For many employers, not only in Winnipeg, but across Canada, it has become increasingly difficult to find high quality candidates with the appropriate skill sets for a variety of positions.
With a focus on supporting employers in Winnipeg's in-demand sectors and filling hard-to-fill positions, Economic Development Winnipeg's Talent & Workforce Development team has hosted virtual and in-person talent missions and hiring events in Argentina, Hong Kong, France and Morocco. In June, the team led a successful delegation to Austria and Germany, a mission that has resulted in 117 interviews conducted and 54 accepted job offers to date.
Whether or not your organization has had experience with hiring international workers, there are many reasons to consider joining our upcoming international recruitment mission to Paris, France and Rabat, Morocco in November (Nov. 18-22, 2023). Here are five great reasons.
1. Access high-quality candidates.
The EDW team consults with businesses, industry and government; researches which jobs are in greatest demand; identifies where to access pools of qualified candidates, then matches mission locations to those talent pools.
For the upcoming mission to Paris and Rabat, the Government of Canada's Destination Canada Mobility Forum (DCMF) is taking place in those cities at the same time, providing access to a large, pre-screened bilingual candidate pool. Sectors of priority for the EDW mission are financial services, information and communication technology, transportation and distribution, manufacturing & advanced manufacturing and hospitality.
“EDW connects with industry and refers to multiple sources of credible data and research, and we know that in order to be able to grow and thrive into the future, companies must go beyond the existing candidate pool and expand their reach,” says Yvonne Kinley, EDW Director, Talent & Workforce Development. “Our team has the technology and processes to identify skilled candidates while supporting employers with the international recruitment process, logistics and considerations.”
Alan Tay, co-founder and CEO of Winnipeg’s Delphi Technology Corp, has been part of multiple previous EDW missions, and speaks highly of the two employees he successfully hired. Hear more from Alan in his two-minute video testimonial.
2. You can rely on EDW's Talent & Workforce Development professionals for expert support leading up to, during and beyond the mission.
EDW’s recruitment missions provide employers with an easy introduction to international hiring. The team has extensive experience sourcing candidates, managing event and international travel logistics, and aligning efforts with ideal immigration pathways.
“It’s our role to facilitate and coordinate, including marketing the event to attract candidates, organizing the venue, booking on-site interviews and delivering presentations to potential candidates about life in Winnipeg,” says Kinley. “We also liaise with and provide introductions to official organizations, including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, to help employers navigate immigration pathways, processes and paperwork. It really is a concierge service.”
Big Freight recruitment specialist Priscila Voloshyn was very pleased with the support her team received in Munich and Vienna. The company ended up making more than double the job offers than they anticipated they would.
3. Source from an exclusive pool of well-matched candidates through the Work in Manitoba job portal.
EDW administers the Province of Manitoba’s Work in Manitoba job portal, an innovative online platform with job-matching technology. The team leverages the platform as a dedicated mission ‘community,’ with international job seekers applying to local vacancies posted in the portal.
“We really appreciated the quick responses from EDW when we needed help with our postings, or if something went wrong. Patricia (EDW's Talent & Workforce Development Officer) was very quick to spot any issues we may have had with our profile,” said Robin Arevalo of Jade Transport.
For this upcoming mission, employers will receive a curated list of candidates screened according to desired skills, education and certifications, qualifications and more. They will then receive a schedule of pre-arranged in-person interviews with their selected applicants.
“We had a very high quality of candidates during the mission. Our VP was pleased with the people he met, and even the walk-ins [candidates] were well-screened and vetted,” stated Arevalo.
4. Expand your recruitment strategies to counteract declining population growth and post-secondary enrollment.
EDW is helping employers prepare for the future, as population growth and the numbers of students enrolling in post-secondary education slowly decrease. Foreign-trained talent is essential as a supplement to the domestic workforce as local population growth stagnates.
In Manitoba, the Provincial Nominee Program boosts immigration significantly, but it won’t fill all job vacancies. The bottom line is that now's the time to diversify your recruitment strategies to ensure your company's competitiveness. Employers can't be complacent in their approach, and they need to be open to trying new strategies which may find them operating outside of their comfort zone.
5. Employers who have hired internationally strengthen workplace diversity, and according to one recent mission participant, enjoy an excellent retention rate.
“International worker retention is way higher than domestic retention in the transportation industry," says Voloshyn. "If you expect to have high quality workers, it’s great to join international missions. International workers are getting a new path in life, they’re committed to their job and they’re eager to come to Canada. You get good, motivated employees. Once a company has experience with international recruitment, they can really succeed. Employers should consider giving it a try.”
Kinley says that employers need to be prepared to invest in international workers to bolster retention. The EDW team has been consulting with local business leaders, ethno-cultural organizations and newcomer support agencies to ensure an understanding of the most important aspects of settlement, including connection to community.
"A positive settlement experience is essential to successful, long-term outcomes, so our team has been working with and learning from organizations that do it well. Manitoba's immigration retention rates come in at the middle of the pack across all provinces and territories, so we have some work to do. We want newcomers to feel proud to call Winnipeg home and see themselves planting roots.”
According to Voloshyn, an experienced recruiter who has been tapping in to international talent pools since 2006, the recent mission has been very beneficial for her employer.
"People can think international recruitment is different or that it's too far away, but they don’t know the process and they shouldn’t worry. Once they learn, they’ll see it’s way easier than they think. It’s good for the economy and for company diversity. This mission was a new experience for our company and the partnership with Economic Development Winnipeg made it great."
International recruitment is a proven strategy with positive outcomes. EDW's Talent & Workforce Development team is here to help guide employers and generate recruitment results. Join us on our upcoming mission to Paris and Rabat!