Foreign-born talent is vital for the Canadian economy. When internationally educated workers fill skilled vacancies, they bring new ideas, cultural input and family members into the country. When companies hire immigrants, they bolster Canada’s workforce for years to come.

Despite the well-known and documented benefits of hiring immigrants, some companies and HR personnel aren’t sure about hiring foreign-born workers. They worry about language issues, differences in qualifications, or limitations on skills. With the right guidance, however, employers can overcome all of these challenges and uncertainties.


hiring foreign-born workers is unfamiliar territory for Canadian companies

If you’re used to hiring Canadian candidates, expanding your talent pool to include foreign-born workers can feel daunting. You’re familiar with Canadian schools and universities, but not with international educational facilities. How do you know they’re qualified and have the credentials you need? 

Hard skills are another stumbling block. Humanitarian immigrants and refugees, for instance, sometimes arrive in Canada without many hard skills. How can you assess international candidates properly — particularly if there are language differences?

The rules about employee sponsorship — where companies provide foreign-born workers with jobs so that they can secure visas — aren’t always clear. Should you go for the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) route or do your future employees qualify for International Mobility Program (IMP) exemptions?

how hiring immigrants impacts your reputation 

Keep facts in mind as you begin your recruitment drive. Internationally trained workers are an essential resource in Canada, and once on board, they’re very loyal and hard-working. If you invest in your foreign-born workforce, your company could remain competitive in the marketplace — and your organization could grow.

Canada is a culturally diverse nation, and modern Canadians are drawn to multicultural brands. They want to see themselves, and others, represented in ads and other forms of marketing. The more inclusive your company, the more attractive it becomes to Millennials and Gen Z workers— and those groups now make up the largest segment of the workforce.

Many of the challenges associated with hiring foreign-born workers in Canada are easy to overcome. You can use Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) assessments to determine newcomers’ current skill sets, for instance. If you operate in a hands-on industry, you can use practical assessments to learn what applicants can already do, and what their training needs are. 

working with a staffing partner

Working with the right staffing partner can help you embrace international workers. You’ll learn how to hire objectively and evaluate soft skills — your candidate’s ability to adapt and learn, for example — in place of hard skills. You’ll find out how to use cross-cultural training and worker support systems to make newcomers feel at home. 

Many experts agree that immigrants will play an essential role in Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing the right training and progression opportunities are in place, international workers often thrive, contribute to and advance within the organisations that employ them.

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