Integrate ITWs in the Workplace
Despite the need, many small and medium employers are reluctant to hire immigrants for jobs that correspond to their education, skills and experience. See the following concerns and barriers employers have identified along with quick and simple solutions.
Uncomfortable with recognizing foreign credentials?
There are several accredited agencies across Canada that assess foreign credentials and compare them to Canadian education. If education credentials are critical for the posted position, you can request your IEP candidates to provide you with a formal credential assessment.
Concerned with immigrants' language and communication skills?
Language testing: There are many available language tests that can help you assess your candidates' level of language proficiency. If language is a concern, you can request your ITW candidates to provide you with a formal test result.
Language training: There are many available language training solutions that can help your IEP improve on language skills. Remember: it takes less time and money to have an ITW improve on language than to have an English speaker acquire professional skills and experience!
Worried about hiring "overqualified" candidates?
Research shows that "overqualified" employees perform better than average hires, especially if they feel valued by the employer. IEPs are highly motivated to succeed in their new home of choice and have a greater desire to work and prove themselves, even when the level of the position is lower than their previous positions.
Think about it this way: If you wanted to purchase a car, would you reject it for having "excess features" for the price of a basic model?
Concerned that ITW candidates have no "Canadian experience"?
Many employers assume that "Canadian experience" is a good indicator of professional skills, and a good predictor of success. According to this logic, all locally experienced professionals are great employees. Since you already know this isn't true, it stands to reason that there are much better ways to assess candidates' skills.
Also, it is important to remember that according to the Ontario Human Rights Code, requiring "Canadian experience" may be considered discrimination: "A job ad or hiring process that blocks people who don’t have Canadian experience can hurt newcomers to Canada, even though they may have experience in another country and can do the job. Not hiring someone because of where they worked before may be discrimination based on race, ancestry, colour, place of origin or ethnic origin."
Concerned that ITWs will not "fit in" with the organizational culture?
While it is true that immigrants bring a wealth of cultures that may not perfectly and/or immediately align with your specific organizational culture, they also bring a great desire to integrate quickly and successfully. There are many ways this transition can be made faster and smoother for both employers and IEP employees:
- Free training on cross-cultural communication and workplace culture is available to ITWs in many service agencies across Ontario.
- A good integration plan of newly hired IEPs goes a long way in understanding and adapting to your organizational culture. There are many service agencies across Ontario that can help you integrate and retain your ITW employees for a small fee or for free.