Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Samsung Canada's LEED certified head office was designed with employee feedback and features a number of flexible and open workspaces (to maximize employee collaboration), dedicated "idea rooms" and casual breakout areas, a technology showroom (featuring current and future technology), premium parking for hybrid and electric car commuters and charging stations for electric cars
- Along with a number of financial benefits, Samsung Canada offers employee discounts through the Perkopolis program as well as a generous employee purchase program, allowing employees to purchase up to $20,000 in Samsung products per year
- Samsung Canada supports employees who want to start a family with maternity leave top-up payments (to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks) and parental top-up for fathers and adoptive parents (to 75% of salary for up to 6 weeks) -- additionally, employees have the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
At Samsung Canada, everyone needs to be tech-savvy
When you're one of the world's leading technology companies, you can offer a lot of special perks and recognition to your employees. Just ask Leon Sang Wook Nam at Samsung Electronics Canada.
To start with, Nam gets a chance to see the latest technology from Samsung, sometimes before
it's available to the public, displayed in the lobby of the company's LEED-certified Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. The building features an onsite gym, subsidized cafeteria and "idea rooms" to promote collaboration.
But more to the point, there's the recognition his own colleagues provide. Nam is the Manager, Supply Chain Planning for IT, making sure the latest Samsung innovations get to where they are supposed to go. Last year, Nam was part of a team that won a Samsung Excellence Award for a solution they came up with due to changes in the company's outsourcing practices. "We made the process more efficient, which saved money and streamlined things internally," he says. "We were extremely excited to win the award and earn the recognition of our team."
Nam has also benefited from the Samsung employee recognition system, known as U r Awesome, in which colleagues can thank each other online with kudos and award each other points that can be redeemed for cool products and services, including Samsung's range of smartphones, TVs, tablets and home appliances, or donated as funds to a Canadian registered charity.
"This is a company in which people care for each other and our community," says Nam, a graduate of Western University who joined in 2012. "I put a lot of effort into my work, and I have met great people and great managers here -- we trust each other. I call it my second home."
Such sentiments are music to the ears of Paul Brannen, Chief Operating Officer. "Our employee engagement score is 70 per cent, and I think that's a testament to how you keep good people and attract good people inside of an organization," he says. "The innovative tools that we offer clearly keep people engaged, along with the technology itself and the ever-changing evolution of this business."
This is all the more important as Brannen and the rest of the Samsung Canada leadership team seek to recruit the best and brightest to a company that holds the No. 6 position on Interbrand's "Best Global Brands" list for 2017. As the company brings more innovations to the "connected home" and "the Internet of things" -- where your fridge can communicate with your smartphone to say that you're running low on milk -- Samsung Canada is looking at a wider range of job applicants. "We are always looking to hire individuals who are passionate about the lifestyle benefits of technology, or developers and programmers -- people who are excited to build local content and services around the technology," says Brannen.
Samsung Canada already has a sizeable R&D centre based in Vancouver but its technology needs are national, with offices located in Mississauga and Montreal as well as at newly integrated subsidiaries in Halifax and other cities. Moreover, says Brannen, nowadays everybody who works at Samsung has to be tech-savvy. "When you look at our product management group, people have changed from being traditional product marketers to being technology marketers, a very different sphere and space," he says. "And that's how you attract technology-oriented people."
Samsung thrives on its 'WOW' factor
There's a "wow" factor when you work for Samsung Electronics Canada. Take Nancy Kim, who entered the company in Toronto as an executive assistant and is now a Senior Manager on the Marketing team, supporting Consumer Electronics, Digital Appliances and corporate sports partnerships.
That means she's involved with, among other things, Samsung's leading-edge Smart TVs, its web-connected FamilyHub refrigerator, and its sports partnerships, which include the Toronto Blue Jays and the Olympics. "One of the highlights of my Marketing career was the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver," says Kim. "I had the opportunity to manage the whole campaign there for our company."
Then there is the company's LEED-certified Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, an office space just four years old. "Everyone is impressed when they visit the building," says Kim. "Samsung has done a really good job with the wow factor." Designed with employee feedback in mind, the building includes plenty of open spaces for members creativity and collaboration, priority parking for expectant mothers and hybrid cars, a showcase of the latest Samsung technology, telecommuter workstations, a gym, a subsidized cafeteria and -- Kim's favourite -- height-adjustable desks. "I love to stand and work," she says.
Kim is also an example of the Korea-based global company's commitment to developing talent. A graduate of the University of Toronto in English literature, she joined the Canadian operation in 2005 as an executive assistant to the President. Shortly after, when Samsung Canada expanded, she expressed interest in sports marketing, and the company offered her the opportunity. That eventually led to her Olympic contribution, then to product marketing, and now to a post that includes both sports and Samsung's innovative products.
"It is a very supportive and encouraging environment here," says Kim. "I've continuously been given opportunities to develop my career and to progress. When I became a manager, I was supported with courses in leadership and creative problem solving. Samsung offers an abundance of training opportunities, from entry to executive level."
Kim also appreciates the Samsung flexibility over work-life balance, in which she has no difficulty finding time to drop off and pick up her two young children each day, or working from home.
And perhaps most of all, she likes being around the innovation Samsung is famous for. "We're in the technology industry, which is always progressing and evolving. It's fast paced, and our products are constantly changing. Just look at how the smartphone has changed over the last few years. And with the latest Samsung innovation, we now have a 'connected home'. It's very exciting to be part of that."
Paul Brannen, Chief Operating Officer for Samsung Canada, notes that as the technology evolves, Samsung has many new kinds of opportunities for Toronto recruits. "Content and services are a big part of what Samsung is about," he says. "For example, we've created virtual reality content that is specific to the Canadian marketplace. We have a team that creates our content strategy across music, sports and entertainment. And if you think about all the screens you have in your home -- now including the one on the FamilyHub refrigerator -- how do we generate content that is relevant to you and your family?"
Samsung is also expanding its retail presence in Toronto, with stores already open in Yorkdale Shopping Centre and CF Sherway Gardens, and a new 22,000-square-foot location coming soon to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre downtown. "Overall," says Brannen, "we're trying to drive a brand experience for Canadian consumers. Samsung is an innovator, and innovation is what draws people into the company. We want to create an environment where people feel inspired when they come to work every day."