Recommended Reading: The High-Demand Tech Job … No One Talks About

Earlier this year, Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO of Hootsuite, shared some personal insight into one of the most significant challenges facing startup founders - where to find top talent to grow their companies. 

Often in the startup world, the conversation around talent focuses on the competition for technical expertise. The developers, designers, and engineers that build the product and keep it up-and-running for customers are in high-demand. Organizations, like Startup Edmonton and many others, have created programs, student opportunities, and community events to provide opportunities for startup founders to build relationships with potential hires on a regular basis and in meaningful ways. 

Many external forces directly impact the pool of technical talent - caps on university program size, the pull of significant tech centres for our brightest minds, and opportunities in academic tracks. Not all our computing science and engineering grads will want to join startup or scaling tech companies, and that's ok!

But, recruiting, retaining, and supporting technical talent isn't the only hiring challenge facing startups. 

The reality is that it’s impossible to scale and sustain most software platforms today without a highly capable, highly trained sales team.
— Ryan Holmes, Founders and CEO of Hootsuite

No matter how fantastic the product team is if there isn't a system of support for the Founder on the sales and marketing side of the business, the chances of reaching global scale are slim. Ryan calls on Canadian startup communities to reframe the perception of sales roles, away from the sometimes overly competitive, pressure-tactic stereotypes to one of a vocational calling, just like our technical counterparts.

We see our startup companies include marketing and sales roles as part of their early company strategy, workshops on sales and marketing are always in demand, and we're sharing more of the first-hand experiences of these team members on our blog and Facebook Live series. There are new opportunities for founders specifically to get guidance from career sales and marketing executives in the tech space, such as 321 Growth Academy, the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program and Playbook at DMZ.  

The good news is also that there’s a huge, unfilled demand for sales talent among Canadian tech companies. These are high-growth, well-paying jobs in a sector that’s only poised to expand — and you don’t need an engineering degree to apply. It’s no exaggeration to say that for a generation of ambitious Canadians — fed up with gig work and facing downsizing from AI and automation — these could literally represent some of the jobs of the future.
— Ryan Holmes

Despite being one of Canada's largest tech success stories, Hootsuite still struggles with this challenge. At the time of posting, Ryan had nine sales positions open! Check out his full post for and inside look on how they scaled their sales team and what's in store for the future.