Workopolis: News Releases

Today’s Graduates Reveal Their Employers of Choice
New survey reveals students want stability on the job

September 24, 2008 – Post-secondary students are giving recruiters a lesson of their own when it comes to citing career decision-making factors.  A new report released today reveals that the top five most desirable places the future workforce would like to work following graduation are not necessarily what many would associate as being appealing to younger generations.  The top five companies as rated by the entire student sample: The Government of Canada, Health Canada, Google, provincial governments and Apple.

From Learning to Work: Canada’s Campus Recruitment Report is a collaboration between DECODE, Brainstorm Consulting and Universum, and provides an unprecedented look at the perspectives of over 27,000 University and College students in Canada.  The findings should serve as a wake-up call for HR professionals who may have previously been making recruiting decisions based on faulty assumptions of this generation.  Contrary to popular belief that this generation is likely to jump ship shortly after being hired, over half of respondents (54 per cent) indicated they would like to find an organization where they could spend their whole career.

The good news for employers is that while most respondents said they know which industry they want to work in after graduation, only thirty per cent have their minds made up about the organization they want to work for.

“Students today know what they want, and are actually quite rational in selecting who they will work for, which has significant implications for companies who are looking to acquire and build a competitive advantage through people” adds Eric Meerkamper, Partner for DECODE, one of the co-authors of the report. “In addition to ranking 158 of the most desirable companies to work for in Canada, this report also offers up insights into why top brands are popular with students and what they are looking for in an employer.  This research also opens the door for companies to create a more attractive environment that will land tomorrow’s talent.”

Other report highlights:

  • The top three factors when considering full-time employment with an organization after graduation are work-life balance, good people to work with and a good initial salary.
  • Three-quarters (72 per cent) would be willing to take a job that may not fit all of their requirements, but is perceived as being a good starting point for their career.  That said, they’re also not willing to wait around for advancement.  Six in ten (64 per cent) expect to be promoted within 18 months. 
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) would relocate from their home province for work, with Toronto and Vancouver being their top two choices for cities they would most like to work. 
  • Parents, significant others and acquaintances already working for a prospective employer are deemed to be the most influential contacts when making a career choice.       

According to respondents, job sites are second only to employer websites for the preferred method of gathering information about a prospective employer (56 and 58 per cent respectively). 

“Knowing how to best entice this next generation is a challenge that is keeping our customers in the HR field up at night and clearly there are some misconceptions about what this generation is looking for in a career,” said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis, Canada's leading online career-solutions provider.   “Successful employers must figure out how to best position their organization ahead of all of the others vying for top talent, and that includes how and where you are communicating with this generation.”  

Today’s release kicks-off a series of related articles and blogs developed by Workopolis and DECODE.


DECODE is a leading research, innovation and strategy firm based in Toronto. For the past 14 years, DECODE has been working with leading organizations to help them develop better employee, consumer, and citizen experiences. By paying particular attention to youth, young adults and young families DECODE has gained unique understanding into these dynamic, future focused and change leading segments of the population. Their work includes building innovative employee recruitment, engagement and retention programs for global leaders in financial services, telecommunications, consumer packaged goods, strategic consulting, technology, government and public service. (

About Brainstorm Consulting:

Brainstorm Consulting helps campus recruiters and career centres achieve better results with the resources they invest. Brainstorm’s founder, Graham Donald, has been a leader in the field of campus recruiting and career services for 18 years and is a pioneer of online recruiting technologies. (

About Universum:

Universum is The Global Employer Branding Leader who has focused exclusively on Employer Branding (EB) for 20 years. Universum is a trusted partner to over 1200 clients worldwide including many Fortune 100 companies. Universum helps employers understand, attract and retain current and future ideal employees utilizing their experience, knowledge and services within research, strategic consulting and media solutions. (

About Workopolis:

Workopolis is Canada's leading online career-solutions provider with over 3.3 million unique visitors monthly in Canada, the most posted resumes and twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor. 

Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of industry-leading products and services including:

  • Powerful Resume Database search functions and intuitive screening tools to help connect employers with the “best fit” candidates – contributing to a 71 per cent hiring success rate for customers.
  • An inside look at niche industries with access to over 100 professional and trade associations. 
  • Career alerts, resume rescue and an online salary calculator to help job seekers find the right job.

Headquartered in Toronto, Workopolis has offices in eight Canadian cities.  Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.


From Learning to Work: Canada’s Campus Recruitment Report was a collaborative effort between DECODE, Brainstorm Consulting and Universum.  Data was collected using an online survey in the spring of 2008. 

For more information, to receive a PDF of the rankings or to arrange for an interview:

Meredith Adolph or Amy Davidson                     Eric Meerkamper

Environics Communications (for Workopolis)      DECODE                     

416-969-2667 / 416-969-2830                              416-599-5400 (ext. 30)