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British Columbians pick their “Dream Employer,” but the results might surprise you: 39% name a particular private company, 36% choose a government or crown corporation as their dream job, and 14% select self-employment.

Vancouver, BC – British Columbians think the job of their dreams could be waiting for them in both the public and private sector, according to the new “Dream Employer” poll conducted by Insights West in partnership with Miles Employment Group and Business in Vancouver.

Overall, only 21% of working-age British Columbians believe that their current employer is “very close” to being their “Dream Employer.” Another 34% rate their current employer as “somewhat close,” while the rest believe their employer isn’t very close (28%) or close at all (17%).

British Columbians were asked to select up to three organizations that currently operate in the province and would qualify as their “Dream Employer.” After all 7,890 “votes” were tallied, 39% of respondents mentioned private, for-profit companies and a similar proportion (36%) chose public organizations such as federal, provincial, or municipal governments and crown corporations, as well as not-for-profit organizations. It is also important to note that 14% selected self-employment as their dream job, while the rest (11%) gave a variety of other answers including professions, roles or qualities in an employer rather than organizations.


Steve Mossop, President of Insights West, says, “I was surprised at the number of mentions of organizations in government and public-sector jobs relative to the private sector. It seems that the up-and-coming ‘sexy’ companies like Hootsuite, Lululemon and the Canucks rate just as highly as the perceived well-paying, benefits-laden jobs of the public sector like BC Hydro, BCLC and the City of Vancouver.”

The survey also showed that the number-one factor in considering a company as a “Dream Employer” is work-life balance (96% important/63% say very important), which is nearly tied with compensation (96% important/62% very important).  Other factors that rated highly include training and learning opportunities (91%/48%), benefits (90%/51%), culture (89%/46%), opportunities for advancement (89%/50%), and flexible hours (88%/52%).


“The results have genuinely surprised me,” noted Sandra Miles, President and CEO of Miles Employment Group. “It’s great to see such a variety of public-sector, for-profit and growing companies on the Dream Employers list. Most importantly this information has come directly from BC Employees, not corporations. As BC employers, we need to take this information and ensure that, combined with growth of our companies, the retention, growth and development of current talent is high on the priority list.”

Who are the Dream Employers?

Employed British Columbians were asked to think specifically about as many as three organizations that currently operate in the province and would qualify as their “Dream Employer.”

The 10 most mentioned private, for-profit companies that were regarded as a “Dream Employer” by British Columbians are (in alphabetical order):

  • Electronic Arts
  • Fortis BC
  • HootSuite
  • Lululemon
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Shaw
  • Telus
  • VanCity
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • WestJet


The 10 most mentioned public entities that were regarded as a “Dream Employer” by British Columbians are (in alphabetical order):

  • BC Hydro
  • British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)
  • City of Vancouver
  • Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC)
  • Government of British Columbia
  • Government of Canada
  • Translink
  • University of British Columbia
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • WorkSafe BC


The survey also looked at how employees in British Columbia feel about their current jobs. One-in-four (24%) are truly delighted with their current employer, giving it a rating of 9 or 10 out of 10, while 45% appear to be happy, issuing a score of 7 or 8.

An additional analysis of the feelings of employees reveals that 28% would promote their current workplace to someone looking for a job. This is very similar to the proportion of British Columbian employees who would remain passive (31%), but smaller than the number who would not be likely to recommend their workplace (41%).

Across the province, 47% of employed British Columbians say they have no plans to leave their current job, while a majority are either actively looking for a new job (10%) or would consider a new opportunity if it arrived (40%).


About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and four part-time employees.


About Miles Employment Group

The Miles Employment Group is charted for the future to be the premier provider of innovative human resource and job search solutions. By transcending traditional boundaries we will inspire our customers. The Miles Employment Group is committed to providing a positive, respectful, and supportive work environment, that inspires teamwork and creates opportunities for growth.


About Business in Vancouver

Since 1989, Business in Vancouver (BIV) has been part of Vancouver’s business community providing useful information to help keep our readers ahead of their competition. BIV provides local business information that helps our readers and advertisers engage, interact and succeed. The news, events and resources that are important to Metro Vancouver’s business community are delivered in a weekly print edition; online through; daily email news updates; weekly email preview plus updates on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About this Release:

The survey, designed and hosted by Insights West, was conducted online between September 6 and October 31, 2013. A total of 2,630 eligible and complete responses were compiled during the survey period. Data was weighted by region, age, gender and employment status to ensure the sample matches known population proportions from Census Canada data for BC. To view the presentation, click here.


For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West