Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Harvard Developments Inc. was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018):
- Harvard Developments Inc.'s head office features original artwork by local Saskatchewan artists on display in its lobby -- the permanent collection is updated quarterly in partnership with the Saskatchewan Arts Board
- Harvard Developments Inc.'s charitable community focus is directed towards supporting youth initiatives, arts and culture, and downtown urban development -- employees are involved in the selection of the initiatives supported every year and are encouraged to get involved through paid volunteer time and matching donations
- Harvard Developments Inc. supports its new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 17 weeks) and supports those families with college-bound kids through an academic scholarship program (to $2,000)
Harvard Developments looks to build on strong potential
After 115 years in Saskatchewan, Harvard Developments Inc. can be highly selective in hiring employees. Just ask Terri Klyne.
Now Harvard's Shopping Centre Manager, Klyne applied three times over 10 years before she joined the company. "I wanted a career, not just a job," she says. "If you're in the industry in Saskatchewan, this is where you want to be."
Harvard's patriarch, Walter Hill, along with his partner, sold the land in 1903 on which the province's legislature now stands. Since then, the company has developed many of Regina's most recognized buildings, including the original McCallum Hill Building (Regina's first skyscraper), the Hill Centre Towers, Mosaic Tower, and Agriculture Place, and it remains a family business under the third generation of Hill family ownership.
"I was born and raised here," says Hiedi Pearson, Harvard's Manager of Human Resources and Employee Services. "I was certainly aware of what they had accomplished in the community."
With an undergraduate degree in geography from the University of Regina, Pearson worked briefly for the university's fund-raising and charitable campaigns before she joined Harvard as an executive assistant. "If someone had told me then that I'd be working in human resources," she says, "I'd never have believed them."
But Harvard hires individuals on their potential as much as their qualifications, and Pearson was no exception. "We invest in our people," she says. "If you say you don't know much about real estate, we say that doesn't matter. We'll teach you."
Far more important are a candidate's entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think outside the box. "We look for people who want to better themselves," says Pearson.
Harvard works hard to place the right person in the right role, supporting employees with training and financial assistance to cover the cost of new and ongoing designations and accreditations as they advance in their career. The company has supported Terri Klyne, for example, in maintaining her designation as a registered salesperson with the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.
Overseeing Harvard's retail portfolio in Saskatchewan, Klyne and her staff of nine keep in close contact with about 200 tenants, and Klyne herself travels at least 1,000 km a month, even in the depths of Saskatchewan's winter, between Regina and Saskatoon, Yorkton and Moose Jaw to visit shopping centres and third-party vendors in those locations. But the challenge doesn't phase her.
As Klyne says, "Service is our finest property."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Harvard Developments Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Harvard Developments Inc. manages an apprenticeship program for Maintenance Assistants which includes training with one of the company's Building Operators and provides funding for tuition, textbooks and associated fees for exams
- Harvard Developments Inc. offers an unpaid 2-week internship for students registered in the Building Service Technician program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic -- additionally, the company partners with the University of Regina and the Paul J. Hill School of Business and attends student networking events and career fairs
- Harvard Developments Inc. participated in the Street Culture Project's "Employability Program" in Regina -- the pre-employment program aims to provide individuals who have little or no formal work experience with familiarity with the interview process, training for a new position, and knowledge of the structure of performing daily duties in a professional role