On Monday, CBC’s The National chose to spotlight Wave as a super-high-growth Canadian tech company, to call attention to the shortage of high-tech talent available for an increasing number of high-tech jobs.
To be clear, there are lots of talented people in Canada. (Lots of them work at Wave already!) However, the number of jobs is outpacing the number of highly trained tech personnel.
At Wave, we’d love to see robust programs that train and educate a new generation of technologists. But that doesn’t mean we’re waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting. The CBC coverage was great, and the shortage of highly trained tech personnel is real; but the news piece didn’t cover the programs we have implemented at Wave to build our team. That’s a topic dear to our hearts, and one we’re proud to discuss.
We have many initiatives here at Wave to train and build up our team members, in both “hard” skills and leadership skills.
We are very active participants in university co-op programs, particularly in engineering, where we bring in students who are part-way through their degrees, to give them real-world experience for several months. During this period, they have the opportunity to do real work and to learn under some of the smartest technologists in the country. Several of our former co-op students have joined Wave as permanent team members after graduation, and we fully expect to continue that tradition.
Also, Wave engineers routinely deliver internal workshops and training for ongoing skills development, to ensure their deep expertise helps everyone on the team. Team members often participate in public engineering events like conferences and hackathons, to share their expertise. Wave has also hosted community events like the “Ladies Learning Code” series, aimed at developing interest in computer science.
We also take on summer students, and have had placements in our finance, data and marketing teams.
We have a mentorship program whose equal I’ve never seen anywhere else. Anyone in the organization can ask to be paired with anyone else in the company, in a mentor/mentee relationship. Through this program, mentees can learn skills that are outside the requirements of their current roles, explore new avenues that might be of interest in their future career growth, and stretch themselves professionally with extraordinary access to Wave’s senior team members. At any time, an amazing 60% of our company is actively involved in the mentorship program!
We have pioneered innovative leadership training programs for Wave team members at various points in their careers; we believe everyone is a leader, so this training isn’t limited to traditional “management” roles.
In fact, we have a team of people (the Wave People & Culture team) who focus entirely on the personal and professional development of our staff. We provide a paid benefit for training and attending conferences and we actively invest in the career development of each and every employee at Wave. There is no one who has raised their hand with a personal ambition who has not been able to achieve those goals and push themselves further than they believed they could have.
We also are proud of our track record of hiring people into entry-level roles, developing their skills, and then promoting them to increasingly senior positions at Wave. For example, team members who started in entry-level positions now hold roles of significant responsibility on our Risk, Product, IT, HR and other teams, and all of our Support team leads and managers came from the amazing pool of entry-level Customer Support Heroes.
Furthermore, almost all of our Engineering managers are “home grown” versus hired externally, as are the majority of our VP and Director level staff.
We have attracted some of the brightest engineers, fraud prevention analysts, product managers and designers because of our commitment to building up the strengths and capabilities of the great people we hire. Young talent join us for the chance to work with superstars; and the opportunity to give and receive mentorship and learning experiences along the way is critical to our success. We invest in all of our employees on a constant basis.
We consider ourselves leaders in the way we nurture and develop our team. We’ve received an award for Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture, as well as recognition by Moreau Shepell for employee recommendations.
We believe passionately that a great company comes from attracting great people, and then working hard to make them even better. Want to join our adventure? We’re hiring.
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