It’s a weird time to talk about foreign talent acquisition given the number of layoffs we’re seeing in Canadian tech. But it’s an important conversation to have.
Why? For one, the current tech downturn won’t last, and companies are still hiring despite the layoffs. But the reality is that the Global Talent Stream is currently broken, and that problem will last longer than any tech downturn.
What was once a boon for this federal government in promoting Canada to the world is now a boondoggle.
How broken? According to Ilya Brotzky, CEO of VanHack, the normal processing time to bring in highly skilled tech talent to Canada is currently four to six months. When the fast-track visa initially launched in June of 2017 as part of the Global Skills Strategy, the wait was 10 days to two weeks, and the Global Talent Stream should be no more than 4 weeks 80 percent of the time. So the fast-track program to acquire international talent is no longer fast.
There are other issues, like the Labour Market Benefits Plan, which, according to Brotzky, slows down talent acquisition and makes it harder for smaller businesses to compete with larger companies to acquire talent. There’s also no sign of a digital nomad visa (remember our podcast on that in April?) and some issues with tax returns (have your T2s ready).
What was once a boon for this federal government in promoting Canada to the world is now a boondoggle. So what to do about it?
Brotzky is no stranger to poking the government for movement on this file, and he knows how long it takes. BetaKit reported on VanHack launching a petition urging the feds to launch the Global Talent stream back in august 2016 – almost exactly six years to the day of this podcast recording.
VanHack is back with a new petition, urging the government to reconsider the Labour Market Benefits Plan, but also with the hope to raise awareness of how our Global Talent Stream needs to be streamlined.
Before you check out the petition, listen to this podcast, recorded on Ilya’s birthday!
Let’s dig in.
The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Thinksound.
Photo courtesy Sarah Pflug via Burst.