March 12, 2013 Leave a comment
What does cruising through early-morning powder on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb have to do with cutting-edge payroll software on the other side of the globe?
For Vancouver entrepreneur Steve Jagger, it’s everything.
Faced with the task of recruiting talent for their latest start-up Payroll Hero, Jagger and his partner Mike Stephenson dealt the one card that trumps Silicon Valley — cut fresh tracks first, code later.
“We call them adventure engineers,” Jagger said of the computer engineers who have moved to Whistler to work out of an office in Function Junction when they’re not on the slopes. “We wanted to find a unique way to compete for talent — we set up an office in Whistler so we could attract talent with the mountain.
“Instead of competing head to head with Silicon Valley, where whatever we offer, someone can get $5,000 more a year in two seconds with someone else, we attract adventure engineers and we sell them on the idea of working and living in Whistler, taking off ski days and starting work at noon so they ski in the morning.”
When they’re working, they’re part of a 12-person virtual global team that has created a cloud-based software solution for companies that need to find a one-stop solution for tracking employees’ time, attendance, scheduling and keeping payroll.
So far it’s a strategy that’s finding success. Payroll Hero that has just announced $1 million in seed funding from a number of angel investors including Ryan Holmes, CEO of Vancouver-based social media management company HootSuite.