To compile the list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Mediacorp Canada monitored recruitment activity at more than 72,000 companies.

It tracked new job announcements and recorded which employers were the most active in their field or region. From that initial group, it invited 10,000 of the fastest-growing employers, as well as 4,000 other companies and organizations to apply for this year’s competition.

The process included a detailed review of their operations and human resources practices.

Mediacorp graded applicants in eight areas — physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

Business is increasing it efforts to create an outstanding workplace atmosphere. There is a growing number of enlightened, proactive employers that recognize that competition for skilled and innovative employees is fiercer than ever. They realize that attracting and retaining top workers is directly linked to their willingness to creatively and fully engage employees while satisfying their desire for both lifelong learning and a healthy work-family-social balance.

They are the kinds of employers that, like Conestoga-Rovers, have been recognized in this year’s edition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

CIn addition to an extremely active social committee that attempts almost any idea an employee brings to the table, the company boasts an on-site day-care centre — The Butterfly Learning Centre — that was launched in 2001, just months after Dianne Freeman, a senior project manager with the company’s air quality group, suggested it.
“The only thing we have is our employees,” says Ian Richardson, CRA’s vice-president. “Without happy, engaged employees we don’t have anything.

“I think the thing that makes us unique is the ability of staff to come up with great ideas and our willingness to really listen and help implement them.”

Richardson says the company’s entry in the Top 100 competition is another attempt to attract the high level employee for which it is known.

“Our employees know the kind of place they work in,” he says. “We wanted to let others know a little more about what goes on here.”
“Compensation and benefits packages today are table stakes — they are a given,” says Kimberley Hogan, vice-president of human resources at Christie Digital, a Kitchener company that makes video projection systems. The truly enlightened employer, she adds, offers “softer” incentives that have much broader appeal.

Christie, for example, provides an expansive fitness and wellness program featuring activities such as yoga, aerobics and hip-hop classes. It also offers specialized in-house training and tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions. Such programs “appeal to employees’ needs for lifelong learning, fitness and the desire to be good citizens in the community,” says Hughes.

“The employee of today has such a wide range of options,” she adds. “They can do contract work, work part-time, or even work in another country. As an employer, we are competing for the best candidates. If we don’t stay ahead of the curve by offering the best extra perks, another company will.”
Put another way, “best in-class employees create best in-class innovations and products,” says Christie Digital’s Hogan.

“And that translates directly to our bottom line.”

Where’s the list ?


Abebooks Inc. Internet service. Victoria.
British Columbia Safety Authority Non-profit safety agency. New Westminster, B.C.
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada Accountants association. Vancouver.
Golder Associates Ltd. Consulting engineering firm. Burnaby, B.C.

Great Little Box Company Ltd. Corrugated box manufacturer. Vancouver.

HSBC Bank Canada Banking and financial services. Vancouver.
Next Level Games Inc. Video game developer. Vancouver.
Progressive Solutions Inc. Software developer. Vernon, B.C.

Radical Entertainment Inc. Video game developer. Vancouver.

Sierra Systems Group Inc. Information technology consulting services. Vancouver.

Simon Fraser University University. Burnaby, B.C.

Urban Systems Ltd. Engineering, planning and landscape architect firm. Kamloops, B.C.

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union Credit union. Vancouver.

Wardrop Engineering Inc. Engineering, environmental and information technology consulting firm. Winnipeg.

Whistler, Resort Municipality of Municipal government. Whistler, B.C.

Derived from a story by 24 HOURS NEWS SERVICES

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