innovative ways will help them keep top talent in a vulnerable economy and attract candidates once hiring picks up again.
A few names on the list won’t surprise anyone—they’re employee favorites the world over. Costco rings in at 5th, while perennial workplace wonder Google comes in 9th. Apple comes in 31st; Cisco makes the list at 35th, and Microsoft claims 49th place.
Many of the employers on this list are Canada’s very own, including a wide array of government agencies and utilities providers. In fact, 20 organizations make the list from the “Government Services” category. Knight says this is a reflective of an economy in which the government is a key employer, and well aware of the need to compete with corporate giants for human capital.
Full coverage: Canada’s Best Employers 2016
“It’s a mixed economy. Along with being resource-based, you have more public enterprise. That goes in and out of political fashion but in areas such as healthcare and education and utilities and transportation, you have much more of a government presence. They’re going, ‘Hey, we have to be competitive in the same ways that private sector organizations are in the battle for talent.’”
State-owned electricity provider BC Hydro lands at the top of the list. The City of Calgary, Bombardier Transportation, Canadian Tire Bank, the City of Toronto, and Hydro-Quebec all make the cut as well.
Colleges and universities also make a strong showing: The University of Guelph, Université Laval, Sheridan College, Queens University, and the Université de Montréal all crack the top 20. A key advantage to university employment? The opportunity to continue one’s training and education, a major factor in employee retention.
Ultimately, Knight says that Canada’s hiring climate is still one that favors the skilled job seeker.
“Employers are recognizing as they set out to hire that if they want the best people, those people, despite the general condition of the economy, have options.”
The 250 employers featured here were chosen based on the results of independent survey conducted among 8,000 Canadians employers working at large companies and institutions. Employees were contacted anonymously online without the involvement of their employer. Respondents included in this sample are representative of the Canadian workforce by gender, age, region, education, and ethnicity.