The immigrant employment issue is complex, and we need everyone at the table to come up with new and exciting ways to move forward.

There are many sources for finding immigrant talent, including through community agencies, who offer employment services to newcomers and can connect employers to recruitment sources beyond the traditional talent pool. Recruitment firms can also help in this area, yet they might not always be top of mind for skilled immigrants, or for a company looking to diversify its workforce.

Anita Sampson Binder and Tamara Shaw from ARES Staffing Solutions (a TRIEC partner) provide their top benefits of partnering with a reputable recruitment firm – for both employers and candidates:

  1. Employers often don’t post positions. Many engage recruitment firms to conduct their hiring for a variety of reasons, so this can be a great avenue to find a new role in the hidden job market that newcomers may not have access to, while connecting the company to a new source of talent.
  1. Reputable firms such as ARES value diversity and inclusion. They also ‘live’ it. They [ARES] understand, value and promote international work experience, are trained in the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), and accommodate and support persons with disabilities.
  1. They represent candidates’ best attributes. In a world of unknowns, they know what their clients are looking for, and focus on placing candidates in roles where their chosen career interests lie.
  1. Good firms act as trusted advisers to hiring managers. They discuss candidates’ core competencies that may not present fully on a resume.
  1. They invest in success. As candidates go through the recruitment process, these firms will prepare and coach them. They help give candidates the best chance of success in the Canadian market by showing them how to represent and market themselves effectively and compliantly with a resume, and in person.  They also provide interview preparation.  In Canada, we use specific types of interview questions, including behavioural, situational, technical, and ‘resume trace’ questions.
  1. Staffing partnerships can be very powerful. Each time the recruitment firm introduces a candidate to an employer, they make a new and meaningful relationship, and grow both of their networks. Even if candidates don’t get the first job they’re put forward for, they may find mutual interests with these new connections that will benefit both sides.
  1. Reputable firms seek long-term relationships. They know that today’s candidate is tomorrow’s hiring manager or client.  They also provide support by staying in touch. Many obstacles candidates face in their first days, weeks or months in their new jobs are fixable. An agent can help to address any issues to ensure the transition into the new role is smooth.

Making it work for you

If you’ve decided that a recruitment firm is a good option for you, it’s important to go about it the right way. Here are a couple of tips to give you the best chance of success:

  • Pick a good one! Like most organizations, all recruitment firms are not created equally.  There are some very reputable firms out there, and it is important to ensure that the one you choose is aligned with your values and ways of working.  You should be comfortable and confident being represented by the firm that you choose.
  • If you’re a job-seeker, never work with a firm that asks you to pay a fee. Reputable firms earn fees from employers that seek them out to source and hire new employees, not the other way around. Good recruitment firms will recognize your international work experience as vital and valuable. Enjoy the Journey!

To connect with a community agency mentioned at the beginning of this piece, visit the CASIP website to find one in your area.