The skilled talent of newcomers

 

Immigrants and refugees have left all that they knew behind and are building a new life in Canada. Through their unique experiences and often strong educations, newcomers to Canada have unique perspectives and skills that can benefit any company that hires them by enriching the organization with diverse thinking and skill sets.

Time and time again, we hear that newcomers are not hired despite their qualifications, because they lack Canadian work experience. Many times, immigrants and refugees are filtered out of the process due to cultural differences in resume and cover letter formats, interview practices, or biased assumptions on language proficiency. These barriers do not speak to the vast talent and important perspectives they bring in the global market in which Canadian companies operate. 

In order to promote inclusion of newcomers in your workplace, employers should first adjust recruitment and interviewing practices to use a lens that is less Canada focused. Onboarding practices should help immigrant and refugee hires to create a community of support within the workplace from day one. Employers should also build their team’s intercultural competence and encourage curiosity to make newcomers feel valued, accepted, and understood. 

 

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