Tips on Finding Immigrant Talent


This Tip Sheet on Finding Immigrant Talent provides ideas, skills and resources to attract and recruit immigrant talent.

The following list of tips on finding new immigrant talent was created by Douglas College – the Training Group for the Surrey Board of Trade’s IEC-BC Employer Innovation Fund project.

When Developing Job Postings

Review all the key communication skills required – e.g. interacting with clients, report writing, completing forms, etc.
Identify the frequency of key communications – can help candidates determine if their skill level is appropriate.
Identify if speaking another language is necessary or useful – can help connect with a specific community.
Refer to the position Essential Skills Profile for examples of communication tasks required –
Use plain language to write the posting – stay away from slang or jargon that could be confusing, e.g. “Describe what you bring to the table.”

Effective Advertising Sources for Employers

The Internet – still the best, most cost-effective way to post current job openings and has the potential to reach thousands of people from all over the world. There are many job boards that are both generic and industry specific. Some are free while others may cost the employer fees to advertise.
Website – is one of the best sources of information on your company. Your application process should be clear with all contact information up-to-date.
Use personal contacts of current employees – create a formal employee referral program, where employees are rewarded for referring qualified friends or family
Advertise postings in immigrant/ethnic media and publications – ensures you are reaching a broad cross-section of people.
Networking – consider social and professional functions like Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade,BNI Chapters, industry association functions, sports club members, church/temple/mosque functions,etc.
Job Fairs – are an excellent way to provide information to a large audience in a relaxed environment. Be sure to include key items such as a display, application forms, business cards, and your marketing communications materials.
Private Employment Agencies – find job seekers that fit the qualifications that you are searching for. Fees paid by the employer are usually equivalent to a percentage of the successful candidate’s annual income.
Professional and Trade Associations – can provide information on applicants with the skills you may be looking for. Many associations circulate newsletters and/or magazines to members.
Local Immigrant Settlement Agencies – Develop a relationship with agencies who work directly with immigrants new to your community.
Language or Bridge Training Programs – Develop a relationship with agencies that deliver ESL training or bridging programs that assist skilled immigrants get their license or certificate in their profession or trade.
Encourage placement of visible minority interns and co-operative students – you could establish formal partnerships with universities and colleges that train in your industry.
Develop and cultivate relationships with immigrant resource centers or volunteer groups dedicated to the needs of immigrants – these organizations work very closely with a large number of potential workers.
Develop your literature and marketing materials to be reflective and inviting to immigrants – include diverse images and include a statement about your commitment to diversity.
Sponsor multi-cultural community events – to improve the visibility of the organization within the community.
Become known as an “Employer of Choice” for both your industry and for skilled immigrants – this can be achieved internally by establishing a business culture that is positive and supportive of all employees. This can be achieved externally through messaging in your marketing materials and web presence.

The above content was adapted from IEC-BC.

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