Former Silicon Valley developer wants to help U.S. tech workers move to Canada

A former employee of LinkedIn has developed software to match Canadian companies that are looking for workers, with job-seekers abroad.

Vikram Rangnekar, founder of MovNorth, plans to meet companies in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. tech corridor

Vikram Rangnekar is the founder of MovNorth, a software and website that allows Canadian tech companies to find international talent for hire. (Communitech)

A developer who formerly worked for LinkedIn in Silicon Valley is offering Canadian tech companies a solution to their talent shortage.

Vikram Rangnekar has founded MovNorth, a website and software mix to match up Canadian companies hungry for talent with tech workers from abroad. 

"Traditionally, Canadian companies were not focused on international hiring, but the tech talent gap is real and as the tech ecosystem here has begun to grow within the last few years, they're starting to feel that," said Rangnekar, who now lives in Toronto. 

According to Jodi Marner, head of diversity and talent initiatives at Communitech, an organization in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. focused on growing the tech sector, the talent shortage still plagues companies in a region deemed as Canada's growing tech hub. 

"It's the job skills that we've noticed the gaps," Marner said. "Everything from developers to tech sales, digital marketing, product management, UX/UI design." 

Marner said they've been trying to recruit with many strategies, such as offering micro credentialing and experiential training by partnering with universities and recruiting from international talent pools. 

"Just to give you an example, Thalmic [Labs], one of our member companies has hired 16 people internationally," Marner said, adding that MovNorth's appearance in the region will now help with the hiring. 

"Without this type of opportunity, we wouldn't be able to meet the talent targets we have in K-W," said Marner. 

Rangnekar is visiting Kitchener on Thursday to talk about how LinkedIn surpassed 400 million users.

Prior to his speaking engagement, he's planned to meet and pitch MovNorth to companies such as Velocity, Qspice Labs and the Perimeter Institute, a leader in scientific research and theoretical physics. 

"This type of tech immigration is what built Silicon Valley and it's done wonderfully," Rangnekar said. 

"There are smart people everywhere and tech needs those people — there are lots here, but we need even more."