Vancouver, BC – Struggling to meet its hiring demand amidst a period of rapid growth, local tech company Canada Drives is introducing an online virtual office tour powered by Google street view technology to support an aggressive recruitment campaign.
As documented in a press release last week, the company, along with Vancouver’s entire tech community, is having great difficulty attracting and retaining international and local tech professionals due to the high cost of living in the city.
Already occupying an entire floor in downtown Vancouver’s famed Two Bentall Centre, and scheduled to take over another floor within the next week, Canada Drives is using this online walkthrough as a way to stand out from other tech companies, according to company founder Cody Green.
“We are facing significant recruitment challenges due to all the local, national and even international news coverage about Vancouver’s housing market,” explains Green. “Because we are conducting a lot of international Skype interviews, Google street view gives us a powerful visual tool to use in our conversations with candidates who are often located on the other side of the globe.”
Metro Vancouver is quickly emerging as Canada’s premier tech hub, with hundreds of thriving start-ups and major players like Amazon and Microsoft setting up shop in the past year. However, companies looking to meet their HR needs are being faced with an exodus of young tech workers from the city, and the inability to compete with other international tech centres with a lower cost of living, particularly when it comes to housing.
Tech entities currently occupy nearly 40 per cent of downtown Vancouver’s commercial real estate, and across BC, the tech sector employs 86,800 people, which is more than forestry, mining and oil and gas combined. Vancouver is driving BC’s tech boom, with about 250 new tech companies emerging every year. Yet in comparison to cities like Seattle, which is considered to have one of the most mature tech sectors in the world, tech talent is harder to come by. This gap is being widened by Vancouver’s out of control housing prices, which have risen by 30 per cent over the past 12 months.
The partnership with Google offers context and information that just isn’t possible through verbal descriptions or still images. With competition for tech talent taking place not only with international locales, but also local companies looking to fill similar voids, every aspect that differentiates Canada Drives is meaningful, adds Green.
“We have a young dynamic work force, a beautiful open concept office with a fully catered kitchen, and are located in a stunning part of the city near the water,” says Green. “It is important that we highlight every advantage we have as a company and a city in such a competitive marketplace.”