Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Fortinet Technologies (Canada) ULC was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- Fortinet Technologies have free access to fully equipped, shared-use fitness facilities that include instructor-led fitness classes, from boot camp to yoga -- and two nights each week, employees also host their own after-hours fitness classes in the employee lounge
- Fortinet Technologies employees who are working late can also take advantage of free onsite dinner options from Mondays to Thursdays -- employees can select from five menu options
- Fortinet Technologies offers new employees 3 weeks of paid vacation and a jump to 4 weeks after only 2 years on the job -- longer serving employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence for up to 1 year in duration
Fortinet is expanding fast to meet cybersecurity demand
Imagine an office with 800 employees working at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. No doubt you're picturing a Silicon Valley campus, but while Fortinet's HQ is in Sunnyvale, Calif. (where neighbours include Yahoo! and AMD), its research arm is located right where the company was founded.
"Burnaby remains the heart and soul of the company, where the bulk of our global R&D is done," says Human Resources Director Francois Guay. "We're the leader in innovation and have the best cybersecurity experts in the world."
Fortinet's ranks are expanding fast. It has over 5,000 employees globally and plans to add 1,000 to the local workforce within three years, having just bought the building next door to its Burnaby office. "Vancouver will potentially be one of the largest cybersecurity centres in the world," says Guay.
Many recruits will come from local universities BCIT, UBC and SFU. Niloofar Fekri graduated from UBC with a master's in electrical and computer engineering and was attracted by Fortinet's labs and the promise of challenging, hands-on work.
"I wanted a job where I'd learn new things and face complex problems every day -- not something routine," she says. Fekri joined as a hardware engineer. Five years later, she's a department manager. Yearly performance reviews and frequent performance touch points, ensure employees are given new challenges -- and the chance to move up.
"Our competitors hire externally. We promote from within," says Guay. "We mostly hire at entry level or people 3-5 years into their careers and provide opportunities to grow with the company."
Fortinet nurtures leadership and business skills, and provides eight levels of technical certification to staff, clients and others through the Fortinet Academy. Set up to help tackle an industry-wide talent shortage, the academy offers its online entry-level course to anyone -- free.
Like most tech companies, Fortinet encourages staff to stick around with stock options, generous benefits and vacation allowances, and perks including gym facilities and free dinners for anyone working late. With 37 global offices, employees can apply for international roles, but few Burnaby staff would choose to be anywhere else.
Fekri might be tempted by the right role in Silicon Valley one day, but for now she's happy to have found a world-class employer so close to home. "It was important for me to stay in Vancouver as my family is here," she says. "When I started, I thought I might need to leave after two years, but I've been motivated to stay. There're always a chance to progress, always a bright future."