When it comes to hiring immigrants, there are “those companies who really get it and those who don’t,” says Glem Dias (once a new Canadian himself). He recently spoke at a panel discussion on internationally trained professionals and employment put on by #CdnImm, an offline and online community that shares information about Canadian immigration.
Dias is the director of strategic talent management at Pitney Bowes, a company that he says has “embedded diversity in its culture.” Pitney Bowes is one of the companies recognized as a best employer for new Canadians. The banks are also well represented on this list (for some reason, financial institutions seem “to get” the benefits of hiring newcomers — check out the newcomers or diversity pages on their websites, if you don’t believe me).
Another list, Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (Updated for 2017), recognizes companies based on how they deal with five employee groups including members of visible minorities. (Not surprisingly, some companies show up on both lists.)
You can tell that some companies are newcomer-friendly by the awards they are given. For instance, Maxxim Analytics won the Toronto Star Award Excellence in Workplace Integration in 2011 award, given by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) for a 12-week unpaid internship program that has provided more than 400 internationally trained immigrants with Canadian work experience. Half the participants have gone on to work for the company as lab technicians and IT and human resources specialists.
At Deloitte, which won the 2010 Excellence in Workplace Integration award, “new hires are introduced to a ‘buddy,’ an initiative the firm sees as an opportunity for cross-cultural training for both participants.” Thales Canada, which won the 2010 RBC Immigrant Advantage Award, actually goes so far as to conduct interviews in candidates’ native languages. “The phrase ‘Canadian experience’ is seldom uttered, while international experience is welcomed and discussed in detail,” according to the TRIEC site.
In the Canadian Immigrant article Are there no newcomer jobs?, Naomi Alboim, of the Maytree Foundation, an organization that advocates for integration of immigrants, points out that “larger more sophisticated companies who have HR departments” have the capacity to deal with assessing people’s experience or education if it wasn’t attained here. She also mentions that employers who are involved in importing, exporting or rely on international suppliers definitely see the benefits of diversity.
Original article by Poss.ca, an initiative of Findhelp Information Services, an Employment Ontario project funded in part by the Government of Canada.