KITCHENER -- A Kitchener-based tech incubator is looking to bridge the gap between those looking for a job and those looking to hire during the pandemic.

Communitech moved its bi-annual job fair and networking event online to try to make more connections.

With more than two decades of experience in tech, Eric Nicolaisen is now looking for a new opportunity.

“I finished my position at my last company at the very beginning of April,” says Nicolaisen.

Laid off because of the pandemic, he says that finding work hasn’t been easy.

“Sending in a resume often doesn’t really capture the essence of what your capabilities are,” he explains.

On the other side of the search, companies are also facing challenges as they try to fill available jobs.

“We don’t really have the opportunity to meet as many people as we typically do within the community and beyond,” says Alicia Bedard, director of marketing for Applyboard.

To accommodate the unique hiring landscape, Communitech opted for a virtual version this year, turning Tech Jam into Tech Jam From Home.

“We’ve got a lot of people who have been unfortunately displaced and they’re talented,” says VP of Talent Simon Chan.

“They’re not displaced for any reason fault of their own. And you have employers and you have parts of the tech ecosystem that’s growing.”

Recruiters set up virtual booths to connect with over 1,200 job hunters including co-op students, new grads and experienced professionals.

“To learn more about a particular company, talk to some company representatives, understand what roles are available, what are the role requirements, so we’ve created that same environment virtually,” says Chan.

More than 300 jobs were up for grabs, with roles ranging from marketing and sales to tech and support.

ApplyBoard is one of more than 25 companies from across Canada that chatted with potential candidates.

“We successfully closed our Series C funding, so $100 million in funding to help the company grow,” says Bedard.

The event proved to be a success for candidates and companies.

“We’ve got definitely some really great candidates in the pipeline right now and we’re looking forward to continuing those conversations in the coming days,” says Bedard.

“It was a fantastic success, I got to make some connections, as we all know half the battle is about networking with the right people,” adds Nicolaisen.

The response to the event was so positive that Communitech is already planning another one.