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WestJet named Canada's most attractive employer for the second year in a row

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Randstad Canada announces WestJet as 2013 Randstad Award winner for most attractive employer, as chosen by over 7,000 Canadians.
TORONTO - Randstad Canada, the country's leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services, is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row WestJet Airlines Ltd. has been named the winner of the prestigious Randstad Award as Canada's most attractive employer. More than 7,000 Canadians independently surveyed perceived WestJet as the company offering the most pleasant work atmosphere and interesting job content, as well as being seen as having strong management and providing good training opportunities.

Unique to the Canadian market, the Randstad Award rewards and encourages best practices in building the best employer brands, and is the only employer award where winners are chosen entirely by workers and job seekers in search of employment opportunities within Canada's leading organizations. Based on polling conducted by ICMA International in February and March of 2013, the top five award winners voted the most attractive companies to work for in Canada are: WestJet Airlines Ltd, Transat A.T. Inc, IBM Canada, Bombardier Inc. and Pratt & Whitney Canada International Inc..

"Canadian job seekers and employees have spoken, and for the second year in a row have chosen WestJet as Canada's Most Attractive Employer," says Jan Hein Bax, President, Randstad Canada. "WestJet continues to epitomize the type of organization that an extremely large demographic of the Canadian workforce perceives as an exceptional employer. The company's ability to cultivate a positive employer brand continues to differentiate WestJet in the Canadian marketplace and ensures its ability to attract the type of talent that drives incredibly positive business results."

As skills gaps continue to present challenges for Canadian organizations, the importance of building and maintaining a positive employer brand has never been more important. "The employer brand not only allows an organization to attract the very best talent available, but also helps to retain the talent already in place," adds Bax. "Canadians are confident in their capabilities and take pride in the organizations that they work for. Cultivating an employer brand that makes both your current and prospective employees proud can truly be the difference that sets your company apart from your competitors."

Along with identifying Canada's most attractive employer, the survey also unveiled many interesting insights into the changing demands and priorities of the Canadian worker. Some of the key findings from the study revealed:

Top Attractiveness Factors: For Canadians, Competitive Salary & Employee Benefits is the top attractiveness factor when considering an employer (26%), replacing long-term job security - showing that Canadian confidence in the strength of the job market and the marketability of their skills is once again high. Long-term job security (15 per cent) remained important; as did a pleasant work atmosphere (11 per cent) and good work-life balance (9%).

Sectors: Job seekers and workers see the High Tech Manufacturing (44 per cent) sector as the most desirable in Canada, with respondents ranking the sector first for interesting job content, long-term job security, competitive salary & benefits, and good training. Transport and Logistics (41 per cent), Engineering & Construction (37 per cent), Raw Materials (36 per cent) and Finance (35.8 per cent) also ranked highly amongst the most desirable sectors to work in by Canadians.

Gender: Men and women seek different things when determining what makes a workplace/organization attractive. Women continue to prefer flexible working arrangements (14 per cent more women compared to men), convenient location (10 per cent more women) and pleasant working atmosphere (9 per cent more women), men prefer financially sound companies (21 per cent more men compared to women) with strong management (19% more men) that offer career progression opportunities (9% more men) and quality products and services (8 per cent more men) when seeking an employer.

Age: Younger Canadians (under the age of 40) mainly look for career progression opportunities (15 per cent above average) and flexible working arrangements (7 per cent) while older members of the Canadian workforce (40 and above) are more concerned with organizations that are financially healthy (19 per cent), offer competitive salary and employee benefits (17 per cent) and provide better accessibility (4%).

Education: Canadians with a higher education (university & graduate studies) are more attracted to companies that are perceived to offer more interesting job content (16% above average), career progression opportunities (12%), a strong image and values (11%) and strong management (10%), whereas Canadians with college and post-secondary education look more organizations that offer good training (8% above average), long-term job security (7%) and better accessibility (6%).

The Randstad Award study is conducted each year to both help identify the most attractive companies in Canada, and to provide important insights for employers on the trends and priorities affecting Canadian job seekers and workers.

This marks the third year that the Randstad Award for employer branding has been awarded in Canada, in addition to more than fifteen other countries internationally. First launched in Belgium in 2000, the Award has become a coveted industry accolade worldwide. The announcement was made last night at an exclusive gala at The Carlu in Toronto, where senior executives from many of Canada's biggest companies were in attendance.
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