Looking to hire? Team Up is the way to go!

British Columbia’s economy is fast growing and, as a result, employers are having an increasingly difficult time filling vacancies. Now, more than ever, is the time for your business to “team up” with skilled immigrants!

Have a look at the information below if you wish to learn more about the labour outlook for various industries, how to hire and retain skilled immigrants or to view general tips.

TEACHING – ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Elementary school and kindergarten teachers teach basic subjects such as reading, writing and arithmetic or specialized subjects like second language instruction.

Insights from industry

In recent years, the province has experienced a number of elementary school closures due to declining kindergarten and elementary student enrolments. As the size of the 5–12 year age group is expected to continue to decline over the decade, future job creation in this profession will be not be great.

This is a very large occupational group with an older workforce compared to other occupations. Underemployment is common for newcomers to this profession since most new teachers are unable to find full-time work.
New graduates may find increased employment opportunities in more rural areas of the province, where employers have more difficulty finding qualified teachers.

Graduates with training in specialized areas may also do better in the job market compared to other new teachers. In particular, there is growing demand for French immersion and Francophone program teachers. Most of these teachers secure contracts within their first year of employment.

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NURSING AND RESIDENTIAL CARE

The health care and social assistance industry provides diagnosis, treatment and residential care for medical reasons and social assistance. Health care organizations include hospitals and clinics, ambulances, nursing or residential care homes. This industry is crucial for treating and maintaining the health of residents and non-residents in B.C.

Insights from industry

The Nursing and Residential Care Facilities industry has benefitted from the aging population in the past. With the rise of the elderly population, especially aged 65 years and over, this growth trend is expected to continue. The industry is expected to expand its workforce at a much faster pace than all industries as a whole over the next ten years. As a result, the industry is forecasted to see over 36,200 job openings in the ten years to 2027.

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TELECOM

The Telecommunications industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing telecommunications and/or video entertainment services over their own networks, or over networks operated by others. The establishments of this subsector are grouped into industries on the basis of the nature of services provided (fixed or mobile), the type of network used to deliver those services (wireline or wireless), and the business model they employ (facilities-based or resale).

Insights from industry

The Telecommunications industry is mainly supported by a growing population and changes in communications technology. Over the next ten years to 2027, the industry is expected to have about 6,000 job openings.

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ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

The Accommodation Services industry primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging for travellers, vacationers and others. In addition to lodging, a range of other services may be provided.

Insights from industry

The Accommodation Services industry employed 31,700 workers in the province in 2017. The industry benefits from increasing tourism activity and strong consumer spending. The industry is expected to have close to 15,000 job openings over the next ten years to 2027.

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FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCTION

The food manufacturing industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing food for human or animal consumption.

Insights from industry

The Food and Beverage Manufacturing industry is facing growing domestic and global demand for value-added products and rising sales and GDP are forecast. At the same time, the industry is investing in new technology that will increase labour productivity, and result in employment in the industry largely staying constant over the next ten years. For the industry, 10,000 job opening are anticipated over the next ten years.

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FINANCE

The Finance industry includes: Monetary Authorities – Central Bank, Credit
Intermediation and Related Activities, Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investment and Related Activities, and Funds and Other Financial Vehicles.

Insights from industry

The Finance industry represents the financial services sector excluding Insurance Carriers and Related Activities. The Finance industry is expected to experience a lower-than average rate of growth in its workforce over the next ten years up to 2027. The industry is projected to have 22,800 job openings over the 10-year period, 78 percent of which are to replace workers leaving the labour force.

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COMPUTER SYSTEMS DESIGN

The Computer Systems Design and Related Services industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing expertise in the field of information technologies through one or more activities, such as writing, modifying, testing and supporting software to meet the needs of a particular customer, including the creation of internet home pages; planning and designing computer systems that integrate hardware, software and communication technologies; on-site management and operation of clients’ computer and data processing facilities; providing advice in the field of information technologies; and other professional and technical computer-related services.

Insights from industry

The Finance industry represents the financial services sector excluding Insurance Carriers and Related Activities. The Finance industry is expected to experience a lower-than average rate of growth in its workforce over the next ten years up to 2027. The industry is projected to have 22,800 job openings over the 10-year period, 78 percent of which are to replace workers leaving the labour force.

JOB GROWTH: BC OVERALL VS. INDUSTRY

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MOTION PICTURES AND VIDEO

The Motion Picture and Sound Recording industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing video and audio recordings or providing related services, such as postproduction services, exhibition services, and motion picture processing and developing services. Sound recording studios are also included./h4>

Insights from industry

The Motion Picture and Sound Recording industry is expected to be the fastest growing industry in the province in terms of employment. The industry has been experiencing increasing activities, benefiting from relatively lower costs due to a soft Canadian dollar vs. US dollar. The industry is expected to have close to 13,000 job openings over the next ten years to 2027.

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HOW TO … GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH SKILLED IMMIGRANTS

Businesses with a diverse workplace perform better as they attract the best talent, understand the market better and are more innovative.

DIVERSE BUSINESSES ARE...

IMMIGRANTS ARE ...

IMMIGRANTS COME FROM ...

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HOW TO … CONNECT WITH SKILLED IMMIGRANTS

Finding the right talent is no easy task. However, it gets easier when employers know where to look to find the skills their businesses require.

WINNING STRATEGIES

  • Encourage placement of visible minority interns and coop students
  • Cultivate relationships with immigrant resource centres or community organizations
  • Make literature and marketing materials reflective of immigrants
  • Sponsor cultural community events

GETTING STARTED

  • Analyze the work force (skills gap and cultural diversity)
  • Assess cultural readiness of workplace

  • Develop a plan to build a culturally diverse workplace
  • Develop cultural diversity policies and guidelines

ADVERTISING THE JOB

  • Identify the talent pool

  • Evaluate and review the essential job duties and skills needed
  • Review and revise the job advertising
  • Identify the relevant advertising media
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HOW TO … HIRE SKILLED IMMIGRANTS

Once you think you have found the right candidates, how you go about hiring them will determine the success (or failure) of your hire.

WINNING STRATEGIES

  • Use scenario-based questions as they will provide an accurate and immediate assessment on how the candidate will perform
  • Clarify previous experience as candidates may modify their resumes to fit the advice they may have received from friends/acquaintances or found online
  • Assess overqualified applicants as candidates may apply for lower level jobs as they think it will enable them to find employment faster

SCREENING APPLICANTS

  • SET UP A SCREENING STRATEGY. When screening resumes:
    • Focus on content, not the style of the resume
    • Don’t expect perfect English
    • If a certain level of academic achievement is essential, have a credential assessment service evaluate the foreign credentials
    • If the overall resume is strong, use a screening interview to verify missing/ambiguous information
  • ASSESS CANDIDATES’ EXPERIENCE:
    • Review the essential (must have) and non-essential (nice to have) skills that you identified during the job description/posting process
    • Look for related work experience, instead of Canadian work experience
    • Remember that, while hiring someone who has done a similar job is great, there are also benefits to bringing in someone who can learn the job and has additional skills (such as international experience)
  • ASSESS CANDIDATES’ EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS
    – To assess education: First determine if an academic credential is necessary to the performance of the work. If it is not, look for past accomplishments that indicate knowledge and use of the skills you are looking for. If academic credentials are required, seek an official assessment from recognized assessment organizations (ICES or WES).
    – To assess professional credentials: First determine if the occupation is regulated (as set by the BC government) or not. If the occupation is regulated, the candidate will need to receive a license, certification or membership from the professional organization or regulating body. Regulated occupations include doctors, lawyers and plumbers.
  • ASSESS LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY:
    • Recognize that typos or grammatical errors do not mean that a person can’t communicate effectively
    • Recognize that unfamiliar accents are often difficult to understand initially, and that familiarity will increase understanding
    • Determine the level of language proficiency that is necessary for the various tasks associated with the job
    • Obtain a language proficiency score when needed
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HOW TO … HIRE SKILLED IMMIGRANTS

Since your business has invested time and money in identifying and hiring skilled immigrants, it makes sense to ensure that you are able to retain these new recruits through a culturally sensitive workplace.

PERCENTAGE OF IMMIGRANTS IN THE LABOUR FORCE

CREATE A CULTURALLY INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • PROVIDE A THOROUGH ORIENTATION
    • Ensure your orientation includes the organization’s vision, mission, values, structure, teams and staff members
    • Introduce policies affecting the workplace such as diversity policies, human rights, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and other employee safeguards
    • Clarify workplace values including how teams and management work together and operate
    • Provide written instructions on how to access phone, voicemail, internet and shared directories, etc.
    • Develop a training plan outlining daily and/or weekly objectives, responsibilities and scheduled check-ins
  • HELP NEW EMPLOYEES ADJUST TO THE WORKPLACE
    • Before the new hire arrives, familiarize yourself with potential cultural differences in order to ease orientation
    • Provide a peer-buddy from the same culture (if possible), a mentor of any background or a supervisor who is available for questions and support
    • Provide sector-specific English language training
  • DEVELOP A WORKPLACE THAT EMBRACES CULTURE
    • Host monthly company luncheons and holiday events, enabling employees to practice their Emglish and build relationships with their peers
    • Regularly update equity policies, recruiting processes and training procedures to ensure diversity initiatives remain current
    • Train all employees in culture competency and ways to communicate in a culturally diverse workplace
  • PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ONGOING DEVELOPMENT
    • Include opportunities for individual development as well as team-building exercices
    • Offer short workshops or sponsor courses to improve communication skills such as writing, presentation delivery or business English
    • Examine your workplace signage and internal communications to ensure they are culturally inclusive
    • Train all supervisors on effective performance review practices and work with employees to develop action plans for their goals
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HOW TO CREATE A BARRIER-FREE JOB DESCRIPTION

A job description that does not take into account cultural differences will produce fewer applicants and might prevent skilled immigrants from applying.

TIP #1

Specify the need, rather than how it’s achieved: For example, instead of requiring a valid driver’s license, ask for the “ability to travel and provide own transportation”, or instead of requiring that a candidate reside in a given location, ask for “the ability to report to work within 30 minutes of call”.

TIP #2

Ask for ability wherever possible. This enables candidates with transferable skills to compete. Ability means the candidate has the potential to do the job, but may not have had the opportunity to develop the potential. For example, instead of requiring knowledge of a law, or experience implementing a law, ask for the ability to learn, interpret and apply a law.

TIP #3

Ask for related work experience (instead of Canadian work experience, a certain number of years of experience, or very specific experience). For example, instead of asking for “three years experience as a tax auditor”, ask for “experience in tax auditing, involving a variety of industries, including several complex audits”. Or instead of “experience with Word XP” ask for “experience with Microsoft Word” or include the phrase “or similar application”.

TIP #4

Focus on the qualities or knowledge needed to perform the work effectively, rather than on a specific credential (a degree, diploma, certificate or license). Include a credential in a job advertisement only where it’s required by law (i.e. registered nurse) or where it’s the only means of obtaining the skills, knowledge, and ability needed to perform the work effectively.

TIP #5

Specify the kind of communication required (for example, listening, speaking on the telephone, writing, or negotiating agreements) rather than asking for a general “ability to communicate effectively.”

TIP #6

Specify the number of hours of work per pay period for part-time position, and the expected duration of the term, if it is not an ongoing position. For shift or late-night work, include information about security.

TIP #7

Focus on the desired ability or skill, instead of a personal trait. For example instead of requiring a “mature, cooperative person”, ask for “ability to work effectively as a team member”.

TIP #8

Write clearly and simply, using common words, a straightforward style and simple sentences. Avoid jargon, technical and legal language, and acronyms.

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HOW TO ASSESS THE RESUMES OF NEW CANADIANS

New Canadians often have the skills and experience that you need but their resume may not follow the same style or format as that of someone who has been working in Canada. Employers need to adapt if they wish to identify the best possible candidates.

TIP #1

Assess resumes differently: for example, did you know that including a photograph with your resume is a best practice in some countries, or that in some countries it’s customary to include personal information, or even failures along with successes on your resume?

TIP #2

Assess for experience (e.g., how something was done and what results have been achieved) rather than where the experience took place.

TIP #3

Make use of a screening interview. New Canadians may not be aware of exactly what information you want to see on a resume. If the overall resume is strong, use a screening interview to verify missing / ambiguous information prior to making decisions regarding in-person interview candidates.

TIP #4

Use flexible assessment methodologies which provide for multiple forms of evidence of skills and experience. Try creating assessment processes that allow you to recognize experiences outside of Canada.

TIP #5

Do not assume that academic credentials obtained overseas do not have value, or equivalent value, in Canada. Focus on content, not the style of the resume.

TIP #6

Do not discount resumes because they are different in appearance or have content variations to which you aren’t accustomed to. Many overseas academic programs are extremely well respected and even more comprehensive than those in Canada. If a certain level of academic achievement is essential to the role, have a credential assessment service evaluate the credentials received overseas.

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HOW TO CONDUCT CULTURALLY-SENSITIVE INTERVIEWS

As was the case with job descriptions, employers do not want to miss on skilled applicants simply because they failed to take cultural differences into account.

TIP #1

Use immigrant-friendly language and allow for differences in communication styles. English isn’t a first — or even second — language for many immigrants, and Canadian workplace culture is new for all immigrants. During interviews, immigrants are working much harder than non-immigrant applicants.

TIP #2

Expect miscommunication and awkwardness (small talk can be particularly uncomfortable). To improve communication, avoid slang, jargon and unnecessarily technical language. You may also want to rephrase common interview questions and ensure they are written/asked in plain language. Because of communication challenges, telephone screening may not be effective for immigrants, although interviewers can be trained to work past the different communication styles to get an accurate picture of the candidate’s ability.

TIP #3

Use scenario-based questions to assess how the candidate would perform on the job. Ask for examples and specifics or enable the candidate to demonstrate their skills.

TIP #4

Ideas of “personal space” and appropriate body language differ between cultures. What seems rude, forward or reticent may have a different meaning entirely for your interviewee.

TIP #5

Ask what experience the interviewee has that is relevant and valuable to the job position, instead of asking about “Canadian experience”.

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HOW TO ASSESS SKILLS AND NEGOTIATE COMPETENCIES

Skills and competencies are evaluated differently depending on the country of origin. Employers must be able to assess the skills and competencies of applicants coming from different professional backgrounds.

TIP #1

Immigrants may have trouble answering open-ended questions and specific questions can help focus their responses. Focus on asking scenario-based questions to assess how the candidate would perform on the job more accurately.

TIP #2

Many candidates who are new to Canada find it difficult to gain employment in their field. They may apply for lower level roles because they were either advised by others or anticipate that it will be easier to obtain employment, and “get their foot in the door” to a preferred organization. Use the interview process to explore a candidate’s motivation to apply for a role in which they appear to be overqualified.

TIP #3

Research the reputation and culture of an organization where the candidate has worked previously. Company websites can also provide insight into their previous workplace culture. Interview questions can help to understand their previous organization(s) and their work environments, plus the desired work environment and culture for the candidate.

TIP #4

Determine in advance if the role you’re hiring for is regulated in your province. If yes, then ask the candidate to provide an assessment by the relevant licensing/certification body. For non-regulated occupations, structure your interview questions to help assess if the candidate’s previous education and experience are appropriate for the role. First consider if an academic credential is necessary to perform the role. If the answer is “no,” then move on to assess the areas of the resume that are required for the job. If it is necessary, for the majority of occupations, the only way to objectively assess international academic credentials is through a credential evaluation service.

TIP #5

Ask for character references if no local work references are offered or available. For example, ask for a reference from professional associations that applicants may be a member of, or seek references from a relevant supervisor if they volunteer somewhere. If the international references can speak English, and can be reached by phone, make the call.

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HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SKILLS

As was the case with job descriptions, employers do not want to miss on skilled applicants simply because they failed to take cultural differences into account.

TIP #1

Use the CLB Benchmark: The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks offers a free e-learning portal for HR professionals, employers and assessors: http://learning.language.ca. The CLB benchmarks help you understand the level of language proficiency that is required for a particular job. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in a job applicant’s language skills, you can refer any applicant for a CLB assessment to assess his or her language skills against your requirements.

TIP #2

Conduct an Occupational Language Analysis: These analyses can help you learn more about the English language skills that newcomers may require for the job they want, highlighting skills for speaking, listening, reading, and writing noted in terms of the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

TIP #3

Arrange Business English classes: Educational institutions can provide English classes for new Canadians.

TIP #4

Provide customized language training: Employers with a large enough employee base may wish to consider providing or subsidizing customized, in-house, industry-specific ESL training. Conduct a web search for “custom language training” in your area to find services.

TIP #5

Help with accent reduction: Conduct a web search for “accent reduction” in your area to find tutors or classes.

TIP #6

Reach out to Settlement Services Agencies: Agencies such as MOSAIC, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Immigrant Services Society of BC can provide further resources to assist newcomers in acquiring English skills required for their profession.

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HOW TO ADD DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

As workplaces become increasingly diverse, employers must find ways to ensure people from different cultures can coexist harmoniously within the same environment.

TIP #1

Plain language means writing in a clear and precise manner and offers potential applicants an understanding of what the position requires. It is a style that avoids wordiness and uses everyday language. This will appeal to a large cross-section of people.

TIP #2

Businesses that attract, integrate, develop, and retain international talent benefit from an expanded knowledge and skills base.

TIP #3

Newcomer-friendly programs or practices— those that promote cultural awareness and diversity, that expand a firm’s recruitment methods, that offer bridging and mentoring services to new recruits, and that recognize foreign credentials—can have a significant impact on an organization’s’ bottom line.

TIP #4

Internal mentor-buddy programs are excellent ways to help a new hire integrate, and to allow the mentor to develop cross-cultural coaching skills. A mentor or a buddy is a colleague who shows the new employee around, makes introductions and informs the new employee about the often unspoken nuances of the workplace culture. This responsibility should be part of the mentor or buddy’s job description, and not a task that is piled on top of an already full workload. Companies that leverage their existing workforce to welcome new employees are more likely to create a welcoming environment.

TIP #5

Employers have a positive “duty,” under the law, to accommodate an employee’s religious observances, where doing so would not cause the employer undue hardship. Provide prayer accommodations and be conscious of religious observances, when possible.

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2018-12-19T11:18:34+00:00