June 19, 2012 4:15 AM
Finding and retaining top talent is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. In fact, innovation expert Chris Dulny, PwC partner and national technology sector leader, notes that studies find the war for talent is a growing concern for Canadian businesses.
In the company’s annual survey of CEOs, the quest for talented employees has for the first time become the top concern of business leaders. Part of this is a need for more specific skills sets and the continual loss of talent to the U.S.
This is especially acute for start-ups. “It's just that much easier to launch their own businesses,” Dulny said, but when people do that “you have to, more than ever, rethink ways to motivate your employees and stay agile.”
Staffing is a growing concern for start-up EidoSearch. To date, much of the company’s development talent has been coming from co-founder and CEO Xiao-Ping (Steven) Zhang’s Ryerson lab, which has allowed the company to find the best and brightest. This will continue to be a source of development staff, but the company is also casting a wider net.
“Staffing is a challenge for all companies, but especially for start-ups,” Zhang said. Of particular note, employees must be able to take on multiple roles. “They need to be smart, agile and motivated.”
The company is currently looking for three or four such motivated go-getters to join its technical team, and always looking to expand its sales team. And now that the company has its own HP server, part of the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign prize pack, it needs an IT system admin who can either also help program or work part time. And they need another algorithm or signal processing expert who, like Zhang, can do the theoretical work but also execute Java and Web code. That sort of expert frequently works for the likes of Google.
To cast its net wider for talent, co-founder and president David Kedmey said the partners are networking through associations and even customers, making enhancements to the company Web site to attract prospective employees and posting staffing notices through OCE (the Ontario Centres of Excellence).
Resources might be a challenge, but Kedmey said this phase of growth is an exciting time for someone with a flexible, entrepreneurial spirit. “It’s cutting edge… And as the company grows, those people who are there early on become essential. It’s a chance to leap ahead, rather than incrementally, like at a big corporation.”
Backbone will continue to follow EidoSearch’s sales efforts and successes in print and online over the next year, as we follow the winners of our Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign.
Lawrence Cummer is a freelance writer with over 15 years of experience writing for periodicals, business and communications agencies. He is former senior writer and editor of the technology trade publications Network World Canada and Communications & Networking Journal, respectively. As well, he has been a senior contributor to a variety of publications.
A frequent writer for Backbone Magazine, Lawrence currently covers a range of topics, including general business, information technology, telecommunications, physical security, occupational safety, and home construction and general contracting. Lawrence can be reached at email@example.com.