Vancouver IT / Tech Job Market Analysis

The Vancouver Tech market has rebounded and then some! 

We are experiencing one of the busiest hiring periods in recent history.  According to StatsCan research the professional, technical and scientific services had the largest year over year increase across all industries and nearly all of that rise was attributable to Ontario and BC.  8,900 jobs in the professional, technical and scientific sector were added in May 2021 in British Columbia with the heavy portion of those being added in the Metropolitan Vancouver area.  The growth is being attributed to startups and enterprise level organizations growing at exponential rates.  Retail and e-commerce organizations experienced massive growth through Covid and local darlings like lululemon and Article are having great years.  We are seeing a tremendous amount of capital being raised by local Vancouver organizations with six Vancouver based organizations becoming Narwhals in 2021 alone.  Trulioo, Clio, Thinkific, Dapper Labs, GeoComply, Galvanize and AbCellera all achieved the Canadian equivalent of unicorn status this year and its only June! 

Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Pinterest and Netflix have all announced significant expansion into the Canadian market with remote work possibilities.

During the early months of Covid as the commute to work became unnecessary, we saw a record number of people leave downtown living and relocate to suburbs or further.  As we look forward to the economy opening more fully the question remains, what will the future of work look like.  Tech giants like Salesforce and Facebook are paving the way and have fully embraced the remote first work strategy and identifying that for certain roles they can be remote forever. With the rise of remote work, we have also seen an increase of fully remote opportunities from US based organizations.  Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Pinterest and Netflix have all announced significant expansion into the Canadian market with remote work possibilities.  This poses a serious threat to the already tight labour market here in Vancouver.  Vancouver remains one of the most unaffordable cities to live in and the lure of a strong US Dollar, large salaries, and attractive stock options have created a perfect storm for a potential brain drain to US competitors. 

Retention of staff will be the largest challenge facing local companies for the foreseeable future.  Adoption of a hybrid work model will be one of the easier ways to retain staff, a number of surveys completed across North America are indicating that the majority of employees would consider finding a new role if their current role required full time work in office.  Tech workers overwhelmingly prefer a hybrid or fully remote model and in such a candidate driven market it is important to tailor your recruitment strategy to what the market demands.  

This is an incredibly exciting time for the local tech market and we are sure to see more surprises as the economy continues to recover.