Hiring a foreign worker for your Canadian business may be the best way to prevent the shortage of skilled workers in the country from hurting the productivity and profitability of your business.
However, this process can seem very complicated, especially if you have never hired a foreign worker for your business in the past.
May Canadian employers make the mistake of thinking that hiring a foreign worker is the same as hiring a Canadian resident with just the additional formalities related to LMIA and work permit.
There’s no doubt that LMIA and work permit process is a very significant part of hiring a foreign worker. However, there are many preparatory steps that you must take to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process for you as well as the worker.
The Job Description
Preparing a detailed and accurate job description is probably the most important step in this process. The job description will be the basis of many important decisions by different stakeholders in the foreign worker hire process.
The Immigration Officer will assess whether the candidate is skilled and competent for the job based on the description of the position and its duties.
Whether you have fulfilled the advertising requirements related to an approved LMIA and whether you have sincerely tried to find the right candidate within Canada too will be assessed based on the job description shared to all the candidates.
Of course, the foreign worker will depend on the job description to assess whether he/she is qualified to the job, which means a vague and general description may make it tougher for you to find the right candidate.
IMP vs TFWP
The employer is not involved in the work permit application process. However, the choice between International Mobility Program and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is important. For the foreign worker to apply through the TFWP, you will have to obtain and share a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment from the ESDC.
The LMIA process involves advertising the position in Canada, including in the Canada Job Bank, and proving that there are no suitable Canadian candidates for the position.
The IMP, on the other hand, does not require any LMIA, which means you can simply advertise the position for as long as you want, and move on to the recruitment process.
Assessing Candidate’s Suitability
How do you compare the educational credentials of somebody who has studied in Canada with foreign credentials? How to test the language proficiency of the right candidate? Does he or she have the basic essential skills for Canadian workplaces?
These are issues that will have to be dealt with when interviewing foreign candidates. Immigration authorities use Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) to determine the Canadian equivalent of a foreign degree.
Language proficiency is assessed through English or French tests to determine the candidate’s Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score.
Assessing the competence of a foreign candidate will be easier if you rely on Canadian occupational standards, the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) to assess entry-level skills, and practical tests focusing on the unique requirements of your business.
Work Permit Eligibility
The employer is not obligated to assist the candidate in the work permit application process. However, the last thing you would want is to find that the selected candidate is ineligible for the work permit.
So, the smarter option would be to work with an immigration professional and assess the eligibility of the shortlisted candidate(s) for the Canadian work permit. This will help you avoid a situation where you need to repeat the recruitment process to find a candidate eligible to enter and work in Canada.
Professional Immigration Assistance
Consulting with an immigration attorney will be sensible decision considering the various procedures involved in the foreign worker hiring decision.
Have you chosen the right NOC code for the position? Is your job description and your job offer letter in compliance with the legal requirements?
Have you complied with all the rules and regulations applicable to hiring a high-wage or low-wage skilled worker under the TFWP? Is your candidate eligible under the Global Talent Stream of the TFWP? Which stream or exemption code should you focus on under the IMP?
What are the applicable compliances once you the foreign worker has entered Canada and started working in your office?
As you can see, even the smallest error or mistake in the process or the wrong answer to any of these questions can lead to significant complications for your business. This is why professional immigration assistance is the smartest option when hiring a foreign worker for your business.