In July of 2019, a new report was released that showed Toronto alone added more than 80,000 new technology-based jobs in the last five years. With that, the city has officially moved into the third position on an annual scoring of 50 tech talent markets in both the United States and Canada. The San Francisco Bay Area came in at number one, with Seattle at number two. Toronto beat out other stiff competition, including tech hotspots Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, and New York City.
All of the entrants on the list were scored based on a variety of factors, including not only their talent supply, but also the total number of completed tech degrees in the region, their job growth, and other criteria. But there’s more to Toronto’s tech boom than rapid job growth.
The Genesis of Toronto’s Tech Boom: Canada’s Global Talent Stream
Much of the increase in tech activity stems from Canada’s recent immigration programs that have created an influx of global talent. When tech positions began to explode over the last few years, a number of labor shortages were quickly identified. In response, Canada’s federal government created the Express Entry System, a program that is seen as the country’s leading source of skilled foreign workers and IT professionals.
Although occupation is said to not be under consideration when Express Entry candidates are selected, it clearly plays an important role. The three most common occupations out of all Express Entry candidates invited to participate in the program in 2018 were software engineers and designers, information systems analysts and consultants, and computer programmers and interactive media developers.
Thanks to initiatives like Canada’s Global Talent Stream, certain skilled workers can obtain a work permit to enter the country within just two weeks of applying. Indeed, this has quickly become one of the core elements of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, a far-reaching effort to help innovative companies grow as quickly as possible by guaranteeing that they have access to the highly skilled workers they need when they need them the most.
There are two main categories that currently exist under the Global Talent Stream:
- Companies that fall under Category A are identified as high-growth organizations that can clearly demonstrate a pressing need to recruit specialized foreign talent. Just a few of the organizations in this Category include the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.
- Companies that fall under Category B are those that are looking to hire certain highly-skilled foreign workers from a list of qualified occupations, all of which have been determined to be readily in-demand and for which there aren’t enough domestic workers to meet those needs. These positions include computer and information systems managers, computer engineers (with the exception of software engineers and designers), and mathematicians and statisticians.
All of this makes it clear that not only is Canada (and particularly Toronto) experiencing a very impressive tech boom, but the country’s government is also doing whatever it can to support and empower businesses. For companies looking to expand internationally, Canada therefore becomes a more-than-viable option—particularly for those companies operating in the technology sector.
Make Canada Your Next Global Expansion Destination with an Experienced Partner
Canada is one of the top markets for tech firms looking to expand beyond their domestic borders, offering companies growth opportunities and access to talent unavailable at home. During expansion, however, it’s important to consider all local hiring rules and regulations. Partnering with an International Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can help you ensure that you compliantly employing top talent—and avoiding the risks of working with independent contractors.
Want to learn more about Canada’s Global Talent Stream—or how Velocity Global’s International PEO solution has changed the way businesses hire and expand overseas? Get in touch.