What if you could hire a highly skilled and professional candidate on a trial basis, giving both your organization and the candidate a chance to see if the fit’s right, before you made a permanent commitment?
That’s exactly what SaskEnergy is doing with skilled immigrants.
Saskatchewan’s natural gas distributor, which has 1,031 employees, partners with Regina Open Door Society to find skilled immigrant candidates for short-term work placements. The placements can lead to full-time employment for the skilled immigrants, if the fit is right. Regardless, it helps skilled immigrants gain Canadian work experience and a Canadian work reference.
Internships are a low-risk way for businesses to test out potential candidates for fit and expertise. Ultimately, hiring a skilled immigrant as an intern will add skills and diversity to your workforce while providing highly-qualified and motivated individuals with their first Canadian work experience. But, some hiring managers may be reluctant to spend their own departmental budgets on an intern who might not become a permanent employee.
A novel approach
The Regional Municipality of Halton has addressed this concern by centralizing the cost of internships. Individual departments don’t bear the cost of an intern, providing further incentive for managers to bring in skilled immigrant interns.
Because the Region partners with Career Bridge, managers have access to many pre-screened, professional new immigrants to fill intern spots. That’s a win-win. And, employers are increasingly recognizing the power of internships, according to an analysis of organizations shortlisted to the Best Employers for New Canadians competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Best Employers for New Canadians – a summary of success
In examining 40 of the companies shortlisted in 2010, an ALLIES report found 55 per cent of them offered some form of internship or work placement for skilled immigrants. This was up from 48 per cent of 33 shortlisted organizations in 2009 and 43 per cent of 28 organizations in 2008.
In their report, Attracting, Retaining and Integrating Skilled Immigrants: An Analysis of Canada’s Leading Employers ALLIES found that, not only will employers continue to create and implement such practices, they have also enhanced recruitment and integration of skilled immigrants in their organizations.
When interviewed, employers cited three reasons for doing so. One reason is these practices are just “the right thing to do” as a member of the community. Another reason is the desire to be seen as an employer of choice, both with respect to their product or service and to attract and retain top talent.
Finally, most employers linked these practices to the bottom line. They employers to access a larger pool of candidates with specific skill sets that match business needs, reflect their customer base both in Canada and abroad, and increase innovation.
If you want to learn more about various practices to recruit and integrate skilled immigrants, sign up for the March 29 hireimmigrants.ca webinar Best Employers for New Canadians 2011: Best practices in recruiting and integrating skilled immigrants.
The webinar will look at trends and highlight best practices from two winners of the 2011 Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians.
You will learn how one company helps new Canadian employees attain their Canadian professional designations. Another leading organization will share how their buddy system helps new employees learn the ins and outs of the organization’s culture and practices.
We hope to see you there!