Around the world Canada is known for its multiculturalism. With that, thousands of competent skilled workers make their way to our country every year only to find that the opportunities that are available to them are often limited because they lack ‘Canadian experience’.
But that reality ignores some of the most concrete reasons why Canadian organizations should make it a priority to hire newly arrived Canadians. So as we near June 27 which is Canadian Multiculturalism Day, we thought we’d take the time to highlight some of those reasons.
- Richness of experience – We live in a diverse world so why not embrace it? Immigrants bring a unique and new perspective to the workplace. It may be something simple like a different approach to working with clients, or something more advanced such as innovations that have yet to reach our shores. This richness of experience can provide a unique competitive advantage to any organization that is looking to grow and distinguish themselves from the competition.
- New skills – we all heard about the ‘skills shortage’ in Canada. Many companies often feel frustrated at the lack of skilled labour that is available to them. Newly arrived Canadians are selected, in part, for their education and experience in specific fields, and it would be wise of employers to leverage that knowledge and know-how.
- Proven ability to adapt and change – Think about this. These are individuals who in many cases made a choice to change their lives, completely. They have left their homes, families, and friends in search of a better life and are ready, willing, and able to adapt to the Canadian way of achieving things.
- Improved connection with your clients – As many as one in five Canadians identifies themselves as an immigrant. This number is even higher in larger cities. For example, in Toronto as many as half the residents were born outside Canada. It means that for many organizations, immigrants make up a large portion of their clientele and employing fellow immigrants allows organizations to tailor their messaging to those communities.
- Strong work ethic – new Canadians are motivated to work hard and gain Canadian experience. They want to prove themselves and that translates into a strong work ethic.
- Diversity and Inclusion alignment – hiring a new immigrant aligns well with strategic diversity and inclusion programs that are so prevalent in today’s business community. It also provides improved attractions to other employees who seek a diverse and inclusive work environment.
- Increased productivity – In a study published by Statscan it was observed that over a 10 year period, a firm that increased its share of immigrant workers by 10% experienced an average increase of 1.9%. While the impact is small in percentage terms, it is not negligible and provides clear data-driven evidence that the hiring of immigrant workers is a net positive for businesses.
These are just a few of the great reasons why organization should seriously consider hiring an immigrant worker. There is work involved in doing so, but the rewards are worth it!
Your Engaged HR assignment: Take a look around your office (or Zoom screen) and ask yourself, does your organization represent the Canada we live in today?
Do you need help with diversifying your workforce? Need a hand in recruiting you next star(s)? We are here to help.
Looking to learn more about other HR topics? Check out our Art of HR series!