There has been a shortage of Canadian workers that has only been exasperated by COVID-19. With borders starting to reopen, here are five points to keep in mind when planning to hire outside of Canada.
Many Canadians will soon have their first vaccination and a rising percentage, their first.
This has led to the Canadian government easing border restrictions, allowing the free-flowing movement of employment resources across the border.
Hopefully, it will allow employers to address another challenge as the economy moves back into full swing… significant labour shortages in a wide variety of industry sectors in Canada.
Instead of relieving growing manpower shortages in Canada, business shutdowns due to COVID 19 have made the issue worse. There are increasing reports that those who have stopped working during the pandemic do not plan on returning to work. So, as the economy rebuilds post-pandemic, there will likely be an increasing focus on resourcing talent from overseas or existing immigrant populations in Canada.
The Canadian government has and will continue to support economic-based immigration and the issuance of temporary work permits. They have already increased the annual quota for accepting immigrants to Canada. While borders remain closed, they have focused on transitioning temporary foreign workers in Canada to Permanent Residents to stabilize the current labour force.
When developing a post COVID resourcing plan, it is helpful to understand the different processes, timing and costs involved. This will help prioritize job candidates that fit both business needs and immigration requirements while managing the expectations of managers seeking additional resources.
Here are five points to keep in mind when planning for the movement of resources into Canada:
1. Temporary work permits are always faster to obtain than Permanent Residence. However, if you want to retain resources indefinitely, you should have a permanent residence strategy in place from the beginning. Finding out too late you can’t make a temporary resource a permanent one can a variety of challenges.
2. Location is important. Both the source country and the Canadian destination affect the process. The source country can determine application type and whether an entry visa, medical examination, or police clearance is required prior to obtaining work permit approval. All of these take time. The Canadian destination can determine what immigration programs are available and the prevailing wages that may need to be met for the position.
3. French Language Skills can facilitate the process. Many immigration programs prioritize those with French language skills. Individuals who are fluent in French can often gain permanent residence easier than those who aren’t.
4. If already in Canada, be clear on the candidate’s immigration status and work restrictions. Be sure the candidate has the proper authorization to work for your company and that there are no limiting restrictions on the capability to work in Canada. For example, those in the healthcare or childcare field must first complete an immigration medical before being authorized to work in those fields. Work permits can also be closed in regards to occupation, employer, and location.
5. When in doubt, ask for help. It’s important to know what to expect when starting to recruit foreign nationals. It’s difficult when promises are made to a candidate or manager which cannot be actualized because of an immigration issue. Ask for help from professionals who have navigated these waters before and save yourself time better spent focusing on your business.
Bringing candidates in from outside Canada can have a positive impact on your business. If you are looking to do this, we’re here to help you navigate this increasingly complex field.
Feel free to reach out to us to review existing work permits, consult on a recruiting strategy, or better understand the requirements of hiring foreign nationals in Canada.