Vahid Shababi also knows the value of hiring co-op students. Shababi is the vice president of business development and marketing at PerfectMind. He’s also an SFU and co-op alumnus.
“The main reason I hire people from the program is because of my own experience,” says Shababi. “I learned how to deal with stress and how to make the right decisions under pressure.”
Shababi says he remembers hiring a promising co-op student seven years ago. That student has since become a product manager who still works at PerfectMind today.
Both Shababi and Faletski acknowledge that ‘brain drain’—graduates moving to other cities for work—is a topic of concern in Vancouver.
“Graduates think they need to go to New York or San Francisco in order to succeed,” says Faletski. “But many don’t know about the opportunities in Vancouver.”
More and more startups are based in Vancouver, he says, or there are satellite offices of larger tech companies like Amazon, Salesforce and Microsoft.
“I think what young people are looking for is the right environment to grow,” says Shababi. “Young people are prepared to go through a lot to make things happening for your future. We’re seeing companies in Vancouver looking to invest in young talent.”
“For competitive driven people, creating a company culture that supports them is the most important part,” says Shababi. “When people join a strong company culture, they feel ownership. They want to stay and be a part of it.”
“Through my co-op, I encountered environments where workers weren’t motivated to go beyond the call and contribute to the company,” says Faletski. “When we founded Mobify, we knew we wanted to inspire our employees to actively contribute to our development and provide enough growth opportunities to keep them in BC. We feel we’ve been successful in attracting and retaining top talent by creating a great working environment where co-ops thrive.”