Free online resource gives employers strategies and techniques to recruit and retain skilled immigrants more effectively

March 24, 2009

The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) today announced the launch of the Roadmap, a new online resource to help employers hire and integrate skilled immigrants. Available at, the Roadmap is designed to equip anyone with human resources (HR) responsibilities with strategies and tools to engage skilled immigrants more effectively at every stage of the HR lifecycle, from recruitment to integration and retention.

“This is a business reality: Declining birth rates among the Canadian-born population in addition to baby boomers preparing for retirement underline the importance among employers to capitalize better on the underutilized immigrant talent pool,” says Elizabeth McIsaac, TRIEC’s executive director. “Competitive and forward-thinking companies can use the Roadmap to begin leveraging this potential, and position themselves to gain competitive advantages in innovation, as well as access to international and local markets.”

Features of the Roadmap include:

  • A graphic-rich and interactive user experience
  • Substantive content, such as tools, tips, resources and guides, including video and audio, organized for every stage of the HR lifecycle (recruitment, assessment and selection, onboarding, integration and retention).
  • Functions to save and send content to colleagues

“Many HR professionals are already attuned to the importance of building cross-cultural competencies, but they are often met with hesitation from senior management or hiring managers, who have considerable influence over hiring decisions,” says Leona Wilson, president Human Resources Professionals Association, Peel Chapter, and a contributor to the Roadmap. “Not only can this new resource help HR professionals build a case for more effective immigrant integration, but it also provides practical strategies and tools that they can use immediately to enhance their HR practices. Best of
all, it’s free and accessed easily online.”

The Conference Board of Canada predicts that immigrants will comprise all net labour force growth by 2011 and every new addition to the national population by 2031. The Conference Board also reports that the underutilization of immigrants costs the national economy between $3.9 billion and $4.9 billion per year.

“We hire for talent and skills, regardless of where an individual comes from or where they acquired their education and work experience,” says Av Utukuri, president and chief technology officer of Nytric Ltd., a Mississauga-based innovation consulting and venture technology firm. “As a small business of 25 employees, our company thrives on innovative product design, as well as finding and leveraging international markets. With annual revenue in the millions of dollars, 90 percent of our products exported, and two-thirds of our staff comprised of immigrants, the math is clear: the ability to leverage the talents of skilled immigrants is key to our success.”

“We are surrounded by an immense talent pool of skilled immigrants in our own local communities,” says Deepak Chopra, president, Pitney Bowes Canada and Latin America. “Pitney Bowes is committed to fostering a deep culture of diversity; we help employees access diversity information, education and training on an ongoing basis. Without deliberate strategies to engage skilled immigrants more effectively, many employers put their organizations at risk of missing the boat and losing skilled immigrant talent to competitors. This is true regardless of the economic climate.”

A TRIEC initiative, the Roadmap is an Employment Ontario project funded by the Government of Ontario. It was developed over the past year with participation from companies and business stakeholders, including boards of trade, economic development offices and other related community organizations.