Member Spotlight: Applied Brain Research Taps into Student Potential

TECHNATION member Applied Brain Research (ABR) is on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI), developing integrated systems inspired by the human brain’s neural networks. Their neuromorphic hardware and software allow for faster and more efficient data processing, and their systems are used in data science, healthcare wearables, vehicles, and more.

This small but growing Ontario-based company was able to hire its first co-op student thanks to the TECHNATION Career Ready Program’s wage subsidy, which makes it very affordable for employers to hire students for a work term or project in a tech-related role—the subsidy currently provides up to 75 per cent of wages, to a maximum of $7,500, per student. The experience was such a success that ABR has since hired 20 students so far, and they have no plans to scale that back anytime soon.

Here’s how ABR has benefitted from the TECHNATION Career Ready Program, and how you can too.

Finding Top Talent

ABR is always looking to hire the top talent available, so they typically turn to the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto, which have some of Canada’s best AI, math, and engineering programs. They look for students who are top of their class, competent and self-starters who can handle a fast-paced environment.

The opportunity to work on high-level, innovative projects is equally attractive to these exceptional students, leading to ABR receiving hundreds of applications for the two-to-five positions they have available each term. The number of students they hire ultimately depends on how many supervisors are available to do initial training and then provide mentorship and guidance for the next two-to-four weeks as students get their footing.

The students hired have nearly all thrived at ABR, contributing to consulting and product development. They’ve even hired the occasional business and marketing students to help support market research and product launches.

Building relationships with the right schools’ co-op programs and advertising within those schools can help you hire the right students for the role you’re offering.

Simplified Processes

Hiring students takes time and effort, so anything that makes the process quicker or easier for employers is a plus. ABR recruits students from the University of Waterloo because they have top talent, but the company also appreciates how easy it is to find candidates using the co-op office’s online portal.

Similarly, ABR has continued to work with TECHNATION through its Career Ready Program because the application process is so simple. The application portal is user-intuitive, straightforward, and Career Ready staff are happy to answer any questions or help with the application if needed.

Hiring a student and applying for a wage subsidy through the Program is often a lot easier than employers think it will be.

Game-changing Recruiting

ABR wouldn’t have been able to hire students as soon as it did, and the company wouldn’t be able to hire as many students as it currently does, if it weren’t for the TECHNATION Career Ready Program.

Students have helped ABR move projects forward more quickly, which has supported growth and ultimately led to more full-time jobs. At the same time, ABR is building a talent pipeline: hiring students and engaging them in exciting work helps the company attract the next generation of exceptional tech talent. Three former Career Ready students have come back to the company and are now full-time employees, and the hope is more students will want to return to ABR in future as they complete their degrees and enter the workforce.

See firsthand how Career Ready students have helped Applied Brain Research

Learn more about how you can hire a student through the Career Ready Program.