‘AirBnB’ for IT talent expands to Ontario to address skills shortage

An online marketplace dedicated to finding technology-savvy people a job they love has launched in Canada in the Toronto, Waterloo and Kitchener markets.

Hired, which is already available south of the border, is starting its Canadian expansion , said co-founder and chief product officer Matt Mickiewicz, to combat what he said is one the country’s worst talent shortages in recent history, Ontario in particular. The Hired platform is designed to help local companies in a growth spurt by providing them access to vetted software engineers, data scientists, product managers and UX/UI designers. He said sales professionals will also be courted eventually, and the platform will expand to Montreal and Vancouver in the near future.

The concept of Hired came about from Mickiewicz’s own experiences and challenges hiring the right talent quickly. “We’ve been eating our own dog food for the last three years,” he says.

He cited research from Gallup that shows 70 per cent of employees are engaged with their current jobs, but only 20 per cent are looking for new opportunities in large part because the process is painful. “Resumes go into a black hole.”

That’s where Hired differentiates itself from traditional job boards as well as professional networking stalwart LinkedIn, which is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, said Mickiewicz. Hired vets candidates and gets them in front of companies that are looking to fill specific roles. He called it an “AirBnB for hiring.”

New candidates become available to potential employers every Monday, and the Canadian marketplace already has 12,000 applicants, said Mickiewicz, who are hired quickly – the average turnaround time is about 14 days. Talent looking for work love using Hired because they can find new work quickly, he said, as well as maintain their privacy.

Another feature Hired emphasizes, said Mickiewicz, is the transparency of the hiring process. Employers get insight into competing offers while the job seeker knows if the hiring company can afford them because the salary is disclosed up front.

Mickiewicz, a Canadian himself, was eager to bring the platform to Canada as he sees a “massive opportunity” for the company, which has 250 employers onboard, including Shopify, thanks to its pre-launch beta period. He said that Ontario in particular will benefit from Hired’s approach, given its forecast to have a need for the skilled workers the platform is focused on – as many as 65,000 positions.

Hired is not the only IT staffing venture from the U.S. that sees opportunities in Canada. In August, Workbridge Associates set up shop in Canada’s largest city because the job market for those with IT skills is rivaling major cities south of the border, including San Francisco and the Silicon Valley region. It specializes in staffing hard-to fill-IT positions such as developers with experience in Ruby, PHP, Python, UI/UX, JavaScript, mobile and Microsoft/.NET.

The Workbridge expansion came on the heels of a report released in late July by the Information and Communications Technology Council that found the pipeline that produces workers who know how to leverage modern technologies is not keeping up with demand, which it said should be of particular concern to CIOs who are leading the digital transformation of their organizations.

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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