Sector specific Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s Working Groups are operating in information technology, health care, finance, public service and biotech sector. Working ‘on the ground’, each group tackles barriers and systemic challenges that employers face in their efforts to hire and integrate skilled immigrants into the workplace. Working group members include human resources professionals (HR) professionals from Employer Council of Champions organizations, agencies serving immigrants, labour groups, government, educational institutions, and professional associations. Members share information, promising practices, and useful tools and resources at their monthly meetings.
Working Group Objectives
- Address barriers: recommend and implement solutions to common barriers, such as Canadian work experience requirements, language, cultural differences, access to professional networks, and human resource processes.
- Identify gaps: share information and identify areas for improvement, and implement action plans to reduce the gaps.
- Create hiring opportunities: link qualified immigrants with local employers.
The working groups have produced an Employer in Action that highlights the main barriers and challenges, and recommends activities and programs to address them. Employers from all working groups are working together as well as independently to implement elements of the action plan within their respective organizations. Periodically, the working groups come together to host networking and coaching events.
Working groups routinely host and participate in networking events involving employers and skilled immigrants. Through such events immigrants and employers gain familiarity with each other outside the context of a specific job interview, and can begin to break down some of the cultural and workplace barriers. Participating employers gain an improved understanding of the skills and qualifications of internationally trained immigrants, and can scout out new talent for recruitment. Participating immigrants gain valuable networking experience, develop new and improved professional networking skills, and have an opportunity to speak with employers in their sector.
“Innovation is built on a diverse exchange of ideas. These networking events are great opportunities for employers and skilled immigrants to connect with and learn from one another. At one event we met someone who impressed us so much that we started the recruitment process immediately.”
Emma Creese, Manager, Staffing & Recruitment - Staffing & Planning, Scotiabank
Working group members also participate in coaching events for skilled immigrants. These events typically involve several employers and are hosted at an employer’s location. HR staff in participating employer organizations develop and improve their skills in coaching and recruiting. Skilled immigrants receive sector-specific job search guidance and career information from human resources professionals in their sectors. They also get help and guidance with résumés and interviewing, and gain direct exposure to an employer workplace.
If you are an employer seeking to hire immigrants and would like to join a working group or participate in any networking and coaching activities please contact us at 613-228-6715 or firstname.lastname@example.org