Helping 'The Help List'

Helping 'The Help List'

When the new COVID related restrictions kicked in and business as usual was no more, it was so difficult to know how to react. We knew we were going to need to fight for our professional lives, but we also knew that for the time being: we at least had an opportunity to fight. For so many, the heavy hand of economic reality can down so swiftly that many didn't know what had hit them.

With so many falling to unemployment and the enormous wave of stress and anxiety weaving through all of our lives because of the virus, it really did feel like survival mode was our new default on a minute to minute basis.

At the time of the shutdown we were working on National Report with one of our clients, Prospect, led by Marianne Bulger. The report was supposed to provide an overview of the state of Tech Talent here in Canada, outlining how the different provinces differed in their hiring efforts and breaking down the details on which roles are proliferating, where we're outsourcing and what trends lie ahead.

When COVID hit, Marianne knew that our data was going to shift radically and that the focus our report was going to change. That was obvious to everyone. Although it was clear we had our work cut out for us to adjust our report to this new reality, Marianne's focus had shifted immediately to how she could support the sector in their time of need.

Marianne Bulger had connected with Adam Gellert and Adam Bercovici each of whom had built companies to support talent within the Canadian tech sector. Marianne, being the founder of Prospect, Canada's largest startup job hub. Bercovici is the founder of Luminari, a digital education network for CPAs and Gellert is the founder of Hired Hippo, a recruitment platform for high-growth companies. Together they started a Google Sheet for those in the sector to self identify as someone who's been affected is an available to work.

Within a day, 60 people signed up. Within a short period of time, 60 turned into a database of over 1000 in less than a week.

This community-powered tool was working so well that replications of the list started to pop up in other industries and countries.With the list getting so much traction and clearly filling a need within the community, it was clear to all of us at You X that Marianne's passion and leadership was something that we needed to get behind and that we needed to seize the moment to make a difference for our peers.

We quickly shifted focused to a design sprint to create an identity and website for The Help List that would help communicate who it's for, how it can be used to help and how you can get involved/contribute.

Landing Page for The Help List 

Since the launch of the website, the list has continued to grow and as of recently, has started to extend into the US to support other tech workers south of the border that are looking to connect on opportunities. The Help List has now been featured on CBC Radio One, Bay Street Bull, Betakit and their Black Swan Podcast.

At this time of this post, over 3000 people have now added their names to The Help List.

With the Canadian unemployment rate hovering around 15% and 20% in the US, its stands to reason that we're going to have to continue to find local, grassroots type of initiatives to creatively help one another connect to opportunities to make a living. What makes all of this more dire is the fact that these staggering numbers also come during a time where Federal & Provincial government programs are actively supporting companies. What happens when the programs, aid and hand-outs end? Sadly, our hardest days may lie ahead, but when united and committed to helping one another: we'll come out of this moment in history stronger and better than ever.

Visit The Help List.    

See Resources from The Help List to connect with opportunities.

Jason Goodman
Jason Goodman