Canadian tech companies more concerned about talent than economy: study

New research from BDO Canada shows that it isn’t the lagging economy that’s keeping tech companies up at night — it’s the country’s talent pool.

The second annual report, titled “BDO Canada Technology RiskFactor Report,” shows that one of the primary concerns of the tech sector is finding and retaining talented personnel — 85 per cent of the organizations surveyed cited this as one of their biggest worries.

“The Canadian tech industry has had some notable wins over the past few years and is emerging as an important engine for Canada’s economy,” said Scott Rodie, partner and leader of the technology and life sciences practice at BDO Canada, in a statement. “However, as the industry grows, competing to find and keep the right talent has become increasingly challenging. The next big question for Canadian tech firms hoping to maintain their success is determining how to address this talent gap.”

The research compiled the risk factors mentioned in the financial statements of publicly traded tech companies across Canada (think homegrown heroes of the sector like Hootsuite and Shopify), and narrowed down their concerns to the top 25 most common issues cited by these organizations.

The other top concerns in the sector included competition in their market and pricing (another 85 per cent cited this), as well as their ability to drive innovation by developing and marketing new products or services.

While other woes trumped it on this list, Canada’s flagging economy was certainly on the radar of the majority of the country’s tech firms. More than 70 per cent of organizations mentioned it in their financial statements, with one third of those specifically pointing to commodity prices (particularly oil) as a risk. This represents of spike of 30 per cent over last year’s numbers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Lindsey Peacock
Lindsey Peacock
Lindsey Peacock is a freelance writer, editor and American expat based in Toronto. This proud Atlanta native has written for a variety of news and business publications across North America, including Business in Vancouver, BCBusiness magazine, Fort McMurray Today and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Blogging, sweet tea and black-and-white movies are a few of her favourite things.

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