What to Consider When Recruiting Newcomers

Are newcomers to Canada the solution for manufacturers facing labour challenges? This article describes a wide variety of strategies for effectively recruiting newly-Canadian workers, and discusses what to keep in mind when considering unfamiliar job applications.

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As Canadian labour demographics continue to shift throughout the early 2020s, it’s prescient of the country’s manufacturing employers to understand the impact that newcomers can have on their business’s activities. Newcomers are poised to make up a significant portion of the manufacturing industry’s workforce in the very near future, and companies that are unable to build lasting connections with these groups will find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage against those that do. Understanding how to appeal to this demographic may seem like a challenge for manufacturers inexperienced in hiring outside of familiar labour pools, but by putting forth a strong effort to identify the wants and needs of newcomers, business leaders can attract these workers to any type of position within their enterprises.

It’s important to realize the vast array of benefits that employing newcomers can have on one’s business — in addition to being an timely asset against the effects of the manufacturing sector’s labour shortage, newcomers provide a wide range of perspectives and skills to a production facility, stoking innovation and preventing stagnation. Remember that many newcomers to Canada are well-educated, experienced in their respective industries, and possess strong English communication skills. Take these factors into account when creating material that aims to attract newcomers to your business. Can your organization offer these workers the opportunity to utilize their professional assets? Can the position that you’re advertising for help advance their career? If you were in these worker’s roles, what would you be looking for in a manufacturing job? Maintain steady contextual awareness always during the recruitment process, and ensure that the work you can provide is mutually-beneficial.

When hiring any kind of employee, we tend to exercise internalized biases, which can prevent otherwise suitable, passionate workers from supporting our companies. These biases typically present themselves during the earliest stages of the recruitment process, and they become particularly prominent when hiring workers from international backgrounds. To overcome these biases during your own business’s recruitment process, use the information provided on a resume or from an initial conversation to broaden your perspective on a worker’s talents. Keep in mind that gaps in an applicant’s labour history, wildly-varying previous positions, and sub-optimal written English is normal for newcomers to Canada. Many of these workers have been involuntarily displaced from past living conditions, and may be unable to maintain a steady career path. Don’t confuse broadening your perspective for being lenient with these workers — become aware of the varying benefits that they can offer your business, and determine if they’re a right fit for the role you’re advertising based on that knowledge. Taking a labourer’s background into account when evaluating their applicability for your organization is critical to building an effective workforce.

As manufacturing organizations across the country bemoan the lack of skilled and unskilled labour available to them, newcomers to Canada provide these businesses with a sustainable source of motivated, passionate, and dedicated talent. Through the willingness to form powerful relationships with this demographic, manufacturing leaders in any industry can consistently ensure the productivity of their organizations. Take the influx of newcomers into the Canadian labour pool as an opportunity to revitalize your enterprise’s workforce, and you’ll be able to reap the many benefits of a diverse, co-operative company culture.

To discuss opportunities more discussion about effectively recruiting newcomers to your business, please contact Steve Holmgren, EMC’s Manufacturing Consortium Manager for Eastern Ontario. Attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise specialized for the Canadian manufacturing sector.

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