HCL expands Vancouver office with designs on hiring 80 more workers

Latest 9,000-square-foot expansion comes as tech companies continue to scoop up downtown office space

HCL Technologies plans to hire 1,000 more workers in Canada over next three years | Max Baumann, Getty Images

Add one more tech company to the ever-growing list of foreign firms expanding in Vancouver.

Indian multinational HCL Technologies Ltd. revealed Thursday it’s taking over another 9,000 square feet at its existing office on 580 Granville St.

A company representative told BIV in an email the plan is to hire another 80 workers at the site, which will be a centre for research and development.

HCL is best known for developing software and IT services for companies in sectors ranging from defence to healthcare.

It has more than 200,000 employees based in 52 countries, including 2,000 in Canada. And HCL said it plans to hire another 1,000 workers in the country within the next three years.

The Vancouver expansion comes as other tech companies continue to scoop up office space in the city’s core.

Vancouver-founded PlentyOfFish (now owned by Match Group), fintech Tipalti Inc., medical devices firm Masimo Corp. (Nasdaq:MASI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) are among the American tech companies that have been expanding downtown over the past year. 

The city’s downtown office vacancy rate now sits at 7.4 per cent, according to a report released earlier this week from Colliers International Canada examining the second quarter of 2022.

Only Victoria has a lower downtown office vacancy rate at 6.1 per cent.

Colliers said large tech companies, especially those occupying 50,000 square feet or more, have been Vancouver’s more active tenants.

Last year, real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc. ranked the city as the No. 11 tech hub in North America, behind Toronto (No. 4) and Ottawa (No. 10).

“Due in part to exchange rates, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Waterloo provide the best value when it comes to cost and quality,” the report stated, alluding to the relatively low annual salaries paid to employees compared with major American tech hubs.

While the average tech worker in Vancouver earned US$66,485 in 2020 — the fourth-lowest in the 50-city rankings — the same worker in Seattle would have earned nearly double that at US$126,730.

Meanwhile, Vancouver has managed to draw 12,900 new workers into the local technology sector from 2019-20, according to a separate CBRE report in October.

That’s the third fastest rate of growth (20.9%) among 30 cities measured.