The Hottest Companies for Job Seekers in 2018

When it comes to attracting talent, the competition is tight. As Canada’s unemployment rate continues to hover around historically low levels, job seekers have more options than ever. As such, companies need to take measures to stand out from the crowd.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to attracting talent – after all, job seekers have varied opinions about what constitutes as their ideal place of employment. Some prefer meaningful work or flexible schedules and others vie to work at a company that’s at the forefront of innovation. One of the many roles of HR and recruitment professionals is to take whatever it is their company offers and use it to earn the interest of job seekers and win over top talent.

So, what companies were job seekers most interested in this year? Indeed’s analytics team calculated the average amount of job-seeker interest for all job titles at all companies, and then compared it to the actual level of interest each firm is receiving, based on clicks through to jobs posted. Here’s what we found.

Canadian-made Shoppers Drug Mart tops the list

Our list of Canada’s hottest companies features a diverse group of employers, ranging from retail, cannabis, transportation and more. There wasn’t one industry that stood out in particular – but what these companies have in common is that they’re generating more interest from job seekers than any other company in the country.

The number-one spot goes to Canadian retail pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart. Hailed as the largest drug store retailer in the country, the company has a strong consumer brand that spans beauty, food, health and pharmacy. But it continues to expand its operations, and will soon add cannabis to its list of products. Shoppers Drug Mart recently received Health Canada’s approval to be a licensed medical marijuana producer.

Following Shoppers Drug Mart is Lululemon Athletica. Founded in Vancouver, BC in 1998, the company has since expanded globally. When it comes to popularity, the company isn’t slowing its pace – strong sales and new products continue to catapult the company to greater success. In fact, the company’s stock more than doubled in 2018. A successful, growing company with a solid employer brand often helps to attract job seekers.

While the two top spots featured Canadian companies, two homegrown companies also rounded out the list: telecommunications provider Telus at number nine and Canada Pacific Railways, the transportation service with a 14,000-mile network spanning Vancouver to Montreal as well as various US cities, landed at number 10.

Another apparel company, Forever21, joined the ranks at number four. The trendy, LA-based and family-owned business is highly popular among women with locations scattered across Canada.

Colliers International came in at number three. This global real estate services company offers a wide range of services spanning brokerage, real estate management and project marketing and research. Earning billions across Canada, the company has maintained its upward trajectory, a quality appealing to job seekers.  

Coffee powerhouse Starbucks came in at number five. The company, which was recently named one of the most favourite coffee shops in Canada (out-ranking Canada’s beloved Tim Hortons), proved to be a favourite among job seekers too.

Following Starbucks was insurance company Aviva at number six. And while tech is often touted as the “it” industry, there was only one tech company on the list: multinational information technology company IBM at number seven. The company is making strides in the AI sector, partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The $240-million investment went toward the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab, which now has 100 AI scientists from both MIT and IBM.

Canopy Growth Corporation came in at number eight. The North American cannabis company’s appearance on our list is timely and of no surprise. Due to the October 17 legalization of marijuana, Indeed has seen a lift in interest from job seekers looking for cannabis positions. In fact, searches for cannabis jobs were four times higher in July 2018 compared to July 2017, following the June 20 announcement of October’s legalization of marijuana.

How to attract talent

Of course, these companies benefit from their powerful consumer brands. They also have the budget to market new products, build their teams and increase their presence in communities. But what about all the companies that didn’t earn a spot on the list, particularly the 98% of Canadian employers who are small businesses that might not have the same resources to compete?

The good news is that there are many ways to attract talent. Here are three steps you can take to start attracting the talent you need:

  1. Build your employer brand: Storytelling is a powerful tool, and you don’t need to break the bank to communicate the benefits of working for your company. Consider creating video content that features staff members telling their own stories about working at your company. These stories can be amplified via social media, hosted on your website as well as third-party sites such as Indeed Company Pages.
  2. Optimize job content: Your job title and description will be key to attracting talent – use job content to ensure people find your job, click on it and apply to it. To create a job description that connects with job seekers and contains all the necessary details,  refer to the three R’s: Responsibilities, Requirements and Rewards.
  3. Get creative with perks: Find ways to stand out by offering a unique set of perks and featuring these in your job descriptions. For example, 43% of job seekers state that flexible time off is important to them when considering a new job opportunity. That said, consider how your company might be able to offer more of flexibility, if it doesn’t already. A work-from-home policy or unlimited vacation time are two examples of how to offer flexible schedules that will attract talent.

Attracting talent can be difficult, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to establishing your organization as one of the hottest companies.