Kitchener-Waterloo

'This raises the stakes': Will Google's 1,500 new jobs put talent squeeze on smaller startups?

Google's announcement of a massive Canadian expansion, including new buildings, 3,500 employees and a startup accelerator may create a talent squeeze in an already tough landscape, according to the editor in chief of Betakit.

Google is planning to add more than 3,000 jobs across Canada

Construction has begun on a new tower at Google's office on Breithaupt Street. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

Google's announcement of a massive Canadian expansion, including new buildings, 3,500 employees and a startup accelerator may create a talent squeeze in an already tough landscape, according to the editor in chief of Betakit. 

Last week, Google announced plans to expand in Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo, as well as open Canada's first Google for Startups Accelerator.

"We were hosting an event with a Toronto-based startup, and speaking to them about the news, and they were incredibly shook," said Douglas Soltys, editor-in-chief at Betakit.

"Google can pay more than 99 per cent of Canadian startups to acquire and attract talent ... That being said, it's also a lot of really great job opportunities for Canadian tech workers," he said. 

Fierce competition for talent is commonplace in the tech industry. It is not uncommon for a tech worker in Silicon Valley to jump between multiple companies in a year.

"Retention even among the giants is incredibly difficult," Soltys said.

Google's plan is to bring on 1,500 new employees at their location in Kitchener by 2020. They're in the midst of constructing a new tower to facilitate the growth, according to Google Canada Engineering and Waterloo Site Lead Steve Woods.

"Google's not strapped for resources, they're strapped for talent," Soltys said.

Part of Google's recent announcement included a new startup accelerator, a program that will provide free mentorship and technological expertise to select Canadian startups. 

"We are sitting here at what is now one of the densest start-up ecosystems on the planet," Woods said last week.

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