Toronto: Top Ranked Employer Brands by Job Seekers

Knowledge workers share the most appealing companies to work for


Hiring strategies for your city

It’s true: companies are only as successful as their people. And in order to attract the best and brightest, today’s innovative companies need a strong employer brand. A positive brand reputation can mean the difference between a company maintaining an all-star team and consistently losing dream candidates to a competitor.

  • Insight 1

    47% of candidates consider the opportunity to learn new skills one of the most important factors when job searching

  • Insight 2

    74% of tech workers would engage with a company about a job if they shared salary range upfront

  • Insight 3

    62% of candidates would take a recruiter's call if the company showcased opportunities for learning and development

Emerging Trends in Employer Branding

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Local Leaders in Toronto

Top 20 Employer Brands

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  1. Shopify
  2. TD Bank
  3. RBC
  4. Loblaw Digital
  5. Scotiabank
  6. CIBC
  7. Kijiji
  8. Thomson Reuters
  9. Flipp
  10. Indigo Books & Music Inc.
  11. Top Hat
  12. FreshBooks
  13. Auto Trader
  14. Wave
  15. Think Research
  16. Coinsquare
  17. Wattpad
  18. Tim Hortons
  19. League
  20. Chef's Plate

Read full insights: Brand Health Report

Getting to know knowledge workers in Toronto

What talent looks for in a company
  1. Compensation (i.e. base salary)
  2. Opportunity to learn new skills
  3. Company culture
What turns talent off from a company
  1. Not interested in the product
  2. Not knowing enough about the company
  3. Poor reputation

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Bianca McCann VP of HR


Toronto Salary Trends for Software Engineers

Between 2015 and 2016, the average tech worker salary in Toronto remained largely the same with only a 1% dip recorded across the period. However, it recorded a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in 2017 and surged even higher the next year, growing by 8.7%. Overall, the average paycheck for software engineers, data scientists, product designers, and other tech workers has risen by 12.3% in the last four years. By 2018, the average tech worker’s salary was C$100,000, nearly 40% more than the Canadian median household income (C$71,011) and almost 50% more than the median income in Toronto ($65,829). Salaries still played a major role in job decisions. Nearly 75% of workers would engage with a company about a job if the offer included an upfront salary range. Workers also showed an increasing consideration for career growth. While 5 out of 10 candidates were more likely to pick jobs that provided the opportunity to learn new skills, 6 out of 10 candidates were more likely to take a recruiter’s call from companies that showcased opportunities for development.

Top Brands Hiring Software Engineers in Toronto

Boasting impressive growth numbers, Toronto’s tech scene offers a lot of job opportunities for software engineers. When asked to choose the company they would most like to watch for, local candidates ranked Shopify as the top employer brand, ahead of TD Bank and RBC. Loblaw Digital was ranked fourth while Big Five giant, Scotiabank was ranked fifth. Also part of Canada’s financial big five, CIBC was voted the sixth moth appealing brand while the online ad company Kijiji. Thomson Reuters ranked eight, ahead of Flipp and Indigo Books & Music Inc. Headquartered in Toronto, Top Hat, an educational software company ranked 11th, followed by the software company, FreshBooks. The vehicle-centric market place, Autotrader featured 13th ahead of Wave and the healthcare software company, Think Research. Coinsquare, a crypto trading platform ranked 16th just above the multi-platform entertainment company, Wattpad. Also included in the list of top 20 employer brands, were Tim Hortons, League, and Chef’s Plate. While the base salary was still a big factor in job decisions, most workers were more likely to consider job offers from companies with solid mission statements, friendly work environments, innovative goals, and positive values.

Most In-Demand Software Engineering Skills in Toronto

Toronto’s tech industry has recorded impressive growth. According to CBRE, the population of software developers, programmers, and engineers grew by more than half between 2012 and 2017, making it one of the fastest-growing hubs in North America. The accelerated growth has led to an increased demand for top tech talent in various fields. In 2019, NLP engineers were the top trending job, likely driven by the high concentration of AI startups in the city. Employers searched for candidates capable of building, improving and extending NLP capabilities. Machine Learning (ML) engineers ranked second followed by job roles calling for blockchain engineers skilled in implementing blockchain solution Employers also searched for experienced security engineers and skilled embedded systems engineers, capable of developing, testing and maintaining embedded systems. The shifting tech landscape showcased a varied preference for programming skills. While some employers searched for software developers with a grasp of Ruby, other companies searched for software engineers skilled in Java or Scala. Software engineers proficient in mobile programming languages like Swift and Kotlin were also in very high demand.

Toronto Pay Gap Trends

Although women in Toronto still earn less than men, the wage gap has narrowed over the years, dropping from 18% recorded at the turn of the century to almost 13%. In 2018, the average female employee earned 13% less on average compared to male employees.* The change in the shrinking wage gap was partly fueled by the increased percentage of women (19.6%) who owned a bachelor’s degree compared to men. The number of men covered by a union agreement also decreased by 8.6% to 29.5% while the proportion of women held steady at 36%. Salaries weren’t the only major driver behind job decisions. When choosing jobs, tech workers also considered the company culture to be an important factor. Other important factors that candidates considered when considering a job included the additional benefits beyond salad, such as healthcare and equity. Tech workers also responded better to personalized job offers that included a salary range upfront, as opposed to job offers sent with an automated email.

*Tech workers can help close the gap by referencing high-quality salary data to know their worth and ask for it.