When BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) revealed massive layoffs recently, there was much concern about the effects those layoffs would have on the Canadian economy. However, Tim Shufelt of The Globe and Mail reports that BlackBerry’s cast-offs are a treasure trove of talent for budding and already thriving tech firms in the nation.

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Recruiting BlackBerry workers

After the company announced the latest round of layoffs, Mike McDerment, CEO of FreshBooks, sent recruiters to a pub in Waterloo which many employees of BlackBerry were known to frequent. The startup has already hired several former workers of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) for its technical and marketing departments. The company says it now plans on increasing its workforce by about 30 percent over the next four months, and it’s not the only one.

The Toronto area is apparently filled with tech startups which need workers in order to keep growing. Statistics show that startups in Canada often have trouble finding enough skilled workers. More than 3,000 workers in Canada have left the country to take a job in Silicon Valley in recent years. Of course those who remained there often went to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) with its high salaries and full benefits package.

Trading in BlackBerry “casualties”

As more and more BlackBerry employees have gotten laid off, a new sort of improvised recruiting business appeared in Toronto. Communitech is helping with a program which focuses on hiring workers from BlackBerry. The company originally started with a smaller scale in mind as it redeployed technology workers. It has now brought approximately 700 ex BlackBerry workers into the folds of other companies, whether that involves helping them start their own companies or joining the ranks of another technology company.

Today’s tech job market in Canada is much different than the days when BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), then called Research In Motion Limited, was in its heyday. At that time, the company took in most of the tech talent, but today, it’s tech startups which are benefiting from the experience employees received while at BlackBerry.