Canada’s Most Attractive Employers 2018

Canada’s Most Attractive Employers 2018

Press Release: Canada’s Most Attractive Employers 2018

Banking industry on a rise for Business, Engineering and IT Talent with a surge in interest for Canadian Banks such as TD Canada Trust, RBC, BMO among others; Software industry still the most appealing for Engineering and IT talent, with Goggle, Tesla, and Apple topping the list Universum 2018 Talent survey finds.

Important Insights:

  • Banking industry on the rise among business talent, while Accounting firms are slowly loosing prominence compared to previous years this can be due to the fact that students can look elsewhere to get their CPA certification.
  • Amazon and Tesla, newcomers on the list that enter at the Top 5 for both Business and Engineering.
  • Software industry still the most attractive for engineering and IT talent in the country.
  • Facebook is not dead for Gen Z, as it is still the most used social media platform among students. Companies should be boosting efforts to recruit through social as most Canadian firms are missing out.

This year’s top 10 rankings:

  1. Google
  2. EY
  3. Apple
  4. Amazon
  5. Deloitte
  6. Tesla
  7. Air Canada
  8. TD Canada Trust
  9. Royal Bank of Canada
  10. United Nations


  1. Google
  2. Tesla
  3. Apple
  4. Microsoft
  5. Amazon
  6. Facebook
  7. Canadian Space Agency
  8. Boeing
  9. Bombardier
  10. Intel


September 17, 2018. Toronto, Canada. – Today Universum Global launches the findings from the Canada portion of its large annual Global Talent Survey. This year close to 15.000 Canadian students from 159 of the top schools in the country shared their opinions and views on their career goals and ideal employers. Set out to track the career aspirations and preferences of the future talent pool, the Canadian Most Attractive Employers student survey recognizes the most coveted employers based solely on student votes collected through the Universum survey.

In the Business ranking, the top five companies that students wish to work for are Google, EY, Apple, Amazon and Deloitte, for Engineering students the top 5 is led by: Google, Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. It is very exciting to see that both Amazon and Tesla were introduced in the 2018 lists for students to choose, and both companies are leading up the top 5.

Despite the fact that Google is not a large employer in Canada it still came in at number 1in Canada for the 5th year in a row. The question is why? Students associate Google with being a very creative, friendly and dynamic work environment with exciting products and services. But not all is good news for Google as year by year it is slowly loosing popularity. This year, Google lost 12% of talent in Engineering and IT programs, and Microsoft and Facebook are also experiencing a similar story. Where is that talent shifting to? We can see that companies, such as newcomers like: Amazon and Tesla are starting to take their share of the pie but other companies such as: UN, IBM, Rogers, Canadian Revenue Agency, HP, Bank of Montreal, RBC, Bell, Lenovo and Manulife Financial are also seeing the fruits of this situation, as more students than in past years are identifying them as their chosen ideal company to work for. We can see that specifically for Business talent: Canada Revenue Agency, Scotiabank, RBC, J.P. Morgan, Sony, and Bank of Montreal are stealing some of the thunder (or students) from other companies using new and innovative recruitment tactics.

The financial industry continues to benefit and is the preferred career destination among business students. Canadian banks, global accounting firms and financial service firms are represent industries that young candidates prefer to work for this year when culminating their university studies. This is the highest preference among students compared to their peers in the United States and Mexico. What is also very interesting to see is that although Accounting is still one of the favorite industries selected by young candidates on campus preference for employers in this industry has dropped compared to 2017 whereas all of the banks are increasing in preference (TD Canada, RBC, BMO, J.P Morgan, Scotiabank, National Bank of Canada, CIBC, Morgan Stanley and HSBC all enjoyed a greater preference amongst Candidates this year compared to last year.).

Jason Kipps, Managing Director for Universum Canada states: “We are starting to see the impact of the recent changes in the CPA requirements. Students have more options for completing their CPA than ever before. In the past, accounting firms benefited from being the only option for aspiring new accountants. Now these firms are being forced to be more innovative in their recruitment tactics in order to keep up with new emerging recruiting competitors and are using new data driven social media recruiting methods to efficiently and effectively compel these new candidates to consider working for them. It’s a whole new ball game. Relying on career fairs, LinkedIn and Twitter alone is not enough anymore. Leading recruiting companies aren’t waiting for their competitors to do it first, they are embracing Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and are using localized, Canadian focused content to get the job done.

When it comes to the long term and student career goals, these candidates are looking for work/life balance. At Universum, we have seen how year by year there is a continuous rise in this preference by talent. Job security is the second career goal for all students, and it shows a 5% increase in preference compared to last year’s data. Other preferences that are important for the Canadian talent pool are companies that will provide a competitive base salary and competitive benefits, as these two attributes show a 5% increase compared to 2017 data.

But what is it that students want in the short term and what they are looking for in their next employer?

This changes by main field of study, as business students are looking for companies that have leaders that will support their development, companies that will provide high future earnings and a friendly work environment as they will most likely be pulling off heavy hours. Whereas engineering students would much prefer an innovative company that is also creative and dynamic, although having high future earnings is also very high on their list of priorities. What is important to point out is that innovation is the highest preference compared to peers in the United States and Mexico, and this is something that tech and IT companies should have present when pitching their recruitment strategies to future talent.


Communication & Channels:

All of this data is very important, but also key to know is where is it that students want to hear this information and learn about a company’s offerings?

Well, we know that Gen Z is very keen still on Social Media, and not only is it where students spend most of their time, it is also the most used communication channel for career purposes. Facebook is still the platform that students use most. Although for sole career purposes: Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn are the platforms that students most consume. Although YouTube is the second platform preferred by students, it continues to become more and more popular year by year, and although students prefer it more for social purposes, companies should not disregard being present through video format on this platform as a means to reach them in their spare time and create awareness of their employer brand and recruitment opportunities.

Although Social Media is the most used communication channel, students also want companies to be present at campus career fairs, to have an engaging employer website, and to offer employer presentations on campus. It is critical that companies work to ensure they don’t lose the personal touch and continue to create recruitment strategies that use all of the above mentioned channels. The 2018 research demonstrated that Canadian students demand in person, face-to-face contact more than students in the rest of Americas.

Download the full ranking report at: www.universumglobal.com/rankings/canada/