Interac is growing. We’re breaking transaction records, simplifying how Canadians access digital services, and bringing new solutions to life. And as one of Canada’s original FinTechs, we know our work will help shape the country’s digital future.
That’s why we’re investing in top talent—in people ready to work at start-up speed on some of the biggest challenges in payments and verification (with the security of a stable, trusted brand). Fuelling the pipeline for new and diverse talent in FinTech through our hiring and development practices has gone a long way to making Interac an employer of choice. It is also an example of how a diverse workplace and a strong focus on development can help make the industry a better place.
Seeking out top tech talent
Diversity of representation and thought within FinTech is vital in creating products and services that represent all Canadians. But simply having open roles (and a well-known brand) isn’t always enough. Instead, Interac is active in its approach to diversifying its talent pool, connecting with future talent through partnerships with community employment programs and organizations.
“We seek people who are passionate about what they do and how they connect with our organization,” says Voula Vasilopoulos, Director of Talent Acquisition at Interac. “So, we find quality and diverse talent through several sources.”
Along with more traditional methods such as LinkedIn and job postings, sources include the shared career site by Pride at Work Canada. The organization aims to help employers build workplaces that celebrate all employees, regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We have also made a pledge with the BlackNorth Initiative to help end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for members of equity-deserving communities.
Additionally, Interac works with ACCES Employment, an organization providing employment opportunities, outreach, and education to those who have recently arrived in Canada.
Vanessa Etuk, Client Solutions Associate at Interac, attended many networking and mentoring events put on by ACCES Employment after moving to Canada from Nigeria. Here she met Caroline Stephens, Chief Human Resources Officer at Interac. A conversation was sparked, and Caroline saw a possibility.
“She had a master’s degree and very relevant work experience from Nigeria,” Caroline recalls. “I provided her with my contact details so she could send me her résumé and passed it along to our AVP of Client Solutions, who then interviewed her. She was amazing!”
And from that first meeting and initial hiring, Vanessa has only grown in her role.
“My boss and team have been very helpful with my professional growth,” she says. “The FinTech industry is so exciting, fast-paced, and full of new challenges that allow me to improve myself and grow.”
Diversifying our talent pipeline is a priority at Interac, but our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion extends into every stage of the employee life cycle. We host regular celebrations and learning opportunities for employees, bring in guest speakers to share their experiences (including Tanya Hayles of Black Moms Connection, “Dancing Phil” Villeneuve and Taylor Lindsay-Noel of Cup of Té), and invest in communities across Canada.
Making learning and development a key part of workplace culture
When new employees join Interac, they quickly learn that opportunities to expand their education, both within and outside their chosen field, are available and actively encouraged. That’s because we’re not just looking for people to solve the problems of today, we’re investing in talent who can help drive Interac forward.
“In an organization like Interac, where things are constantly changing, it’s important for us to use learning and development to futureproof our organization,” says Melissa DiBenedetto, Organizational Development Manager at Interac. “We must think ahead and anticipate the people and expertise needed for the future success of our business.”
With that goal in mind, Interac has worked hard to foster a culture of curiosity and learning, encouraging employees to explore and develop in more ways than what their career path dictates. Employees have access to regular career development sessions to understand how they can grow at Interac. We also offer learning opportunities to all employees, from interns right up to C-level executives.
“We want people to feel supported and motivated to develop into well-rounded Interac employees,” Melissa says.
From their first day, every Interac employee has full access to our learning platform, which features thousands of external courses and in-house development content. Education on this level creates new ways of thinking that Interac employees can then bring to their day-to-day tasks.
In addition to digital learning, Interac offers the opportunity for external training for all employees who want to learn about subjects not offered by Interac, including providing tuition support for college or university programs.
The learning and development opportunities at Interac extend beyond technical skills. We also offer curated development programs monthly that focus on management fundamentals, mental health leadership, and diversity and inclusion.
“There are so many opportunities at this organization, both formally and informally, to put your hand up and learn a new skill through project work, shadowing and more,” says Voula.
Investing in Canada’s future FinTech talent
At Interac, we believe investing in Canada’s next generation of tech talent is foundational to advancing the FinTech industry. Not only do younger generations, as digital natives, bring new perspectives and approaches to solving problems, they are having a direct impact on how financial service products are designed and used.
That’s why we have a comprehensive and always evolving internship program that provides students with hands-on experience working on real projects, competitive pay for their skills and perspectives, and the same access to development opportunities, educational resources, and events as all our employees do.
“With each internship cycle, we keep growing, adding, and enhancing programming to meet the needs of the interns,” says Voula. “We want to keep them engaged to ideally consider us an employer of choice upon graduation.”
The Interac Lab is another program dedicated to nurturing the next generation of tech talent. Every quarter, the Lab onboards a new cohort of interns from Canadian schools for four- to eight-month long internships. The teams built in this program have been instrumental to helping develop new payment capabilities, exploring the possibilities for the future of payments, and improving the way consumers and businesses from all of Canada move money.
Investing in the future of the FinTech industry
Today, top candidates are looking for a workplace that not only provides a competitive salary and flexibility, but also offers career growth and celebrates diversity.
“More and more employees are putting an emphasis on the benefits an organization is prepared to offer them,” says Melissa. “Most commonly, this includes what opportunities for career growth and development will be available to them.”
The more organizations that allow for significant educational and developmental growth in their employees, the more the industry as a whole thrives, living up to its core foundational beliefs of upholding new ideas and championing new talent.
“By creating new energies through our differences and the ideas we’re passionate about,” says Caroline, “we can build a strong network, bring visibility to the many amazing talents found all over the world, and be a voice that can help guide the way to a better industry.”
Learn more about what InteracLife is like.