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Recruitment And Immigration Trends in Canada: Is Your Company Prepared?

The Trend

Our booming Canadian tech sector continues to grow. In 2016, The Brookfield Institution for Innovation and Entrepreneurship reported that the tech sector “was directly responsible for $117B or 7.1% of Canada’s economic output, greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.” (1)

Similarly, The Globe and Mail reported that Canadian tech companies raised $3.7B in venture capital; “the highest since the dot-com bubble.” (2)

While tech growth continues, so does competition for the top talent. If Canadian tech companies and recruiters want to stay ahead of the curve, they need to adapt to the increasing supply of skilled talent entering our country.

Immigration in Canada

Last month, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) released their “Future Proof Your Business: Adapting to Technology and Demographic Trends” report outlining six emerging trends reshaping our business landscape - one of which is a more culturally diverse population. (3)

As a result of this diversity, BDC produced the following statistics:

  • Immigration has contributed more to the growth of Canada’s population than births since the mid-1990s
  • Immigrants will account for up to 80% of Canada’s population growth by 2032, with 1 in 4 Canadians being born outside the country
  • The unemployment rate for immigrants who’ve been in Canada for 5 years or less is 4.8% higher than for those born in Canada (4)

The Problem

Unfortunately, several growing Canadian tech companies don’t consider the immigrant talent stream because they are more focused on competing for the small supply of local talent.

In 2015, McKinsey & Company reported, “Several studies emphasize that companies with an ethnically diverse labour force perform better financially than those with more homogeneous workforces.” (5) Despite the vast amount of research supporting diversity, such as increased quality of output and higher levels of engagement, only 6% of entrepreneurs said they were relying on immigrant workers to fill their needs for skilled employees. (6)

The Solution

Considering the growth of our tech sector and aging work force, recruiting skilled workers in Canada will only become more difficult. Therefore, companies and recruiters have no choice but to adapt and integrate these foreign talent pools.

A major shift in recruitment efforts take time, but a few suggestions to get started include:

  • Rethink your recruitment process, such as removing applicant names to avoid any bias
  • Reach out to immigrant communities through their associations and networks
  • Take advantage of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Global Talent Stream, initiatives by the Canadian government to help growing Canadian companies hire foreign employees as quickly as possible
  • Consider the unique strengths of foreign workers and advantages they bring in terms of diversity for your company (7)

Conclusion

There’s a disconnect between Canada’s competitive recruitment industry and our growing immigration pool. To bridge this gap, companies and recruiters need to start planning how to attract and retain skilled workers, whether they’re coming from inside or outside of our innovative country.

To get ahead of the competition and discuss these strategies further, including the Temporary Foreign Worker and Global Talent Stream programs listed above, feel free to get in touch via LinkedIn or by email at josh@joshuaschachnowlaw.com

 

(1) http://www.ryerson.ca/media/releases/2016/08/canadas-tech-sector-economic-goliath/

(2) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/for-canadas-tech-to-thrive-startups-must-grow-up/article35517044/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

(3) The “Report” can be found at: https://www.bdc.ca/EN/Documents/analysis_research/bdc-study-future-proof-your-business.pdf?utm_campaign=Future-Proof-Business-Study-2017--download--EN&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua)

(4) Page 13 of the Report.

(5) Page 13 of the Report, citing McKinsey & Company, Diversity Matters, February 2015.

(6) Page 13 of the Report.

(7) Page 14 of the Report.

joshua schachnow