The specialized tech professionals Canada’s booming digital sector needs don’t all live within hailing range of Toronto, Ottawa-Waterloo and Vancouver.
Forty six percent of businesspeople surveyed by the Business Development Bank of Canada say the worker shortage is hurting growth.
This is just what the federal government’s Global Talent Stream initiative, a resounding success relaunched last year after a two-year pilot, is designed to address.
This surprisingly little-known program promotes the country’s economic success by funneling rare tech talents to Canadian organizations in its fastest-growing sector.
Good companies seeking good people
“Technology entrepreneurialism has flourished over the last 10 years” in Canada, as Altus Assessments noted recently, and we’re now blessed with “more good companies than the domestic labour market can handle.”
Winnipeg’s SkiptheDishes, now the largest food-delivery company in the country, is one of those good companies hurting for good people. We recently connected their expanding organization with Global Talent Stream to hire desperately-needed senior developers, in what Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner Kristina Devine called “a brilliant process.” (We’ve helped them hire over 100 developers, actually).
GTS is pretty brilliant! — and becoming more necessary every day. That’s partly because of Canada’s proximity to the US, which is a stroke of geopolitical good fortune that comes with a downside, if you’re recruiting north of the 49th.
The perils of boom-time recruiting
The problem is that American companies are booming too, leading giants like Shopify and Amazon to set up branch offices in big Canadian centres. This vacuums up even more of the limited supply of homegrown talent, meaning you’ll need to look even farther afield for that precious FullStack dev.
So recruiting for your tech company is not about to get any easier. After a certain point, without assistance from remarkable federal policies like this one, unfilled specialist roles are going to seriously hamper your growth.
Signing on to the Global Talent Stream, then, and liaising effectively with Employment and Social Development Canada, is becoming more and more critical for home-grown SMEs in pursuit of high-end tech talent. If you can import skilled people quickly from Asia, South America and elsewhere, especially those with solid English/ French language skills, you’re already kilometres ahead of the competition.
Secure your long-term prospects with good hires
The GTS can cut visa application times from ten months to two weeks. The federal authorities promise “personalized, high-touch assistance throughout the assessment” and of course your new hires can help you meet diversity and inclusion targets as needed.
Over 1,100 Canadian companies had taken advantage of the GTS as of June 2019 to sponsor more than 40,000 professionals from abroad. I’m proud to say many of them managed it with VanHack’s assistance and consultation.
A major labour shortage can seriously dampen your company’s long-term economic prospects. The Government of Canada doesn’t want to see that happen, any more than you do, and Global Talent Stream is their answer. You can’t afford to go without it.
Ilya Brotzky is the CEO and Founder of VanHack.