Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (2023)

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (2) 2023 Winner

Best Buy Canada Ltd.

Employees at one of Best Buy Canada's retail locations

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023) and BC's Top Employers (2022):

Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 17, 2022)

Here are some of the reasons why Best Buy Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023) and BC's Top Employers (2022):

  • Best Buy Canada finalized its first formal remote work program for corporate employees that includes hybrid work options for now and into a post-pandemic future of work -- and recently moved its head office to a more centrally located downtown Vancouver location
  • Best Buy Canada has made efforts to increase the focus on mental wellness as part of its health benefits plan, introducing a mental wellness hub on its corporate intranet and expanding coverage for mental health services to include psychotherapy (recently increasing coverage from $500 to $1,000 per year)
  • Best Buy Canada encourages employees to support their favourite charitable initiatives by offering $15 for every hour spent volunteering -- the donation is automatically applied to the appropriate charity through the "myGiving" program and doubles to $30 per hour during National Volunteer Week in April

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (4)

Staff members at a Best Buy Canada distribution centre

Employer Background

Industry Retail
Established in Canada 1982
Publicly traded yes
Parent company Best Buy Co., Inc.
Parent company head office Richfield, MN, United States
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC
Full-time employees in Canada 5,214
Part-time employees in Canada 4,840
Full-time employees worldwide 57,627
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 1.2%
Average age of employees in Canada 30.78 years
Longest serving employee 34 years

Work Environment Rating: A+

Hybrid work office equipment loan program, introduced a remote-first approach for the majority of employees, that allows employees to work onsite when needed or as an option for those who wish to work certain days in an office setting, moved its head office into downtown Vancouver during the pandemic and has updated its workspace to help employees adapt to new ways of working
Flexible work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), telecommuting
Commuter amenities walk to public transit, free parking, electric vehicle charging stations, secure/sheltered bicycle parking, nearby bike sharing station
Onsite workplace features telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, private phone booth, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor patio, outdoor barbecue
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, board games, large cafeteria-style seating area (with great views) and smaller kitchenette areas on other floors, outdoor patio areas (feature BBQs, full kitchen and an outdoor exercise area)
Onsite fitness facility shared-use facility, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, shower facilities

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: A

Employee social committee name departmental committees
Past social events hosted a variety of virtual, in-person and hybrid events over the past year, including rooftop Olympics, app-led scavenger hunts, team-building events including escape rooms, sword fighting, paint-a-pot, paddle boarding and zip lining, tournaments for ping pong, foosball and golf, a formal employee appreciation event, and other events
Cultural aspects dress-for-your-day policy, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, employee sports teams
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box, internal social media
Other in-house communications launched a new digital platform (The Pulse) to consolidate previous communications initiatives and help keep employees connected from anywhere, CHQ News (corporate), Daily Download (retail), SLT Snapshot (senior leadership), and Best Buy Chats (podcast and vlogs)

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: B+

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-contribution (DC) pension, non-matching RSP
Long-term planning life & disability insurance
Share purchase plan available to all employees
Referral bonuses (max) new employee referral bonuses (up to $1,200) for some positions
Signing bonuses available for some positions
Additional financial benefits year-end bonuses for some employees, corporate discount program (e.g. retail, services, travel, etc.), discounts on a variety of products through a partnership with the Venngo WorkPerks program

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: B-

Health plan note Best Buy Canada has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 85% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Minimum hours worked for coverage 37 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 90 days
Family coverage option yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Eyecare $400 every 2 years
Paid sick days employees receive 10 days off each year
Health plan includes traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs), employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. acupuncture, naturopathy)
Mental health practitioner benefit up to $1,000 each year
Additional health plan information 24/7 Life Solutions program offers employees (and family members) free financial, legal, health and counselling services, professional counselling services available for confidential sessions
Additional health and wellness initiatives formal mental health strategy committee responsible for managing a new mental wellness hub on corporate intranet (features training for managers, focus groups, webinars, guest speakers and more)
Family-friendly benefits note Best Buy Canada has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $7,500 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 75% of salary for 15 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 100% of salary for 2 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 100% of salary for 2 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits phased-in return to work for new parents

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: B+

Vacation note Best Buy Canada has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 8 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 4 weeks of vacation over their career
Unpaid leave of absence option yes

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: A

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition online recognition platform, individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer recognition awards, long-service awards
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 6 months
Outside survey period outside consultant surveys are held every 6 months

Training & Skills Development Rating: A

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 50% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unique training & development programs formal onboarding, skills and personal development courses, sales training and leadership development programs through the "myDevelopment Network" learning management system

Community Involvement Rating: A+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 500 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported BGC Canada (Boys and Girls Club Canada), Regroupement des Maisons des jeunes du Québec, Salvation Army's Christmas toy drive (over 80 stores were collection points for toys), Actua's InSTEM program (Indigenous high school internship program)
Charitable giving matches employee donations, matches employee volunteer hours with company donations
Community highlight Best Buy Canada's social impact mandate is to "build brighter futures" through technology, sponsoring national initiatives to connect youth to technology to inspire, motivate and empower their education. The "Geek Squad Academy" program supports educational partnerships with schools and community groups -- over $3.4-million in technology has been donated to over 270 schools.

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (5)

Best Buy brings technology to communities through charitable and social action programs

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (6)

Retail employees striking up a conversation at Best Buy

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (7)

Geek Squad agents at Best Buy

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (8)

A Best Buy employee helping a customer

You’d think having weathered the COVID-19 crisis – and rising to the challenge of providing the technology people and businesses needed to survive the pandemic – employees like Jeremy Ramnanansingh would want to take a breather and a vacation. But the Best Buy Canada Ltd. senior manager, retail marketing is getting revved up for the new normal.

“You can tell companies that are well run by how they handle change. Best Buy has proven its ability to pivot, be flexible and adapt,” says Ramnanansingh.

“We embrace the opportunity to continue innovating. Best Buy provides me and my team with everything we need to solve complex problems for customers in a highly collaborative atmosphere.”

Headquartered in Vancouver, Best Buy is Canada’s largest consumer electronics retailer and most visited multichannel retailer. The company’s purpose is to “enrich lives through technology.”

During the pandemic, Best Buy helped meet the demand for more and easier ways to use technology as well as developing systems like curbside pickup to protect customers’ health. Now, the world is changing again and Best Buy is changing with it.

“There’s this contagious energy of wanting to solve things, within the company and the outside world, through the power of technology,” says Polly Tracey, vice president and chief communications and public affairs officer.

“For our employees, there’s a joy in leading change together. We find energy and innovation feed off each other and we’re often addressing long-term and short-term solutions for different things, at the same time. At this point, agility is ingrained in our culture.”

Ramnanansingh’s team has the freedom to come up with innovative ways to reach out to customers as partners in a shared enterprise. They came up with the novel idea of holding a social media poll to ask customers which product they thought should be put on sale. And it was a hit.

Creative ideas aren’t just used to boost sales – Best Buy makes a difference in communities as well. Last holiday season, stores offered Canada’s first-ever shopping bag that transformed into gift wrap, making it environmentally conscious while raising money for BGC Canada. The company supplies tech to schools and hospitals and even offers online STEM courses. Retail teams can choose local charities and causes to support.

An initiative close to Ramnanansingh’s heart is the Mentorship and Accelerator Program to identify and partner with Black and Indigenous tech entrepreneurs. This gives these innovators access to Best Buy marketing and product development capacities and the support they need to get their products to market.

Best Buy creates a culture that encourages employees to be the best while having fun living the company’s principles. In Ramnanansingh’s experience, that’s rare.

“I think there’s something really magical when your own personal purpose aligns with the company’s purpose and creates something that’s really rich,” he says.

“At Best Buy, you’re making a difference. You can work on social impact projects, you can come up with great ideas to change the way that people shop and you can be a highly valued part of a team while doing it.”

The combination of shared purpose and meeting new technological frontiers is what helps Best Buy attract and retain talent in the ultra-competitive tech retail space.

“Of course, we have good benefits, but it’s having meaningful work that connects with your own purpose and goals that makes people want to stick around,” says Tracey.

“We provide the opportunity for talented individuals to progress, to speak up, to bring new ideas and to always be respected by colleagues, those who are like-minded or different. We want everyone to feel able to fulfil their potential.”

This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers winners, published November 18, 2022 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which reviewed but did not write its contents

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Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (9)

Sara Aghvami, Director, Best Buy Health

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (10)

Inclusion and diversity are core values at Best Buy Canada

When Sara Aghvami first started working at an entry-level job at Best Buy Canada in 2000, she never dreamed she’d stay so long, travel so far or achieve so much. But it just seemed that every time she turned around, there was someone there to mentor her, an exciting new challenge to be met and great people to work with.

Now as director, Best Buy Health, Aghvami can’t imagine working anywhere else.

“I’ve stayed here because while they offer you encouragement and support, they let you write your own career prescription,” says Aghvami.

“They put their employees in a position where they can operate at their best because they care about people. I feel they care about me every day I show up for work.”

Best Buy Canada is the country’s largest consumer electronics dealer, operating the Best Buy, Geek Squad, Best Buy Mobile, Best Buy Health and Best Buy Business brands. With over 160 stores coast to coast, it’s Canada’s most visited multichannel retailer, with over 250 million visits in-store and on BestBuy.ca annually.

Aghvami and her team are responsible for finding ways to use technology to empower older adults to live independent lives. Working with Best Buy departments as well as health-care professionals, policy makers and community leaders, they develop high-tech solutions to help the “silver tsunami” of seniors to age in place.

Best Buy’s commitment to life-long learning has been central to Aghvami’s and other employees’ career success. In-house training programs and educational resources are supplemented by 100 per cent tuition subsidies for job-related courses. Aghvami is being sponsored by the company to take part in the Sauder School of Business Mini-MBA program.

“Whether it’s supporting their education or wellness, we want to exceed the employees’ expectations,” says Chris Taylor, chief human resources officer.

“Whatever you need, we’ll take care of you. You need to travel or take some time off, or you need a service but you’ve used all your coverage, I’ve told my entire team we’ll find a way to solve the problem. We don’t let our policies get in the way of treating employees right.”

Born in Iran, Aghvami appreciates Best Buy’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity as core company values.

“Inclusive is the key word I would use in describing our environment. Everyone appreciates each other, even though we may think differently and take different approaches,” says Aghvami.

“As someone born outside of Canada, I know how important it is to embrace different cultural backgrounds in a workplace and Best Buy does that – every fibre of me believes in that.”

Employees like Aghvami are also encouraged to connect with the community. Best Buy gives them opportunities to work on farms to collect fresh produce for food banks, partner with schools and youth groups to provide tech training, or counsel students looking for a career in the industry.

It’s a time of big changes at Best Buy with the headquarters moving from Burnaby to central Vancouver in early 2022, and the company shifting to keeping most of its head office employees working remotely in future. But that’s all positive for Taylor.

“We’ve seen lots of things evolve and transform, especially with COVID-19, but while it’s been a tough ride for nearly two years, we have never let go of our value of having fun while being the best,” says Taylor.

“We’re constantly recognizing what’s wonderful,” he says. “We want the leaders and teams to have fun, let loose and celebrate shamelessly because they do great work every single day.”

This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's BC’s Top Employers winners, published February 8, 2022 in the Vancouver Sun. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which reviewed but did not write its contents.

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Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (11)

The Career Directory

Best Buy Canada Ltd. has been selected for The Career Directory, our guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (12)

Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (13)

Best Buy Canada employees celebrating after a successful Geek Squad Academy

Highlights for New Grads

Industry Retail
Full-time employees in Canada 5,001 to 10,000
Parent company Best Buy Co., Inc.
Parent company head office Richfield, MN, United States
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC
Student opportunities paid internships, summer jobs, co-op opportunities
Training subsidies for professional accreditation, orientation program, online training, in-house training, mentoring, in-house career planning services, leadership training
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Typical new grad positions Store Manager-in-Training, Merchandise Analyst, eCommerce Coordinator, Junior Accountant
Starting salary $45K to $50K
Work benefits health benefits for new employees, flexible work hours, telecommuting
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

Academic fields recruited

  • Bachelor of Arts
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Public Relations / Communications
  • Bachelor of Commerce / Business Administration
    • Accounting
    • Information Systems
  • Community College Diploma
    • Advertising
    • Autocad
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Electronics Technician
    • Graphic Arts / Design
    • Human Resources
    • Marketing / Sales
    • Purchasing / Logistics
  • Master of Business Administration
    • Finance
  • Professional Accreditation
    • Accounting (CGA)
    • Human Resources (CHRP, CEBS)
    • Microsoft Certifications
    • Purchasing Management (PMAC, CPP)

Recruits at these schools

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of British Columbia

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Top Employer: Best Buy Canada Ltd. (14)

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