Top firms battle to attract talented newcomers
April 2, 2009
It’s taken a while, but employers are finally realizing that the best person for the job may be someone who wasn’t born or trained in Canada.
Newcomers have always been welcome in this country but when it came to getting jobs, a lot of human resource departments stuck with the tried and true, says Richard Yerema, managing editor of Mediacorp, a Toronto-based publisher of employment-related periodicals.
That has begun to change, with many companies now offering recruitment, mentoring and in-house education programs to attract talented, foreign-trained new Canadians.
“The hiring of (newcomers) can only strengthen a business,” says Yerema. “When you realize the cultural sensitivity that’s instilled by these new workers, you realize how important it is to include them. The different cultural backgrounds and languages make it easier to compete at an international level … these men and women bring their professional expertise to the table and a little something extra.”
Mediacorp has chosen the top 25 employers for new Canadians as an extension of its annual Canada’s Top Employers competition.
More than 2,100 employers applied for that award this year, which was reduced to a shortlist of 150 that had developed initiatives to assist newcomers. Mediacorp editors then reviewed that list based on three main criteria:
- Does the company provide programs to assist newcomers and reduce employment barriers, such as recognizing foreign education and experience.
- Does the company help newcomers get their foreign credentials formally recognized in Canada, or offer internal coaching or mentoring to help them requalify.
- Do managers and employees receive training in cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness?
Any employer with its head office in Canada may apply for the competition, which is co-sponsored by the Maytree and McConnell Foundations – two non-profit organizations that support immigrants.
The top 25
Bank of Montreal
Bell Aliant Regional Communications
Business Development Bank of Canada
Christie Digital Systems
Energy Resources Conservation Board
Fraser Milner Casgrain
Regional Municipality of Halton
Maple Trade Finance
MDS Nordion Inc.
Providence Health Care
Rescan Environmental Services Ltd.
St. Michael’s Hospital
TD Bank Financial Group
Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Trans Canada Corp.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Stories profiling the winners
Reference: Toronto Star