06/13/2013 02:54 EDT | Updated 06/14/2013 12:13 EDT

IBM Layoffs Ottawa: Shopify Sets Up Recruiting Booth To Snap Up


Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify sure knows an opportunity when it sees it.

When news broke this week that IBM was laying off staff in Ottawa, the seven-year-old startup that specializes in building online stores for retailers set up a recruiting booth right outside IBM’s offices.

Multiple people came out to say, ‘Thanks for doing this, I was laid off today,’” Shopify recruiter Doug Tetzner told the Ottawa Business Journal. “It was received really well.”

IBM won’t say how many people it’s laying off in Ottawa, but news reports suggest there could be as many as 200.

That’s probably too many laid-off employees for Shopify, whose total employment right now is about 200. (That’s compared to IBM’s 434,000 global employees.)

Though the startup is small, its list of clients is growing impressive; they’ve built e-commerce solutions for General Electric, Gatorade and the Beastie Boys, among many others.

We are looking to hire 50 people, but we aren’t going to turn away talent,” chief platform officer Harley Finkelstein told the Ottawa Citizen. “As long as we get amazing people we will hire them.”

Shopify's recruiters handed out bright green sunglasses to IBM employees leaving the building, along with business cards pointing to the company’s online jobs page.

“If you’ve just been laid off, even if you’re not interested in Shopify, just to know there are companies in Ottawa looking to hire – it’s a really positive message for people,” Tetzner said.

The company said it may repeat the trick if there are more layoffs in IBM's Ottawa office.

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