A Guide to Help Business Owners Navigate the Process of Hiring Permanent Foreign Workers
For businesses struggling to fill vacant positions with skilled, qualified individuals, there’s a solution right at your fingertips.
Looking outside of Canada to successfully hire foreign workers is an effective way to battle the labour shortage while helping immigrants settle into their new home and become contributing members of our society.
If you are interested in permanently recruiting foreign employees for your business in Canada, consult the services of an immigration and refugee law office to ensure you get the advice you need.
First, Let’s Talk About Why You Should Hire Foreign Workers
Hiring internationally trained foreign workers not only benefits your business by helping you fill vacant roles, but it also significantly impacts the employee and their ability to integrate within our society.
While you strive to survive in the international market, you can rest assured you’re gaining talent that boasts the most potential for your growth.
The benefits of hiring foreign workers include:
- Meet staffing requirements
- Gain a competitive edge
- Tap into new markets
- Become more effective
- Build your network
Who Can Work in Canada?
Newcomers with permanent residency status in Canada – these individuals are authorized to work for any employer they choose.
Work permit holders – Most of these employees will have employer-specific work permits, meaning they can only work for the specific employer they’ve identified as such on their work permit.
International students – During academic study breaks, such as winter holidays and summer, most full-time post-secondary students with a valid study permit may work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. They are also usually eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit after they complete their studies in Canada.
Hiring internationally isn’t as easy as posting an ad on Indeed or Monster and sorting through a stack of resumes. First, you must show a need for a foreign worker in your business. This means you need to prove to the government that your business is struggling to hire a Canadian worker.
Related Article: Is it Getting Easier to Hire Temporary Foreign Workers?
Obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
The Labour Market Impact Assessment helps determine if your business is struggling to meet staffing requirements and cannot find Canadian workers to fill those vacancies. Start by submitting a LMIA, get assessed, and if positive, this indicates a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available.
If no LMIA is required, you are still obligated to provide information about the vacant position(s) to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through their website.
Conditions of work permits include:
- The work they are permitted to perform
- Job location
- Hours of work
- Work permit expire date
Important Factors to Consider for Recruiting
For the sake of efficiency and proactivity, consider the following steps before initiating the recruiting process for permanent foreign workers.
Communicate – Ensure everyone involved in the hiring process understands the value of hiring foreign workers due to their unique skill set and credentials.
Train – Educate your staff on diversity and the importance of cross-cultural workplace environments.
Evaluate Effectively – Emphasize the candidate’s skills and experience for the job rather than where they came from or where they gathered their education and experience.
Transparency – Clearly outline the selection and interview process in your job descriptions for all postings.
Welcoming – Let all potential candidates know that your workplace values international credentials and competencies, is inclusive, and welcomes diversity.
Comply – Ensure your organization complies with all relevant federal, provincial or territorial laws that govern the recruitment process.
Find high-quality candidates and fairly review their qualifications.
H4: How to Find Internationally Trained Workers
There are many provincial and federal level resources available for your business to seek out the help of internationally trained foreign workers.
- Local job banks
- Canada’s online job bank
- Job fairs
- Universities and colleges
- Settlement service provider organizations
Ask around – your current employees, friends, or family members may have someone in mind that would love to be a part of your team!
To ensure you get the best options available, consult the services of an immigration law firm.
Hiring Best Practices to Follow
Maintaining your vision for the role, staying organized, and communicating to your staff and your prospective new hires are just a few examples of how to ensure hiring success.
With clear and concise job descriptions, careful selection, a consistent interview process with objective, concise questions, and fair, accurate assessment practices, you’ll get the best possible employee for the job.
Tip: When hiring for similar positions, try using a set of criteria that is consistent and equitable. Consider using an evaluation table to help you compare candidates. You can also hire an HR representative to help you navigate the interview process.
Integrating and Retaining Internationally Trained Workers
It’s not enough to have the ability to hire internationally trained workers. You have to adopt practices that ensure your organization can retain these new hires.
With a few initiatives, your business can be successful in this endeavour.
The benefits of proper training and mentorship opportunities lead to career advancement among all workers. Foreign hires should benefit from the same opportunities. With career development opportunities available for all workers, your organization will benefit from a boost in productivity, employee retention, and the ability to attract new hires.
Ensure your organization’s training programs include the following:
Skills Training – Comes in the form of technical, academic, literacy, essential skills (computer technologies), and team building skills.
Language Training – To set your new employee up for success, consider implementing English and/or French language training sessions or directing them to the best option available in their area.
Cultural and Communications Training – This enables your workers to communicate effectively, boost their confidence, express their ideas, and interact more freely with the employees of your organization.
Organizational Training – As you would with all new hires, permanent foreign workers will greatly benefit from training that focuses on the vision, mission, norms, procedures, and expectations of your organization.
Mentoring Programs – Allocate mentors to foreign workers to help them integrate into your organization better. Their dedication and experience will prove to be excellent examples for your new hire. Additionally, a mentor will help expand the worker’s networks and competency of the Canadian workplace and culture.
These programs provide a warm, welcoming environment that promotes workplace diversity. It also ensures your current staff are more culturally aware.
Make Your Workplace Inclusive and Welcoming
By broadening your employee diversity and including people from all walks of life, you’re setting a positive example for the Canadian workforce. An inclusive workplace will benefit everyone by:
- Improving morale
- Fostering dedication
- Ensuring all workers are welcome by peers, managers, and executives
- Providing formal orientation/introduction so they feel valued and included
- Holding social events to celebrate your organization’s cultural diversity
Stop struggling to fill the gaps in your business. With the right approach, your business can flourish with the help of skilled workers from abroad.