Canadian Employers: What you need to know about the Global Talent Stream
Whether you’ve heard about the Global Talent Stream application or not, I’m sure you can agree that hiring and keeping amazing tech talent is as competitive as ever in Canada. Because of this, the Canadian government implemented a new work permit program last summer — the Global Talent Stream — to combat the difficulties Canadian tech companies are facing.
This article will briefly introduce what you need to know about the Global Talent Stream and the benefits it could provide to your company. If you'd like to learn more, feel free to reach out and I'd be happy to go into further detail.
The Global Talent Stream — Key Facts
The Global Talent Stream is a 2-year pilot program that provides eligible Canadian companies a way to hire foreign tech talent in as little as 3–4 weeks for 80% of applications. Here are the 3 most important things to know:
1. You need to be eligible
There are two ways to be eligible for the Global Talent Stream:
Under Category A (the less common route), you are:
- Referred by one of the GTS designated partners (for example, BDC or MaRs Discovery District. For the full list, see here)
- Hiring someone with advanced knowledge of their industry, an advanced degree in their industry OR 5 years of experience in that industry, and a highly paid position of $80,000 or more.
Under Category B (the more common route): you are hiring one of these 13 tech roles considered in high demand by the Canadian government (don’t worry — software engineers, computer programmers and the other usual suspects are on the list).
2. You Will Work With Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
The most important part of the Global Talent Stream application is the Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP). With the help of ESDC, you will develop an LMBP by committing to 3 benefits that ensure your hire contributes a positive impact on the Canadian labour market.
Examples include increasing skills and training investments for Canadians, hiring additional Canadian employees, and increasing growth of revenue, employment or investment at your company. The list of benefits to commit to is non-exhaustive and the assistance of a professional can make the LMBP much easier to complete. You can expect it to take about an hour of your time to prepare with a professional (usually less, at least in my experience), and a phone call every 6 months to participate in an audit.
Note: this isn’t a traditional application where you send it in, cross your fingers and pray for a positive response. Instead, you will receive a call from ESDC to assist in completing the Global Talent Stream application so it’s approved within their target processing time of 10 days.
Applying through the Global Talent Stream costs $1,000 per employee you hire, and then another $155 to get their individual work permit. You can also file a Global Talent Stream application for multiple employees at the same time, including employees you may not have hired yet — shortening the immigration process when you do hire another.
For more info on fees, eligibility or other details of the Global Talent Stream program, shoot me an email at email@example.com
Why the Global Talent Stream?
Despite the obvious reason of needing tech talent as soon as possible, there are other great benefits to the program.
Canadians in particular are well below the global average in terms of loyalty to their employers.(1) Not only will your foreign employees be more loyal, they’re also linked to your company for the duration of the Global Talent Stream permit (usually 2 years). So even if they wanted to switch jobs, they’d have to apply and get approved for a new work permit with a new employer first.
It’s no secret that diversity is a good thing — but studies also show that “companies with an ethnically diverse labour force perform better financially than those with more homogeneous workforces.”(2)
A recent report from the BDC claims “that diverse teams are more effective. The quality of their output is better and their engagement is deeper. A diverse workforce is also better positioned to understand and anticipate the needs of an increasingly diverse marketplace.”(3)
The same BDC report also found that “only 6% of [respondent entrepreneurs] reported that they are relying on immigrant workers to fill their needs for skilled employees.”(3) With an increase in immigration numbers continuing in Canada(4) and a lack of Canadian companies taking advantage of this new talent stream, your company can get ahead of the competition by targeting foreign skilled workers.
If you’re struggling to fill tech roles, the Global Talent Stream program can be a great solution for your company. A simple first step is to start considering foreign applicants for roles you are looking to fill now that you know how much quicker the process is.
I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have - shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further. I've helped multiple companies through the process and would love to share my experiences.
Thanks for reading.
(1)ADP Canada, Me vs. We: Disconnect Between Employees and Employers Leads to Wandering Eyes in Canadian Workplaces, February 2018
(2)McKinsey & Company, Diversity Matters, February 2015
(3)Business Development Bank of Canada, Future-Proof Your Business, October 2017