As our nation’s major technology hubs continue to grow, Canada boasts more tech workers than ever.
With so much news, data, and events to cover across the country, TechTalent.ca leans on professionals in the field to help keep our audience properly informed and up-to-date.
Below, a roundup of what local experts have been saying about tech and talent in Canada recently.
Among the turbulence of Canadian tech and the global economy broadly, this month’s theme is adaptability.
Adapting to Change
“Graduates are in the driver’s seat when it comes to recruitment and retention,” believes Maggie Da Prato, Head of Talent for the Americas at Dialectica, an information services company that shapes better business decision-making worldwide. “The talent pool is barely sufficient to fill the growing number of job postings in the tech realm.”
In her essay “The Secret to Gen Z Recruitment and Retention,” Da Prato covers how the landscape is shifting from a conventional one-way conversation—“Tell us about your experiences” and “Why do you want to work for us?”—into a two-way dialogue that addresses the needs of both sides: “What are you expecting from our workplace?” and “How can we help you build a successful career?”
Some Canadian tech companies are leaning into creative solutions, such as co-op programs to build their talent pool, according to Emily Hann, People and Culture Manager at Redbrick, a portfolio of digital companies, in “How To Build The Next Generation Of Talent.”
An example of such a program is NPower Canada, which provide participants with free in-demand digital and professional skills training. NPower Canada provides employers with access to a pipeline of eager and job-ready talent with in-demand digital skills who are primed to succeed in the workplace.
Tech Talent Canada sat down with Derek Darch, NPower Canada’s Senior Director of Employer Engagement, to learn more about the program.
“Tech is a constantly evolving industry which means that often the skills we learn today won’t necessarily be relevant in a few years,” he explains. “By adopting a growth mindset and continuously learning, you are equipping yourself to be competitive now and in the future. “
According to Darch, the ability to be adaptable—as well as strong problem solving and critical thinking abilities—are the current skills most important in the tech industry.
Investing in Digital
Gartner predicts 40% of organizations will offer a blend of virtual and physical work experiences by the end of 2023. Within tech companies hiring tech talent, that figure is already at 99%, according to Tech + People Network.
“Hybrid work has changed the nature of our workplaces more than anything else since the invention of the internet,” Ryan Wong, CEO of Vancouver-based tech unicorn Visier, stated recently.
And yet a majority of Canadian companies are currently experiencing a downward trend in employee retention for digital-focused marketing and tech roles, notes Darian Kovacs of Jelly Academy.
Being prolific in the digital realm will pay dividends moving forward, believes Jeremy Shaki, CEO of Lighthouse Labs, a skills development accelerator for the digital age. He believes companies should invest in up-skilling employees.
“Building critical skills from within an organization is more cost-efficient and practical than hiring external talent,” Shaki explains. “External hires also take longer to train and acclimate to the corporate culture.”
Investing in current employees “is an adaptive approach for organizations to meet their digital skills demands,” according to Shaki. “The most innovative enterprises are building internal academies to create this pool of qualified talent with the requisite skills.”
“In order to retain employees in digital roles and attempt to reduce the effects of The Great Resignation, there needs to be greater resources available for employees to be able to continually progress their skills,” Kovacs agrees.
Shaki cites six steps that companies looking to invest in their team should follow.
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