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The companies Canada’s top talent want to work for

Canadian astronaut Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons checks out the Juno 6 rover in the rover demonstration room at the Canadian Space Agency in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, February 28, 2019.  (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)
Canadian astronaut Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons checks out the Juno 6 rover in the rover demonstration room at the Canadian Space Agency in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, February 28, 2019. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

Canada’s employers need to step up their game if they want to attract homegrown tech talent.

Recruitment data agency Universam Global surveyed 20,676 students from 162 universities and colleges across the country. The responses were used to rank the companies they most wanted to work for.

“This next generation of graduates will have a tremendous influence on Canadian employment trends, which is why understanding their preferences and career goals is so critical for employer branding and recruitment efforts.” said Jason Kipps, Universum’s managing director for Canada.

“Canadian companies tend to overlook the importance of employer branding, and when they do invest it’s typically significantly less than their American counterparts.”

It’s not a huge surprise that mega-cap U.S. companies like Google, Tesla, and Apple made up the top three among engineering and IT students. The Canadian Space Agency (6) and Bombardier (9) were the only Canadian companies to crack the top 10.

Even business students are eyeing jobs at American tech companies. Google, Apple, and Amazon were the top three most desirable. TD (5) and Royal Bank (8) were the only banks in the top 10.

Kipps says banks need to stop looking at each other as their competition. Instead, he says they should focus on being more attractive than all types of employers. They are making progress though.

“This year we’re seeing an incredible upswing for the Canadian banking industry, which has put a lot of effort behind building strong company cultures and communicating the opportunities they can offer.”

Kipps says students are quite happy to respond to the survey, without the lure of free prizes and such. He says they really just want to be heard. The rest of the top 10 spread out over 6 categories can be found here.

According to the survey, Gen Y students expect to make more than Gen Z. For business students, the salary expectation difference is $57,648 for Gen Z vs. $54,404 for Gen Y. For engineering/IT students it’s $64,866 for Gen Z vs. $62,457 for Gen Y.

A big paycheque down the road (50 per cent) is the most important criteria, followed by secure employment (46 per cent), and professional training and development (42 per cent).

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains

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