Vancouver second to Toronto in Canada’s tech talent: study

Plus, why job interviews are useless and more CEOs are getting fired

Credit: Slack

The recently renovated Yaletown office of communications software giant Slack

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Vancouver’s tech talent market has been ranked second in the country to Toronto, followed by other well-established tech industries in Ottawa and Montreal. Rankings in the 2016 Scoring Tech Talent Report completed by CBRE Canada, a commercial real estate services firm, are determined based on 13 unique metrics including tech talent supply, growth, concentration, cost, completed degrees, industry outlook for job growth and market outlook for both office and apartment rent cost growth.

According to the report, 10 per cent of all Canadian tech talent works in Vancouver. Despite losing out to Toronto for the top spot, Vancouver beat Toronto in the rate of tech job creation. In the past five years, Vancouver has increased the number of tech jobs by 50 per cent, compared to 36 per cent in Toronto.

Raymond Wong, head of research at CBRE Canada, explained in a press release that firms are targeting cities such as Waterloo, Winnipeg and Halifax which provide cheaper access to labour but also a work force with levels of education higher than the national average. Toronto and Vancouver, even with their higher cost of real estate, generally offer lower salaries that make these large tech centres an affordable option for many companies.

“When you add in that in these two cities over a third of the labour pool is university educated, and they already provide established tech networks and communities, it’s little wonder that many international firms are looking to set up shop there,” he said. “Compared to the top 50 most expensive North American tech markets, Toronto and Vancouver are 49th and 50th in the rankings, assisted by a low Canadian dollar. This makes these two cities a relative bargain for U.S. tech firms looking to expand further North.” (CBRE Canada)

Job interviews have been frequently shown to be far less effective predictors of job performance than more objective tests. So why do employers, managers and administrators continue to give so much weight to interviews? The simple answer is that people trust what they see and hear, and rely on their own feelings even when they shouldn’t. But as Yale University management professor Jason Dana and his collaborators have shown, there’s more to it than that. Interviewers actively fool themselves, finding ways to learn from interviews even if there’s actually nothing there to learn from. Bloomberg business columnist Cass R. Sunstein looks at why we are so attached to the job interview. (Bloomberg

High-profile firings of CEOs such as John Stumpf, who recently lost his job at Wells Fargo, seem to be routine these days. It’s true—the top executive post is a far less secure job than it once was. One recent study of CEO tenure found that the percentage of forced turnover tripled between 1970 and 2006, and another study concluded that boards of directors now “aggressively fire CEOs for poor industry-adjusted performance.” In addition, the average duration of a CEO’s tenure has fallen. Why? In short, today’s cult of the C.E.O., (American CEOs are paid two to four times the salaries of their European counterparts, and five times those in Japan) is founded on the belief that having the right person at the top is the key to success—from which it follows that a failing company should show its boss the door. (The New Yorker