Cardinal Path has clients that include non-profits, education sector, large and small companies, including 17 Fortune 500 companies. They’re growing quickly, currently employing 14 in Saint John, with an aggressive hiring plan for 2018. They have offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Saint John, New York and Chicago – with a total of more than 100 + employees in all offices. We chatted with Alex Langshur, Founder and Co-CEO, about their plans and their Saint John office.
Tell me a little bit about your investment in Saint John.
We intend to invest in the community. Our intention is to grow the talent pool here, that we can pull from.
Can you speak to the strength of the workforce in Saint John? Did the talent pool here play a role in your decision to add a Saint John location?
We were attracted to Saint John, first & foremost by the talent. We’re trying to grow the company and we’re a services-based business. The most important thing to us, is people.
What has been one of the best lessons (can be a positive or less than positive experience) you’ve learned about opening an office in Saint John?
Best lesson has been everything we’ve learned at ConnexionWorks. It has been wonderful. When you’re making a move, you want to manage your sunk costs – so the ability to have flexible office space and grow and get to a point where we understood the city, the environment was wonderful. Now we know we’ve made the right choice and have invested in office space. Taking those baby steps was so helpful.
What would you say to other companies looking to establish a presence in Canada – to make them choose Saint John above another spot? What sets this city/location apart?
The location, time-zone wise, is really attractive. If you’re in the service based business and you want to get a jump on the day or you want to service Europe, you’re all set here.
If you are looking recruit talent from around the world, the province has a really good program to help make that happen, which was relatively painless.
I would say, overall, costs of doing business in Saint John are really reasonable and competitive.
We found a nice community, one where we want to relocate people to, to help them find a home here. It’s a very cosmopolitan city, so that’s good.
In your time working/visiting Saint John – can you speak about the network of people you’ve met who are doing interesting things within the cluster? Has anyone stood out? Do you foresee any potential partnerships or cross-pollination opportunities?
Everyone at ONB has been spectacular. I’ve found them all to be engaged and supportive, which is really important.
The people I’ve met at the university have been very interesting, eager to hear our point of view and know how they can bring our perspective and experience to the education system, which I think is fantastic.
The ways in which people interact with the web and social media are constantly changing. In response to that, apps and websites such as Facebook are changing their algorithms to try and better position content for their users which sometimes works and sometimes backfires. How does a company like Cardinal Path foresee this changing? And do you have a team across your multiple locations tasked with trying to interpret and predict shifting consumer behaviour online?
Facebook as a content platform is off limits since they use algorithms to manage their feeds. There is nothing we can do about that other than buy an audience. We can create the type of content that resonates with people on first party owned assets-like websites and apps.
Is it better to have videos, is it better to have infographics, interviews? Is it better to have long copy or more pictures? At what point in a consumers’ journey, can you actually create the outcomes you want.
We’re observing and giving more of what they want and less of what they don’t want.