Global star search: Kanata North tech park launches online job board

Jamie Petten new
Jamie Petten is the executive director of the Kanata North Business Association. Photo courtesy KNBA

The Kanata business district that bills itself as the country’s largest tech park has launched an online job-search tool in an effort to cast a wider net in the hyper-competitive hunt for global talent.

Discover Technata 2.0 is the brainchild of the Kanata North Business Association, which represents more than 540 companies, the vast majority of them tech firms. The new platform, which went live on Thursday, features a job board with links to hundreds of open positions in the tech park and thousands more at the worldwide offices of companies that have operations in Kanata North.

KNBA executive director Jamie Petten said the new initiative is the “natural next step” in the organization’s gradual evolution to more of a virtual model, a process that’s accelerated during the pandemic.

Petten says the wholesale shift toward remote workplaces since the coronavirus hit has prompted many employers to expand their hiring searches beyond Ottawa’s borders since employees are no longer required to be physically present in an office.

“They’re recognizing that their talent pools have now expanded nationally and internationally,” she says.

Virtual job fair

The changing nature of work came into sharp focus in October, when the KNBA hosted a virtual job fair that attracted 17,000 participants from around the world, Petten says. As Kanata North’s companies continue to grow, she says it will become even more important for them to leave no stone unturned in finding the best available talent wherever those workers might be.

While the pandemic has decimated many sectors of the economy, Petten says many tech firms in Kanata North are busier than ever as they respond to skyrocketing demand for technology such as high-speed communications tools, network troubleshooting software and cybersecurity platforms.

“These are all essential services,” she says. “We’re definitely noticing that things are continuing to grow and that there’s an appetite for talent.”

The KNBA plans to host another virtual job fair next year and is looking at other events such as a “virtual roadshow” featuring online tours of Ontario college and university campuses. 

Petten says it’s all part of her organization’s ongoing campaign to raise the profile of the tech park, which employs more than 20,000 workers.

“The reach of Kanata North, it’s quite amazing,” she says.