Every month, Jobboom profiles an employer that is a leader in their industry to shed some light on the business cultures, staffing needs and recruitment methods of top organizations. This month we look at ABB Canada.
ABB is a global leader in power automation technology. Specialized in engineering, ABB helps clients improve their organizational performance while reducing the impact of their business activities on the environment.
The ABB Group, which includes subsidiaries Thomas & Betts, Baldor and Enterprise Software, has a presence in nearly 100 countries and employs a workforce of around 135,000. In Canada, ABB is the industry leader in power transportation and distribution, counting nearly 5000 employees from coast to coast. The company’s Canadian headquarters is located in Montreal.
We spoke with Robert Di Ciero, talent acquisition specialist with ABB Canada.
JOBBOOM What types of employment are available with ABB?
Robert Di Ciero On the technical side, we mostly recruit people with degrees in electrical engineering, whether we’re recruiting for project management, engineering, research and development, repair or fabrication positions.
We also maintain a range of positions at the administrative level, including in sales and marketing, human resources, accounting, IT, purchasing and more. In terms of the positions that we are most often seeking to fill, we are regularly in need of project directors at all levels and regional sales representatives.
JOBBOOM What are some of the essential qualities you look for in your employees?
R.D.C. Integrity is the number one value at ABB. In recent years, the reputations of several engineering firms have been tarnished for various reasons, but ABB has never been mentioned. We pride ourselves on maintaining our ethical approach to doing business.
It’s important that our employees understand that integrity is a prerequisite to working for ABB, and that they must apply an ethical approach to each assignment they receive.
As well, we seek to hire individuals who have a strong sense of team spirit and who understand the importance of the client. Whether or not they are in direct contact with the client during the course of their work, all of our employees need to have a desire to perform impeccable work, in a courteous manner, at heart.
JOBBOOM What are the qualities of ABB, as an employer?
R.D.C. We strongly believe that it is our responsibility to guarantee an exceptional quality of life to our employees. This is why we offer flexible working schedules, competitive salaries and a wide range of social benefits that can be personalized according to their needs: a pension program, training and education assistance, work-life balance programs, health and wellness initiatives, and special discounts on many goods and services are just some of the benefits enjoyed by our employees.
ABB’s qualities as an employer are also widely recognized. Our company was named the third-best employer in Canada in 2016 by Forbes magazine.
JOBBOOM In your opinion, what factors attract candidates to ABB?
R.D.C. From a technical perspective, engineers are attracted to us because ABB is known as a company that is focused on innovation. For example, we have contributed to the development of avant-garde projects including the Solar Impulse solar-powered plane and the YuMi manufacturing robot. While these projects may not be well-known within Quebec, they have had a major impact in the engineering industry and are a great source of pride for our employees.
In a general sense, candidates are also motivated by the opportunity to join a company where they will have room to grow, develop their skills and work on interesting projects that push the envelope of what is possible.
JOBBOOM What kinds of career opportunities are available with ABB?
R.D.C. We offer the possibility of a long-term career with ABB to all of our employees. The company encourages and supports their professional development, no matter what their particular career goals may be. Some of our employees want to climb the ladder, while others may want to work in another country!
We focus on providing access to ongoing training and education to help our employees improve their skills and competencies with the goal of advancing their careers. The company has developed a full curriculum of training programs, collectively known as “ABB University” that employees can access to further their knowledge and competency in areas relevant to their positions.
Every summer ABB also employs several interns, many of whom are offered permanent positions at the end of their internships with us. For these new hires, it could be the start of a fruitful career at ABB; it’s not unusual to meet employees who have stayed with us until retirement!
JOBBOOM How would you describe the working environment at ABB?
R.D.C. There is a strong feeling of team spirit at our offices. Every employee knows that they can count on their colleagues and superiors to support them, both in their work and their career aspirations. ABB is also very focused on the human aspect of our success as a company; family in particular is very important to all of us here. For example, ABB employees that are parents know that in the case of an emergency, they can bring their child to work without problems.
A sense of belonging is also very strong among our employees, even for those who are working in different locations. That being said, however, in 2017 all ABB offices in Montreal will be relocated and grouped together at the new ABB Campus, located in Saint-Laurent. The facility will grow our Canadian headquarters and expand our research and development, fabrication, assembly and testing capacities, and will feature bright, open spaces to facilitate collaboration. This new environment will help us attract talent and transform the way we work.