Many employers across Canada are looking to meet their staffing needs by hiring Internationally Trained Individuals (ITIs). The successful hiring and retaining of personnel from this growing talent pool often means making adjustments to some of the processes and policies in the following areas:
The starting point to planning for the above changes is to recognize the barriers that ITIs face in finding and maintaining employment in Canada. Recognizing these barriers will help determine the changes required to facilitate the employment of ITIs. This section discusses the most common barriers that ITIs face, some considerations for changes to help remove the barriers, and some effective practices for recruiting and hiring ITIs.
One of the foremost barriers that ITIs face is having their international credentials accepted by potential employers. This is mainly because employers are unsure of the standards of education in other countries. The following are some points to consider in order to help ease the impact of this barrier on ITIs:
Language is another barrier for ITIs. The language skills of ITIs can vary depending on the level of education and on whether English was the medium of instruction in their country of origin. The following are some points to consider in order to help ease the impact of this barrier on ITIs:
Canadian work experience
Employers generally require Canadian work experience because they feel that a person with Canadian work experience will have a developed set of soft skills and an understanding of the Canadian workplace culture. However, this requirement makes it very difficult for ITIs to land their first job in their field and gain the necessary work experience.
If Canadian work experience is not a requirement from a regulatory body, there are some other viable methods that can help ease the impact of this barrier on ITIs.
Consider the following:
Once the above points have been considered and the appropriate actions taken, review and revise the job description and hiring process accordingly.
Here are some more tips to help you:
Soft skills and an understanding of workplace culture
Employers prefer to hire a candidate who has the appropriate soft skills and is familiar with the general workplace culture in Canada. This is because they want to be sure the person will fit in and integrate into their organization more easily.
Soft skills are the interpersonal skills that are essential for the effective and competent execution of workplace interactions and duties in culturally and socially acceptable ways. Some examples of soft skills are time-management, team work, and self-direction. The ability to demonstrate both the soft skills that are valued in workplaces in Canada and the knowledge of the general workplace culture here is closely tied to work experience in this country. Therefore, it creates a barrier for ITIs to finding suitable employment.
Consider the following to help reduce this barrier:
The following are some effective practices for attracting and selecting ITIs:
Attracting ITIs in employee search
Selection Best Practices
Review your current screening process to make it fair and unbiased.
Review your interview process and techniques for bias.