Gartner predicts 40% of organizations will offer a blend of virtual and physical work experiences by the end of 2023.
“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.
Within tech companies hiring tech talent, that figure is already at 99%, according to Tech + People Network. No wonder the tech sector is portrayed as contributing to higher vacancy rates in Canadian cities.
Neo Financial is looking to break that stereotype within one major startup hub, which currently suffers from a historic high vacancy rate among office space. Neo this year created a Calgary Tech Campus with 113,000 square feet of downtown office space in the Edison office tower and a converted floor at the downtown Hudson’s Bay.
“We have zero remote individuals on our team. We’ve been very deliberate on that,” CEO Andrew Chau stated at the recent Calgary Real Estate Forum. “Everyone is in the office. Five days a week.”
Why? As a startup, Chau acknowledged that Neo doesn’t yet have an established culture. However, he believes that for people seeking an opportunity to work in a fast-paced, high-performance environment, then Neo’s office policy could be seen as a perk and advantage.
In September, the well-funded Neo was included on LinkedIn’s 5th annual Top Startups list that features Canadian companies rising to the challenges of the moment and continuing to innovate in 2022.
“You have to be in the office to have a strong culture,” agrees iNovia Capital partner Shawn Abbot.
Regardless of a desire to work in-office, at-home, or a hybrid therein, most agree that tech talent currently sits in the driver’s seat.
Mike Mannix, founder and managing partner of Band Capital Partners, stated at the Forum that “The momentum in company formation and attracting capital is beginning to create Calgary’s own herd of unicorns.”
However, Mannix admitted the market-to-watch needs more talent to truly grow and thrive in tech. Al Del Degan, cofounder of New Idea Machine, agrees, noting there are currently 2,500 open tech jobs in Calgary alone.
Across Canada, tech job growth is high, putting pressure on talent pipelines everywhere.
According to data released by CBRE through its Tech-30 report, Vancouver saw 44% growth, placing them first on the continent. The BC city was followed by another iconic Canadian tech hub, Toronto, at 37%.
“Vancouver had the highest high-tech job growth at 44% and Toronto created the most jobs (60,000) over the past two years,” the report noted.
Vancouver’s tech scene employs 92,000, a figure which has nearly tripled since 2010. Toronto employs more than 220,000 tech workers.
“Tech industry job growth remains well above the national average,” the report states. “Economic headwinds in the year ahead likely will slow but not end high-tech job growth.”
Overall, the North American tech market has created nearly two million jobs in the past decade, with roughly a quarter of those roles being created just within the last two years.
With job creation high, companies must continue to cultivate appealing cultures, but also acknowledge the reality of the situation. Firms may aim to maximize retention efforts as well as invest in efficient training systems in the face of high mobility among tech talent.
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