Top ten things you should know when you think you might hire a foreign national: Recruiting

Canada has been predicting future labour shortages for at least the past 15 years. We have now reached a point where those predicted labour shortages are becoming more and more apparent. The inability to find local employment resources are incapacitating businesses and preventing the continued growth of our economy.

Issues contributing to the shortage include lower birthrates, higher retirement rates, mismatches of skills between what is taught in school and the realities of a fast paced and technologically advancing business world. These social issues have no quick solutions and labour shortages need to be addressed now in order to maintain and preserve Canada’s economic health for future generations.

What short term solutions are available? Although the skills employers are looking for may not be found locally, they may be found elsewhere and international recruiting and economic immigration can assist in bridging the gap.

That being said, for companies who do not have experience in international recruiting the thought of embarking on this administrative task is daunting. Where do you start and what do you need to know? We can categorize what you need to know in three categories: 1) Recruitment, 2) Application, and 3) Compliance. This is the first part of a three-part series in which I will provide the top ten immigration consideration for each of the above. These considerations will help set your company up for successful and timely immigration applications when hiring foreign nationals.

Our first topic looks at the top ten things you should know when you are recruiting and think you might hire a foreign national. As new hires often require a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to support a work permit application, the below assumes that an LMIA will need to be obtained.

    1. In order to avoid duplicate recruitment efforts, ensure that initial job postings comply with Service Canada’s recruitment requirements. These include the length, duration, and number of postings. It is mandatory that the position be posted on the Service Canada’s job bank.
    2. The job bank provides one account to each business CRA number. If recruitment in your organization is not centralized and someone else in your company has already registered an account, you will need to locate the existing login details to access the Service Canada job bank
    3. The job bank site was not set up with the LMIA posting criteria in mind. As such you may need to be creative in your data entry in order to ensure that all the required information appears in the job bank posting.
    4. The job bank utilizes a job match function, in which resumes entered into the system by potential candidates are matched against the requirements of your job posting. Any candidates who are considered a match under this system will need to be interviewed.
    5. Although some recruiting variances may be permitted under specific circumstances, (ie. when publicly advertising a senior position may affect stock prices), these variances are discretional and cannot be relied upon. If you choose to ask for an advertisement variance, be prepared that it may not be granted and you may need to complete the recruiting process all over again.
    6. Many LMIA applications are refused for technical deficiencies in the postings including breaks in the mandatory advertising period. Printing a copy of each posting on the day it goes live, the last day in the posting period, and once or twice during the posting period is highly recommended. This proves that advertisement was up for the full posting period. It also helps you to identify when a posting unexpectedly comes down so you can repost it before you lose too much time. (This happens more often than you would think.)
    7. Give yourself some flexibility in the posting details by using salary ranges or broader locations of work if the position operates out of multiple locations so that you have some negotiation room when making the final offer to the successful candidate. Small variance in the compensation packages between the posted position and the final offer can create a refusal.
    8. LMIA applications require that you detail how many applicants where Canadian citizens as well as the reason why they were unsuitable for the position. It is easiest to manage this data by maintaining a chart to record this information as you review resumes, especially if you are receiving resumes in the hundreds!
    9. When disqualifying applicants based on their resume it is important that they are rejected based on quantitative considerations as listed in your job posting. If you haven’t listed a key qualification in the job posting, you cannot eliminate the candidate based on not having that skill.
    10. All recruiting information, including resumes, need to be kept on file for a period of six years from the date a positive LMIA is issued for the purposes of potential compliance reviews.

Although not part of recruitment per se, it is important to ensure that you make any offer of employment made to a foreign national be contingent upon obtaining legal authorization to work in Canada. Obtaining a work permit in Canada is never guaranteed and as a company you need to protect yourself in the event that things don’t go as planned.

Recruiting in preparation of an LMIA application is very technical and detail oriented. Although I have highlighted some of the more prevalent challenges above, it is always prudent to discuss the recruitment process with your immigration provider prior to posting the position if you think you may be hiring a foreign national.


To book a free 15 minute consultation with Sarah, click here or call us at 1 844 4CEOLAW or #CEO on your cell.

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