The Pursuit of Happiness: An Announcement
“Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not”
- Leila Janah
Recently — as I felt the itch to start something new return — I found myself reflecting back on my career. I came to the realization that one of the absolute joys of my near decade starting, building or growing technology companies has been employing immigrants. I didn’t specifically set about to hire them: it just so occurred that every now and then, the obvious, best person for a job happened to not be in the same country as me. And perhaps because I’ve lived and worked in five cities in the last ten years, I’ve never really let borders get in the way of who I want on my team.
As an employer, when you take a chance on someone who is clearly very skilled and offer them the opportunity to build a better life somewhere new via a job they love, you’re not just giving them an opening that may not be available in their back yard. Often, you’re also helping their family find a new home and giving them the ability to support other loved ones. What you get back in return is diversity of opinion on your team, loyalty from someone whose entire life has changed because of your choices and most importantly, access to some really, really great talent! The impact multiplies quickly and exponentially when your available pool of candidates spans the globe.
With this in mind, I’m working with some really talented, like-minded folks (hi Gautam, Josh and the rest of the team!) to start Pursuit. We help the world’s brightest & most economically valuable people find better lives and opportunities via a single common application, bringing transparency to global immigration for highly skilled workers. Having done it many times over between us, we believe that the immigration process for skilled workers is hopelessly broken. Incredibly talented people are making some of the most important decisions of their lives — where to live — with very little information. Currently the process depends on serendipity (“I know a guy who’s looking for a software developer in…”), unreliable experiential information (“I chose to move here because my cousin did and she likes it here”) and a great deal of luck. We believe that if we’re in a global ‘war’ for talent — as we so often hear — then merit based immigration should look like a marketplace. We want to bring transparency and choice to this mess. Skilled workers who want to build a new life overseas should be able to view their options and connect with opportunities through one profile and application.
So, why solve for this today? Over the last couple of years, many progressive governments have recognized the immense value of welcoming highly skilled immigrants and have created new, more efficient visa classes targeted at workers. As is often the case with such things, Canada is leading the way with its Global Talent Stream, but countries like France, Australia and Singapore are also innovating rapidly. Our thesis is that countries that welcome economic migrants with open arms will have stronger startups and companies, more robust economies and will generally “win” over the next few decades. Indeed, our mission is to help those countries do well in order to make a strong case for liberal skilled immigration to the rest!
Pursuit connects skilled workers with opportunities in countries with visa programs they are eligible for, and with employers who need their skills the most. For companies, we’d like to completely de-risk hiring internationally by putting forward only the best candidates — fully vetted through our data driven Immigrant Graph model — for their consideration. We’ve only been in business a few weeks, but have already vetted hundreds of potential immigrants. Our acceptance rate is under 5% and we’re introducing those that make the cut to some really amazing companies who need their help. So far, so good.
We’ve got big dreams, lots of work to do and many peaks to conquer — we’re only just getting started. However, these are problems we had to overcome as immigrants, employers and attorneys & are very excited to finally be solving for. If you’d like to join us on this journey, or just want to say hi, We’d love to hear from you. You can reach me on Twitter (@zakimahomed) or via email – zaki at pursuitcentral dot com.
About Pursuit Central -
Pursuit Central helps technical talent find a great job in Canada 🇨🇦 through a common application that matches top talent with the best employers in Canada looking to hire exceptional software engineers and developers.