Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 15, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Jacob Bros Construction Inc. was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
- Jacob Bros Construction supports a number of charitable initiatives each year, focusing on programs that support youth, underprivileged children and local non-profits that assist the homeless -- additionally, the company matches employee donations of up to $500 per event
- Jacob Bros Construction takes a thoughtful approach when helping employees manage unexpected challenges, offering compassionate leave top-up for those called upon to care for a loved one (to 100 per cent of salary for up to four weeks)
- Jacob Bros Construction helps employees save for the future with matching RSP contributions and also offers referral bonuses as an incentive for employees who help recruit friends (to $1,000 per successful hire)
Jacob Bros proves resilient in a crisis
Jacob Bros. Construction Inc. opened for business in 2008, just before the onset of the global financial crisis, so the company knows a thing or two about rolling with the punches. But even by the often-volatile standards of the construction industry, the COVID-19 pandemic delivered an unprecedented wallop.
Almost overnight, Vancouver International Airport, which represented a significant amount of the company’s annual revenues, suspended all of its construction business.
Another major client, Mayfair Properties, which operates hotel and residential rental buildings, also put its expansion and renovation projects on hold for the foreseeable future.
“Overcoming adversity is in our DNA,” says Todd Jacob, chief operating officer and co-founder of Jacob Bros. “So we decided we should treat COVID-19 like any other risk and adopt a mitigation strategy.”
The company responded by leveraging its diverse capabilities on several fronts: it began to bid on more public tender contracts; it started to look for business well beyond its traditional base in the Lower Mainland; and it partnered with larger construction companies to participate in projects that would otherwise be beyond its reach.
The company also re-deployed staff in strategic ways, including self-performing more of the work that would normally have been contracted out to others.
Jacob Bros has not yet made up for the loss of those two major clients, but the company has proven remarkably resilient.
“Across Canada, the construction industry lost 266,000 workers in April alone,” says Jacob. “That’s 20 per cent of all construction jobs in a single month. To date, we haven’t laid off a single employee due to COVID-19, nor we expect to moving forward.”
As an essential service, Jacob Bros has continued to operate in the field, following all the necessary health and safety protocols. Office staff continue to work together, thanks to the recently opened 50,000-square-foot head office in South Surrey that is spacious enough to accommodate social distancing.
Ed Virvicius joined Jacob Bros as a project coordinator just two months before the pandemic struck. He’s been impressed by the way both management and employees have responded.
“The company has communicated with us in a clear and continuous way,” he says. “They’ve kept us informed of the challenges we’re facing and how the company is responding.”
Jacob Bros employees, he adds, are continuing to work as a dedicated and high-performing team.
“Everyone is enthusiastic, working hard and staying positive. We’re confident that, no matter what happens, we can get through this together.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2020):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jun 4, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why Jacob Bros Construction Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2020):
- Jacob Bros Construction invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses (to $2,500 per year), subsidies for professional accreditation and a range of in-house and online training options, including apprenticeships and formal mentoring programs
- Jacob Bros Construction supports a number of charitable initiatives each year, focusing on programs that support youth, underprivileged children and local non-profits that assist the homeless -- and encourages employees to get involved with matching donations (up to $500 per event) and provides paid volunteer time on a case-by-case basis
Jacob Bros Construction builds projects – and loyalty
The sound of breaking glass shattered the calm of a late Friday afternoon last summer at the Surrey, B.C., head office of Jacob Bros. Construction Inc.
Thankfully, no one was injured. But a mechanical fault had caused one of the massive glass doors at the entrance of the building to come off its hinges and smash over a decorative water feature. Within seconds, a group of employees in a variety of junior and senior positions jumped into action and cleaned up the mess.
“It would have been easy for them to hurry home and leave it for someone else,” says chief operating officer Todd Jacob. “But employees with various responsibilities got together and took care of it.”
For Jacob, the incident in many ways reflects what the fast-growing company’s culture is all about. “I guess it’s a sense of ownership,” he says. “It ticked all the boxes of collaboration, pride and problem-solving.”
Launched in 2008 by three brothers with synergistic, senior experience in the industry, Jacob Bros Construction has grown to become one of Western Canada’s most versatile builders, with a diverse portfolio that includes everything from airports and boutique hotels to residential and industrial complexes.
That success has been built on a culture that also prizes strong relationships and an optimistic, can-do attitude from every employee. To ensure the right fit, founders Todd or Scott Jacob typically still sit in on at least one interview with prospective salaried staff members.
“Our ultimate goal is to attract and retain employees for the long term,” explains Todd. “And if we don’t find that fit, we will probably fail in achieving that longevity.”
For recruitment specialist Brodie Rogers, the authenticity of the Jacob brothers and the entire company culture has been the biggest appeal since joining the firm in March 2019.
“A lot of times, employers get hyper-fixated on what the brand is about and, more often than not, that pitch doesn’t line up with the reality once you get in the door,” she says. “Not here. They’re very up front about who they are and their values and the opportunities, and that resonated with me.”
The Jacob brothers, she adds, model the values they’ve tried to instill in the company, including accountability, accessibility and appreciation for a job well done.
Rogers says that feeling was underlined for her last summer, when she and a colleague put in many extra hours helping to organize a charity golf tournament for the company. In gratitude, Scott Jacob invited the employees to his home for dinner. Beforehand, his mom asked each of them what kind of pie they liked and proceeded to bake their favourites. “Where are you going to get that?” Rogers asks. “I had never seen anything like that in my career before.”
That family feeling has helped foster a deep sense of collegiality and commitment to the firm. And the Jacobs go above and beyond to reward loyalty and hard work. In a perk rarely seen in any industry, the company presents employees with a service award every five years and tops it off with airline tickets for two to anywhere in North America, along with $1,000 in spending money.
“Our employees love it,” says Todd Jacob, “and it’s also great because it’s an opportunity to appreciate their spouse or partner.”
Adds Rogers: “There’s kind of a human touch to the employment experience here, which I appreciate. I like showing up to work every day and I can tell the people I work with do, too.”