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Alberta's Top
Employers (2024)
Winners from our 19th annual editorial competition
Tuition subsidies, mentoring and leadership development in hospitality are just a few benefits employees enjoy at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, one of this year's winners.
two employees reading a magazine in a hallway
Gibson Energy invests in employee well-being, providing up to $15,000 for mental health services for staff and their dependents.

About the Competition


First published in 2006, Alberta's Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers. Alberta's Top Employers This special designation recognizes the Alberta employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. This year's winners were announced in a special magazine co-published with the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal on January 30, 2024. Read the press release issued the same day for more background on this year's competition.

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Gibson Energy invests in employee well-being, providing up to $15,000 for mental health services for staff and their dependents.

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PCL supports skills building with an online training app and the PCL College of Construction development program.

Selection Process

Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers using the same eight criteria as the national competition: (1) Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

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PCL supports skills building with an online training app and the PCL College of Construction development program.

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Silvacom Group employee Mike places a pin on the organization's map marking where colleagues were born.

Media Partners

Our media partners on the Alberta's Top Employers project are the two largest newspapers in Alberta: the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal. Each year, the winners of the competition are announced online in a special magazine co-published with both newspapers.

Eligibility Requirements

Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Alberta may apply for this competition. Employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector.

2025 Competition

Applications for our 2025 competition will be available early in 2024. Our 2025 winners will be announced in a special magazine early in 2025. Join our mailing list to stay up to date and receive an application for next year's competition for your organization.

MNP helps employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up and adoption assistance (to $10,000 per child).
MNP helps employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up and adoption assistance (to $10,000 per child).

Alberta's Top Employers raise the bar amid competitive labour market

'No one is resting on their laurels'

Karen Cooper has seen plenty of changes within Alberta's labour market over the past decade.

The Calgary-based partner and national vice-president of human capital at MNP notes employees are placing unprecedented value on things such as purpose, well-being, diversity and inclusion.

The shift over the past year, however, has been seismic, encouraging employers such as MNP to go all in when looking to attract and retain talent.

"Over the last 10 years, we've gone from having a few dedicated resources in recruitment to having more than 25. It's really been about building our capabilities to hire our workforce for the future," she says.

MNP is not alone. The first-time applicant and winner of Alberta's Top Employers competition joins a list of companies continuing to raise the bar, say organizers of the annual competition.

"No one is resting on their laurels," says Richard Yerema, executive editor at Canada's Top 100 Employers, the national project which organizes the Alberta competition.

The annual list of top employers recognizes organizations that offer exceptional human resource programs. The winners are chosen based on the same criteria as the national competition, including: the work environment; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family friendly benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

Some of the common priorities among this year's winners are flexible work options, robust time-off policies and mental health support.

"One of the key things we've seen people seeking more of is total rewards: the entire package of base compensation and other prerequisite benefits. It's been a noticeable shift, post-pandemic, that we hadn't seen in years past," says Cooper.

Kristy Haider, director of talent strategy at MNP, adds, "they want to know not only their compensation when they walk in the door, but also going forward. And they want to feel those numbers really match where they feel their market value is."

Candace Newman, vice-president of human resources at Cenovus Energy, agrees the fight for top talent is at an all-time high. As a result, the company, also a first-time Alberta Top Employer winner, has been similarly purposeful in its recruitment and retention efforts.

"We've had a couple opportunities recently where we've intentionally looked at ourselves in the mirror and asked, 'What do we want to emphasize moving forward to make this a place people want to work for?'" she says.

To that end, the company has invested in programs such as monthly Mental Health Matters programs, diversity networks, annual employee giving campaigns and a new leadership development strategy that launched last year.

"All of these things come together and, in a meaningful way, are the strength of the Cenovus value proposition," she says.

PCL Construction's value proposition of being employee-owned has largely remained the same over the years. Yet the way the company is seeking new talent continues to evolve.

"We're in the same spot that every organization is. There is a talent shortage globally," says Jaime McGavin, director of talent and DE&I for PCL, which has been named an Alberta Top Employer for 15 consecutive years.

"So, we're not sitting back anymore. We're not waiting. We're bringing in talented individuals from around the globe, while leveraging tools to continuously mine for new individuals.

"And what do we want to tell the world about PCL? When you walk in that door, we have so many options for you to find your sense of purpose and your career fulfillment."

2024 Winners

Here are the 2024 winners of the Alberta's Top Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors' full Reasons for Selection:

Two people celebrating in indigenous clothing
Marking the opening of Mathison Hall at the University of Calgary with a ceremony led by Elder Reg Crowshoe. (Photo: R.Brandt)
Graham Construction is employee-owned and makes its share purchase plan available to all employees.
Graham Construction is employee-owned and makes its share purchase plan available to all employees.

Alberta still seeking to fill skilled trades shortages despite population boom

Top employers are getting creative when looking to attract and retain talent

Alberta's labour force grew last year at a rate not seen since the early 1980s as the province's population continued to outpace the rest of Canada.

Yet despite a seemingly deeper labour pool, many employers say they are still facing an uphill battle in their search for top talent -- notably in the skilled trades.

"In Alberta, there is a high demand for skilled labour. We're all looking for the same people," says Kim Carter, vice-president of people and culture at BluEarth Renewables, a Calgary-headquartered producer of renewable wind, solar and hydroelectric power generation services for the commercial industry.

"And when there's only so many people to draw from, it becomes a challenge."

A 2024 outlook survey of Canadian employers by ManpowerGroup found that "persistent talent shortages continue to impede hiring efforts," with 80 per cent reporting they expect to have trouble finding skilled workers to fill openings this year.

Richard Yerema, executive editor at Canada's Top 100 Employers, says Alberta employers are not immune to these shortages.

"Alberta doesn't sit as an island. It's bringing people in for accounting, law, professional services as well in oil and gas. So, it has to pay attention to the same benefits that the big banks in downtown Toronto are offering, or the big accounting firms, to move people across the country," says Yerema.

For BluEarth, which has been named one of Alberta's Top Employers for the past six years, the solution has been two-fold.

"First, we have been going outside of our traditional approach and looking elsewhere," says Carter, pointing to recruiting efforts throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico for positions such as millwrights, electricians, instrumentation technologists and technicians.

"It's something we've considered doing, but we've always been able to find people within Alberta. This year, it was taking longer."

The second part involves pulling back the curtain on BluEarth's value proposition. The 150-person company is less affected by the volatility of commodity prices, with typical power purchase agreements usually 20 to 25 years in length. That creates job certainty, says Carter, which pairs nicely with other benefits such as apprenticeships, mentoring opportunities and leadership development programs.

"In addition, people want to be part of an organization where it has meaning. Transition or renewable energy is very attractive to a large population," says Carter.

At Graham Construction, which has been recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers for the past 16 years, the company has similarly seen persistent skilled trades shortages in the province. The construction solutions partner is responding by looking around the globe for new talent.

CEO Andy Trewick says that's only part of the solution, though. As boomers retire, he says the focus needs to be on encouraging a new generation to take their place.

"We've got a very experienced workforce that is migrating out of the industry, yet many from this younger generation would rather be in the tech or service industry," he says, pointing additionally to competition from the province's booming film and entertainment sector.

"So, we're trying to create a differentiator; a service offering that other people obviously can't compete with. Something potential employees will find attractive."

Among other things, the employee- owned company has upped the ante on professional development through its in-house Builders Framework program, as well as tuition subsidies and a graduate program as a platform to develop future talent.

"Once you've been with us, we want to show you that there are opportunities to develop and grow through our organization," says Trewick, who has led the Calgary-headquartered company for the past nine years. "A lot of our people start at that grassroots level, but ultimately become senior managers."

Matthew Lindberg, dean of the School of Skilled Trades at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, says there is some hope on the horizon. He points to the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act, which provides improved access to apprenticeship positions.

NAIT also offers an Accelerated Trade Entry program, introduced in 2022, that provides support to newcomers and under-represented Albertans interested in apprenticeship training.

And Lindberg points to new trades-based diploma programs at NAIT in plumbing, welding, automotive service and electrical installations technology that are providing learners with alternative pathways into a trades career.

"We've been working very collaboratively with industry partners to help make sure that they've got those resources and that skilled labor in place when they need it," says Lindberg.

These initiatives have helped NAIT secure its title as one of Alberta's Top Employers for the last 13 years. The polytechnic is also working hard to dispel misconceptions around the types of people who go into the trades. Lindberg highlights NAIT's annual Next in Trades free event series that encourages people from all backgrounds and abilities to explore careers in the skilled trades.

"It's about opening up opportunities and pathways for everyone, whether they are just getting started or progressing through their existing career," he says.

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