As Atlantic Canadian startups continue to grapple with a skilled labour shortage, Halifax technology hub Volta has hired Candidate Hub CEO Brad DiPaolo to help its resident companies compete for employees.

DiPaolo co-founded Candidate Hub in 2020 with software developer Sebastien Aube. The two are in the process of dialing-in a minimum viable product that will use cookies and web-tracking to identify and monitor potential job applicants, helping recruiters know who to contact. The software can also “score” leads based on how interested a given job seeker is.

Volta approached DiPaolo before Christmas at the prompting of Matt Cooper, who became the organization’s Chief Innovation Officer in June. And DiPaolo started work the first week of this month.

“Through (Candidate Hub), that's how I got introduced to Volta,” said DiPaolo. “And so when this opportunity presented itself... it seemed like a really good opportunity to take some of the stuff that we are talking about at Candidate Hub and put it into play and help these companies grow.

“I think Volta adding this resource to help startups get a leg-up in this talent war is a really good move on their part.”

He said any of Volta’s resident companies, including those enrolled in the virtual Residency program, can enlist his help recruiting talent. Virtual Residency is open to startups anywhere in Atlantic Canada, so DiPaolo’s services will be available to companies across the region.

DiPaolo’s first weeks on the job have been spent interviewing startups about their hiring needs, as well as helping them craft recruitment messaging, such as more clearly articulating their corporate cultures to prospective employees.

“We're working on a variety of things, from helping them to identify their culture and create demand for their roles to helping them to source talent,” he said. “So it's been a really positive couple of weeks in terms of the reception from the founders. They're very excited.”

What he has heard from entrepreneurs, he said, is that the shift to remote work has made recruitment both easier and harder -- easier because telecommuting has increased the pool of potential employees, but harder because employers face more competition from businesses outside Atlantic Canada.

Counting DiPaolo, Volta now has 12 full-time staff.

“Founders told us one of their biggest roadblocks to growth was finding and attracting talent to their team,” said Matt Cooper in a press release. “After learning more about Brad’s background in recruitment, HR, and his entrepreneurial knowledge, we felt that he was the perfect fit to help Founders solve that problem.”