At The Bagg Group, we meet many highly skilled new Canadians who have enthusiasm to burn and yet who tell us they have a hard time getting any employers to talk to them. A study that came out of UBC last fall confirmed that those with foreign names were less likely to be interviewed for job opportunities. In fact, the research conducted by economics professor Philip Oreopoulos said that people with English names were 40% more likely to get an interview than those with the same education and experience who have Indian, Chinese or Pakistani names.
The study also showed that Canadian experience matters to hiring authorities. Resumes that showed foreign names and education but had one previous job in Canada listed got almost double the number of calls than those resumes that showed no Canadian experience at all.
To quantify the realities of foreign skilled workers, a team at UBC sent out more than 6,000 mock resumes to 2,000 online postings by employers in the GTA.
Time is right to make a difference.
Interestingly, the time has never been better to give skilled immigrants a chance to get some domestic experience that can make all the difference to their lives.
It’s well-known that economic adversity sparks creativity. And now the recession is also proving to be an opportunity to increase diversity in the workplace.
In these days of downsized staff, many top employers in the GTA are turning to temporary workers and contract workers to help balance the workload of overburdened employees. And these temporary workers and contract workers include highly skilled new Canadians seeking experience in Canadian offices.
They are a proven resource. For example, IT professional contract workers, who often have diverse backgrounds, have been important contributors to companies for years.
And recently, human resource professionals across the GTA have reported these two finding to The Bagg Group:
- Post cutbacks, full-time employees are often stretched thin, doing the job of two and losing a chunk of their day to tasks that don’t require their skill level. Offloading activities to temporary workers significantly improves productivity and morale in the workplace.
- Contract workers are the solution to completing projects that full-time staff no longer have time to tackle. As one successful client told us, moving projects off the backburner in a recession can give a company a competitive edge when they need it the most.
At The Bagg Group, we live the values of a fair society. We focus only on ensuring all the candidates on our roster have strong up-to-date skills and the right attitude. These are the requisite attributes to get the job done, and to do it well. That’s all that matters to us and we know that’s what matters to our clients.
And wherever workplaces can demonstrate that the skills of high-performers can be transferred not just from department to department, but from country to country, so much the better for all who celebrate Canada’s values of diversity.
If you are not working with temporary workers or contract workers, consider talking to staffing solution experts on how they could make a real difference to your company’s productivity, to the morale of your employees, and perhaps to some new Canadians.