The last few months of 2021 was a learning experience for most owners of businesses in Canada. After being forced to shut down or work at reduced capacity through the pandemic, businesses found it impossible to cater to demand due to shortage of workers.
Canadian business were staring at more than a million vacancies when the Omicron variant hit customer sentiment. Sooner or later, the new variants too will be tamed, which means you are likely to face the problem of shortage of workers unless you take steps to pandemic-proof your business.
And what’s the best way to achieve this goal? It’s time to start hiring foreign workers for your business.
Reason 1—Adapt to Survive
Adaptability and innovation are key to the success of any business strategy. To hope or pray that status quo returns is not a strategy at all. Even if the pandemic were to end tomorrow, people are unlikely to rush to their old jobs again, which means your business will have to deal with this churn.
The best way to manage change is to be open to change yourself. If you have never hired a foreign worker for your business, then perhaps this is the best time to explore this idea. Even if you manage fine with Canadian workers, accessing a new pool of talent for your business is never a bad idea.
Reason 2—Tame Wage Inflation
Joining bonuses and high wages may be very nice for workers but all this is only contributing to higher wage inflation. In the long run, paying more and more for a shrinking pool of workers is only going to price you out of the market.
There’s nothing wrong in paying high wages for a worker who brings knowledge, skills, and value to your organization. But paying more for ordinary talent just because there is a shortage of workers is not a sustainable proposition.
If you want your business to be competitive over the next decade, then how you tackle this shortage and whether you open up to the idea of hiring foreign workers will by key.
Reason 3—Capitalize on Great Business Opportunities
There has been a shift in preferences of workers and this has contributed to the vacancies. However, there has been a surge in demand for goods and services and this too has caught business owners by surprise.
If you manage to ramp up capacity quickly, then you can capitalize on these great opportunities until normalcy returns. To lose out on business just because you didn’t have enough workers can be very frustrating.
Renewed concerns due to variants may prove to be a blessing for your business because it can be used to prepare for the second surge in demand once normalcy returns.
Reason 4—Go Foreign Within Canada
There may be some justification to your concerns about hiring a foreign worker from a foreign country. However, what about skilled workers from abroad who are already in Canada?
Every international student graduating from a Canadian institution is a foreign skilled worker who is already in the country and can start working for you at very short notice. You need not worry about cultural differences because he or she has been living and studying in the country though the course.
This simple strategy can help you ramp up capacity with minimal delays or complications. Of course, you will need the assistance of an experienced immigration professional through the process.
Firstly, you will have to find out whether you are eligible to hire foreign workers. Once this is established, it’s time to assess your options. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is the obvious choice but you will need positive Labor Market Impact Assessment, which is a complicated process in itself.
The International Mobility Program is the best non-LMIA option but not all foreign workers will qualify for this program.
You can also consider hiring a skilled worker with an Express Entry profile and bypass the whole work permit setup. Or, you can focus on international students with a valid Post Graduation Work permit and then support his or her transition to permanent residence.
And then you will have to take care of the various formalities, procedures, and compliances. This should be hassle-free process as long as you have the right professional by your side.