Employers recognize the importance of foreign education and experience

According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, employers are taking note that they must not reject foreign education or experience in order to gain an edge in the “race for talent”.  In the article, screening out individuals who do not have Canadian experience or education is likened to walking into a grocery store and confining yourself to items that are made in Canada.  You would be blocking out most of the items in the store.  Imposing these types of limitations can hurt business.

According to a workplace-diversity consulting group, by 2030 nearly 60% of the population will be visible minorities.  Businesses need to look and think like the diverse communities they serve.  Companies and experts agree and are taking measures to keep unintentional biases from creeping into their hiring practices.  Some of the companies referenced in the article use third party education verification services to ensure that there is a fair comparison of candidates credentials.  Organizations are choosing not to fixate on education as there are many great educational institutes all over the world.

While employers are becoming increasingly diverse in their hiring practices, they still note that inclusive hiring does not come without its challenges.  English language for example was noted as a barrier, however it was suggested that there is much work that can be completed while English is being upgraded. Defining the company culture such as communication style when training new staff, are critical to their understanding of doing business in Canada.  Mentorship has been suggested as an effective way to address this.  Organizations that provide mentors to teach you how to be more effective in your work tend to have higher staff retention.

Companies are beginning to lay the foundation now for inclusive hiring.  As a representative for SaskEnergy notes, “As the shortage of labour gets bigger, we just won’t be able to fill jobs,” he continues to state that if the ground work for their hiring practices isn’t prepared now they won’t be prepared for when the critical time comes and they will have to catch up with employers who have already put their diversity plans into action.

Some food for thought:

  • There are 200 distinct ethnic groups living in Canada
  • 46% say that their greatest difficulty after immigrating to Canada is finding an adequate job
  • Of those surveyed, 50% of immigrants cited lack of Canadian work experience as their biggest obstacle

The top 35 best employers for New Canadians (Globe and Mail):

  • BC Hydro (Vancouver)
  • Bell Aliant Regional communications (Halifax)
  • Bank of Montreal (Toronto)
  • Business Development Bank of Canada (Montreal)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (Toronto)
  • Canadian Tool and Die (Winnipeg)
  • Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc (Kitchener)
  • DALSA Inc (Waterloo)
  • Davis and Henderson (Toronto)
  • Deloitte and Touche LLP (Toronto)
  • Energy Resources Conservation Board (Calgary)
  • Enermodal Engineering Inc (Kitchener)
  • Epcor Utilities (Edmonton)
  • Export Development Canada (Ottawa)
  • Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (Montreal)
  • Regional Municipality of Halton (Oakville)
  • KPMG LLP (Toronto)
  • Manulife Financial Corp (Toronto)
  • Maple Trade Finance Inc (Halifax)
  • McGill University Health Centre (Montreal)
  • Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto)
  • Providence Health Care (Vancouver)
  • Replicon Inc. (Calgary)
  • Rescan Environmental Services Ltd (Vancouver)
  • Saskatoon Health Region (Saskatoon)
  • SaskEnergy Inc (Regina)
  • St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto)
  • Stikeman Elliott LLP (Toronto)
  • Syncrude Canada (Fort McMurray)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (Toronto)
  • Toronto community Housing Corp (Toronto)
  • TransCanada Corp (Calgary)
  • University of Ottawa (Ottawa)
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (Vancouver)
  • Wardrop Engineering Inc (Winnipeg)