MaRS’ ‘Talent Fuels Tech’ Shows Discrepancies Between Job Seekers and Employers

One of the leading technology hubs in Canada has released a report detailing the state of talent in the industry.

The MaRS Talent Fuels Tech report surveyed technology workers to gain a deeper look into the talent pool in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and understand the dynamics involving employee behaviours, opinions and aspirations.

Through the survey, MaRS found that 91 per cent of respondents were currently employed, but that half of those employed workers were actively looking for another job. Those new career seekers were most likely to be between the age of 22 to 35, belong to a visible minority group, and be born outside of Canada.

It also appears that there are several glaring mismatches between what employees believe matters in a role versus what an employer thinks matter. For example, talent considers compensation as the strongest driver to become job seekers, whereas ventures and corporations consider quality of work and having the ability to make an impact matters more. The chart below goes into more detail.

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Another example is that ventures spend a lot of time and resources looking for talent through internships, campus recruitment and referral programs, but job seekers mainly use online portals like job boards, LinkedIn and referrals from friends, as illustrated below.

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The industry must work together with the government and postsecondary education institutions to enhance the ability of job seekers to connect with tech employers. MaRS outlined five steps to improve the talent strategy for the GTA.

1. Accelerate the development of key mindsets to complement technical acumen through work-integrated learning opportunities.
2. Recognize that top talent is drawn by high-skilled jobs that promise competitive wages and opportunities for growth and advancement.
3. Develop a sector-wide strategy to attract and retain a diverse workforce.
4. Build a diverse talent pipeline for GTA tech-sector employers.
5. Create a sector-wide marketing campaign for the Toronto region’s booming tech ecosystem to attract top talent.

“It is clear that the future belongs to those cities that attract, develop and retain the best and most innovative talent,” reads the report.

Cracking the “employment code” is a matter of creating a mindset that matters to both employers and job seekers. Employers are increasingly looking to fill hybrid roles, meaning they need workers who can don multiple hats at once. This means job seekers must be able to grow and pivot with their employers as companies continue to adapt and scale.

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The report concludes by stating the importance of understanding and building comprehensive talent strategies around the profiles and motivations of the job seekers. Stakeholders in the tech ecosystem have to work together to enhance the ways job seekers connect with employers, and only then will more talent begin to consider opportunities in high-growth tech companies.