Startup Montréal and MAIN unveil the results of the  Baromètre startup Talent 

Startup Montréal and MAIN unveil the results of the  Baromètre startup Talent 

by Startup Montréal
26 October 2022

MONTRÉAL, October 26th 2022 – Startup Montréal and Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec (MAIN) unveiled today the results of the first study to identify and map the talent issues experienced specifically by Québec startups. 

The Baromètre startup Talent, produced in collaboration with Talsom and Ton équipier, confirms that Québec startups are also faced with the labor shortage currently affecting all sectors of the economy. The report presents concrete data identifying the main challenges related to talent in terms of attraction, hiring and development for startups and to suggest promising avenues of reflection for the revitalization of the innovation sector in Québec.  

“In the context of the labor shortage that is currently impacting society at large, we wanted to better understand how startups are affected: is talent a problem for them? How does their unique reality impact this issue? The results unveiled today confirm that this is an issue for startups, but that not all of them experience it in the same way. They need help to remain attractive in a competitive environment, especially when it comes to attracting international talent. As an ecosystem, we must continue to explore these issues and work together to better support local startups,” said Louis-Félix Binette, Executive Director of Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec. 

The challenges faced by startups vary according to various criteria, including their location (Montréal or outside of Montréal) or their stage of maturity. Despite these specificities, a general observation is that access to qualified talent is a major obstacle for the growth of startups and it is imperative to help our companies be attractive in a market where competition (local and international) for talent is aggressive.

The data also reveals that the vast majority of startups surveyed describe their employee satisfaction as generally high and mention implementing various means (training programs, telecommuting, etc.) to promote the retention of their talent. Therefore, it appears that beyond the challenge of attractiveness, the startups surveyed have a rather positive perception of their ability to retain their employees.

“The issues raised in the Baromètre startup Talent show us that the implementation of solutions will require collaboration between several actors, whether governments, entrepreneurs themselves, specialists or organizations supporting the ecosystem. At Startup Montréal, we want to play a mobilizing role in the ecosystem by sparking new collaborations and encouraging action. We offer opportunities for talent matching, tools to centralize human resources support, and help train employees in growing startups,” says Liette Lamonde, executive director of Startup Montréal. 


  • The workforce shortage is mostly a drag on growth and/or result in lower sales for the startups surveyed. 
  • The sectors that attract the most talent are cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, clean tech and medtech.
  • In general, the expertise sought remains mainly in information technology (programming, artificial intelligence expertise, machine learning, etc.), but also in product and service development, sales and marketing and business development. However, it is in IT that positions are the most difficult to fill.
  • 83% of startups surveyed intend to increase their talent pool from 2022 to 2023.
  • Generally, startups surveyed find it more difficult to attract talent than retaining it. However, early-stage startups note that talent retention can also be a challenge. Salary increases remain the most common reason for departures among the startups surveyed.
  • Most of the Montréal-based startups surveyed looking to hire outside of Canada are primarily looking for experienced experts.
  • The main obstacles to international hiring remain legal and administrative. 
  • Only 40% of the startups surveyed that had been supported by an accelerator or an incubator had received human resources support.
  • The main factor in attracting talent for the startups surveyed is corporate culture. Candidates seek to engage with a company whose culture encourages creativity, innovation and intrapreneurship. The growth potential of startups is also an important attraction factor.  

To download the report, visit the MAIN’s website (only available in French): https://mainqc.com/2022/10/26/barometre-startup-talent-acces-au-talent/ 

For more details on Startup Montréal’s Talent program https://startupmontreal.com/en/our-projects/networking/talent/