New technology makes it possible to contract specialists for many tasks in real time. COVID-19 and the shift to remote work have accelerated the demand for flexible and remote workers.
Virtual Gurus, a leading-edge Calgary company, is changing how talent agencies, businesses and freelancers interact. The firm uses technology to match the needs of clients with the skills and talents of their virtual assistants. Organizations can get support for all kinds of needs:
- short term
- regular assignments
Clients simply log in to Virtual Guru’s portal to be matched with a virtual assistant with the skills needed for the task. The services provided by Virtual Gurus are especially helpful given ongoing labour shortages.
Virtual Gurus is committed to social inclusivity. Under the leadership of CEO Bobbie Racette, it champions Indigenous peoples and the 2SLGBTQI+ community. “I have a large platform and I have a voice as an Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+ person. So, my onboarding team has a mandate to make our team 95% women, 65% BIPOC community and 45% 2SLGBTQI+, so that we can give the people who are often forgotten more work,” she said.
Hiring underrepresented groups and paying a fair living wage has helped the company meet inclusivity goals.
By focusing on supporting underrepresented talent pools, Virtual Gurus is filling a widespread need. And as more companies seek diversity, its inclusive talent pool has fueled its phenomenal growth. “PrairiesCan helped us scale our operations. We've really been able to hire the staff that we need in order to respond to the growth that we're seeing,” said Bobbie.
Virtual Gurus received $960,500 in interest-free, repayable funding. The funds helped it scale up its Talent as a Service business and extend its reach to markets across Canada, into the United States and beyond.
Transcript: Calgary firm brings diversity to companies hungry for talent across North America
Video opens to business sign that reads Virtual Gurus, then transitions to a young woman working on laptop computer.
BOBBIE RACETTE - Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus (voiceover): Virtual Gurus is a Talent-as-a-Service platform.
Video transitions to Bobbie Racette.
We provide work to marginalized communities as a virtual assistant, where they can work from home, and we service businesses and entrepreneurs of all sizes.
Video transitions to two people working at desk.
MARGARET GLOVER-CAMPBELL – Chief Operating Officer, Virtual Gurus (voiceover): We develop the technology that connects businesses with our virtual assistants.
So if a company doesn't require full-time staff, then they can come to us and be connected with an entire roster of administrative staff.
Video transitions to Virtual Gurus computer screenshot.
BOBBIE RACETTE (voiceover): As an Indigenous woman, I've lived through it all. I've looked for work, I've been denied jobs because of who I am.
We see Bobbie Racette seated in a meeting with clients.
So when Virtual Gurus came to play, I realized that I had the platform to use my voice. To be able to provide work to those who are often marginalized.
Video transitions to several women working in a shared office space.
And I am proud to say that we are working on a mandate of about 85% of our people identifying as female, with 65% identifying as being part of the BIPOC community, and 45% being a part of the LGBTQ community.
MARGARET GLOVER-CAMPBELL: So we have people who specialize in social media.
Various scenes appear of employees working in a shared office space and meeting rooms.
We have people who specialize in content marketing, bookkeeping, executive assistants. Really anything that you can think of.
One of the things that make us different is that we spend time on skilling our talents. So, we essentially don't upskill them; we re-skill them. And by doing that, they can go through our Virtual Gurus Academy, that is our in-house training platform. With that, we also provide an in-house talent team, where they coach, train, mentor the community. And then we also have a community hub where all the virtual assistants are well taken care of.
PrairiesCan has helped us scale our operations. We've really been able to hire the staff that we need, when we needed them. in order to respond to the growth that we're seeing.
We are really growing a team of people who are passionate about supporting our north star, which is our virtual assistants.
Text on screen: PrairiesCan committed $960,500 in interest free, repayable funding to Virtual Gurus to scale up its Talent as a Service business and extend its reach to markets across Canada, into the United States and beyond.
PrairiesCan website: www.prairiescan.gc.ca
PrairiesCan Twitter: @PrairiesCanEN
Prairies Economic Development Canada Wordmark appears on screen.
Animated Canada Wordmark appears on screen.