Ex-BlackBerry employees find second life at Manulife
Insurance giant is continually looking for 'great talent' from the Waterloo-based smartphone maker
It seems BlackBerry's loss is Manulife's gain.
The Kitchener-based insurance giant is looking to find some of its next great talent among the hundreds of former BlackBerry staff who have lost their jobs and are looking to stay in the region.
"We're always looking for great talent, so if the talent is at BlackBerry, we're interested," Sarah Mortimer, head of talent acquisition for Manulife in North America, told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris Tuesday.
"Despite it being a very different industry from what we do in financial services, BlackBerry employees have a lot of transferable skills that are valued in our organization. Particularly when it comes to finance , human resources and obviously IT," she said.
Ex-BlackBerry employee lands at Manulife
Grant Gingrich, who is now assistant vice-president of expense management at Manulife, is one of among dozens of former BlackBerry workers who have found a new home at Manulife.
"I was let go [from BlackBerry] in September of 2012 and it was year before I found that something that I felt was a good fit," he said, adding Manulife was an easy transition because of his transferable skills.
"I work in the finance department," he said. "we make a lot of forecasting and reporting, decision making support, that kind of thing. All things I had done previously at BlackBerry."
Waterloo Region's labour market has recently been flooded with high tech job seekers after BlackBerry announced in September that it would be cutting 4,500 positions in an effort to turn itself around.
Manulife looking for 'great talent'
While hundreds of highly-skilled technology workers might be looking for work, they may not be looking to leave Waterloo Region and that gives Manulife an advantage when it comes to recruiting local talent.
"Our local recruiters are very aware of what's happening in their local market with events like this where there may be downsizing and can certainly tap in where they see people who have great skills that maybe we can leverage," Mortimer said, adding her company will continue to look to BlackBerry as a potential source of new blood when the person is the the right fit.
"I think it's a case by case basis, but as long as there's great talent out there potentially being displaced from BlackBerry," she said.
"We'd much rather help find employees work in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, versus seeing see them relocate or move out of the area."