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Why We Expanded to Canada to Support Our Employees

A few weeks ago, a Bloomberg article caught my eye. The story profiled Vikram Rangnekar, a former Senior Software Engineer with LinkedIn from Mumbai who — faced with uncertainty about his permanent residency status in the U.S. — moved his family to Toronto, Canada.

The article explored a question that’s currently top of mind for many immigrants in the tech industry: with uncertainty surrounding immigration policy under the Trump administration, what does the future hold for skilled non-citizens in the U.S.?

A New Location for Employees in Need

It’s an issue that’s of concern to GroundTruth, too. That’s why we’ve made several changes in recent months. As immigration policies have grown more complex, we’ve proactively worked to provide a solution. It’s an effort that’s in keeping with our company values: be passionate, relentless, respectful, and trailblazers who forge our own path as a team. Creating a positive company culture isn’t just about teamwork and office perks, but going to bat for each other when it matters most.

One way we’re doing this is by opening a Canadian office. We worked with a 3rd party immigration lawyer to establish a legal entity in Vancouver. This enables us to provide an alternative route for our employees should they find themselves unable to remain in the U.S.

While our executive team will continue to do everything we can to keep our team where they are, this Vancouver entity represents a viable second option for employees in need. It’s also received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from our staff.

Why We Invest in Our Staff

Deciding to open a Canadian office was a defining moment for us. But it wasn’t without its share of obstacles. We were required to abide by a new set of laws, and obtain the necessary permits and licenses that allow us to operate in Canada. Naturally, the financial investment was significant.

So why do it? The bottom line is that we value our team. It’s important to us that all of our employees have peace of mind. Should their work permit or visa put them in a position where they’re required to leave the country, we want them to know their job will remain intact. We believe we have an obligation to support our staff and show them the same loyalty they continually show us.

The benefits of this strategy are obvious: we get to retain the remarkable employees that made GroundTruth what it is today.

We get to retain the remarkable employees that made GroundTruth what it is today.

But there have been other advantages, too. In expanding to Canada, we also found we now have access to a new talent pool — a win for the company as a whole. We’re now able to hire more Canadian employees, and capitalize on the innovation economy for which the country is increasingly known.

We’ve all heard it said that employees are a company’s best asset. I happen to disagree. For a company to succeed, its employees must be viewed as its only asset. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. An investment in our employees is an investment in GroundTruth — not to mention a great way to inspire excellent work and build loyalty and trust.

It’s hard to say what kind of challenges the coming months and years will bring to U.S.-based non-citizen employees. No doubt immigration policy will change in myriad ways. But we’re thrilled to be able to reassure our staff that, regardless of what happens, we have their backs.

Interested in applying for a job at our Vancouver office? Click here to explore job openings.

Stephen McCarthy
Stephen McCarthy, CFO, GroundTruth