Last Updated on June 2, 2021
The bottom line for any employer with a responsibility to his or her stockholders has to be the bottom line – and immigrants can boost that and make the company run more smoothly in a myriad of ways.
Venture capitalist and Communitech CEO Chris Albinson knows this and has described Canada’s growing openness to immigrants as a shrewd move, particularly in light of the clampdown on immigration south of the border during the presidency of Donald Trump.
“As the United States has tightened immigration and become less welcoming, Canada has made shrewd policy moves to attract top global talent and capital,” wrote Albinson in an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail.
“Canada now has six times as many skilled immigrants, as a percentage of the population, as our American neighbours do – a significant stat when you consider half of the founders of America’s tech unicorns (private companies worth $1-billion or more) were born outside the U.S.”
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But why is it such a smart move for a Canadian business to seek out and hire talent from an international pool of candidates rather than just post a job ad in Canada and hire locally?
Here are The Top 10 Benefits To Employers Of Hiring Foreign Talent.
1. New Talent, New Skills
In many parts of Canada, there is a limited supply of skilled workers who are available to hire with the particular talents and skills an employer might need to fill the available jobs. That’s particularly the case in regions of the country where the aging population means many of the highly-skilled workers are quite simply retiring.
Foreign workers selected for their education and experience in particular fields and brought to Canada either as temporary foreign workers or permanent residents under the economic class of programs can ensure an employer gets an employee able to do the job and boost the company’s productivity.
2. Breadth of Experience
Growing up and living in other countries, often with a completely different culture, gives immigrants to Canada a unique perspective that can enrich the company’s decision-making processes. It can be something as simple as understanding how to approach prospective clients of a different culture or knowing how systems are integrated in other business environments. That experience can mean the difference between a ho-hum decision or process and one that sizzles and stands out compared to the competition.
3. Proven Ability to Adapt
In today’s ever-changing business environment, the ability to adapt to sudden and unforeseen events can mean the difference between survival and failure. Immigrants come with a proven ability to adapt. They’ve left their homes and countries, friends and extended families and settled in Canada with its different culture and languages – and succeeded. That ability to adapt to new circumstances improves the resilience of any company that brings these kinds of employees onboard.
4. Improved Access to International Markets
Immigrants often speak other languages and are familiar with the culture and traditions of the countries where they were born and raised. That can be an invaluable asset for a company planning to expand into those markets because these newcomers can give a company the inside track on what will work – and what won’t – in those other markets. They can often offer up contacts in their home country and so save their employers both time and money.
5. Stronger Connection with Canadian Customers
Canada is a nation of immigrants, with as many as one in five Canadians identifying as an immigrant. In bigger cities like Toronto, as many as half of residents are people born outside the country. When a company employs immigrants to serve those customers, those employees are often better able to understand and connect with immigrant customers because they share the experience of having immigrated to Canada. These newcomers can also help a company tailor its messages and approach to immigrants living in Canada and better connect with their markets.
6. Strong Work Ethic
Immigrants come to Canada because they recognize that this is an amazing opportunity – and so they are loath to waste it. Newcomers to Canada recognize they need work experience to stay in the country and they make their jobs a top priority. They want to prove themselves and showcase their skills. That translates into a strong work ethic, a boon to any business.
7. Enhanced Corporate Image
Respect for diversity and inclusion is a strong Canadian value and those employers who hire immigrants and are seen as inclusive benefit from a more favourable corporate reputation. There are even awards for diversity hiring practices. Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, an awards program which recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs, is now in its 14th season. Hiring newcomers helps companies shine through these awards and enhances their corporate image internationally as well.
8. Improved Employee Morale
Job seekers gravitate towards companies with diverse workforces because this signals to them that the company is singularly free of discrimination. That attitude of openness and acceptance boosts employee morale.
9. Boost to Productivity
A University of Florida study shows that having a more diverse workforce boosts productivity and offers other competitive advantages. “In an era when flexibility and creativity are keys to competitiveness, diversity is critical for an organization’s success,” states that study, Diversity In The Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, And The Required Managerial Tools.
10. Ease of Training in Company-Specific Processes
When immigrants arrive in Canada, they are well aware that they have a lot to learn about their new home and how companies operate. That awareness makes these newcomers particularly willing to listen, learn and share and makes them ideal employees when it comes to training in company-specific processes and procedures.