“Trying to hire for my IT based business was impossible in Vancouver, we have given up. People wanted ridiculous salaries, just to keep their heads above water. We can’t make the numbers work. We have set up shop in Halifax.”

‘Ralph Kramden’ at VREAA 22 may 2011 10:57am
“Trying to hire for my IT based business was impossible in Vancouver. The kids are all in debt up to their eyes and they wanted a ridiculous salary, just to keep their head above water.
I have been trying for a year to get staff – and we have given up.
Potentially we could hire 20-30 people, and we can’t make the numbers work.
Scratch one job creation situation for this burg.
We are going to be running our business out of Atlantic Canada – and have set up shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
We have already had 120 applications and the people are well qualified, and the Government in NS has been very friendly and helpful, every step of the way. We sold out here – (*people way overpaid for the apartment building I owned and our home in West Vancouver) and for the next few months, I am bi-coastal as my Family heads East.
We will never come back to Vancouver, and as a matter of fact, we don’t even want to visit.
The one negative is, we are going to have to look for a Caribbean getaway, as we realize that we will never go to Hawaii again.
Will we miss Vancouver? Not at all.”

[Note juxtaposition with last anecdote -> It’s tough for both employers and employees in over-expensive Vancouver. -vreaa]

6 responses to ““Trying to hire for my IT based business was impossible in Vancouver, we have given up. People wanted ridiculous salaries, just to keep their heads above water. We can’t make the numbers work. We have set up shop in Halifax.”

  1. After being raised in New Brunswick and then living out my University years in Halifax I packed up and moved to Vancouver after a few years of freezing my fingers off in Montreal. I’m pretty sure you will miss it Ralph – yep Vancouver’s got its downsides but it also has the upper hand in a few areas . (Especially if the RE market here does eventually correct) .Halifax is a nice town but it’s a University town with a lot of nothing else going on , it probably won’t take your new employees long to realise this and relocate to Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver in search of a bigger paycheck. Good Luck!

  2. Would be interesting to hear about actual salary ranges. How much is “ridiculous”?

    • Well, look at it this way:

      I know a few people who live in London, they all told me that under £75K/year you won’t be able to live comfortable IN the city.

      The general offer I have seen is low to mid £40s with the occasional one going a bit higher.

      A similar effect I have seen in Vancouver, where you would expect to get paid maybe $80K/year for the job but the actual offer is close to $50K/year.

  3. My wife and I are both born Nova Scotians but we lived and worked in the IT sector in Northern California for 28 years..same story.
    We moved back to Halifx in late 2006. Its a good IT market for most skills. I’m an IT Recruiter and have a large pool of candidates. Interesting thing about NS is how many people are under the radar..they tend to telecommute for companies all over North America..and having all the university and NSCC grads helps too.
    Best wishes on relocating your company..we want to bring back or keep the talent here if we can.

  4. Er, what is an “IT based company”? Is that code for a content mill or phone lines? I can’t imagine that it’s software, which pays peanuts in Van and you’d have a hard time finding 120 people for out east.

  5. Ralph Kramden

    Ridiculous – try starting at 90K = most of the youngest grads cited their student loans and cried “we need a leg up”. 90K and FULL benefits too, shares, please, oh and we need at least 4 weeks. I felt like I was being a Parent trying to tell some of these cats that the real world doesn’t work like that – oh and for the comment about IT – you wanna’ sign the NDA I’ll be happy to tell you all about it. (*jeez, some people)

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