Tapping into overseas work pool key to growth

Posted Thursday, December 15th, 2011. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

With a labour shortage of highly skilled workers particularly in certain industries, recruiters are looking outside of their normal spheres of influence. Jamie Rogers is a recruitment specialist at Calgary-based engineering firm Hatch. He is a firm believer that international experience is a terrific advantage in the Canadian workplace. That’s why he spends a lot of time working with immigration agencies, colleges and other associations to meet, greet and mentor new Canadians.

Mr. Rogers considers it an important opportunity to find talent that might otherwise be overlooked. Having Canadian experience is not necessarily needed first. Canada is a country of diverse cultures and bringing someone in who has worked in an other part of the world, with different cultures or background, is not hard to overcome. It is something that companies are dealing with right now.

Tapping into this work pool is quickly becoming a business imperative especially when you consider the trends – older workers retiring, lower birth-rates. etc. We are depending more and more on immigration to sustain our corporate growth. Some experts say that immigrants are expected to account for all of Canada’s labour force growth this year. For this reason alone, access to this pool of talent has become a pressing issue for employers. The real issue for employers is knowing where to find the right qualifications and talent for the job.

You can look to CCIS and colleges that offer a range of networking, professional development and placement services designed to encourage business leaders to connect with new immigrants. CCIS alone has placed 105 engineers in the oil and gas industry. Aside from the technical skills companies will look at the softer skills like communication, critical thinking and analytical skills along with leadership skills.

Some of the universities, like Ryerson, are building bridging programs in collaboration with industry stake-holders to ensure new Canadians develop right skills to fast track into the workplace.

Networking is also a focus, using social media to reach out to these people before they immigrate here. As a company be clear on your “why” and the people who align will want to join.

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