Recruit Foreign Talent & Build a Culture of Inclusion

by Elena Chernaeva 

Last Thursday, November 28th I had the honour and pleasure to attend one of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) workshops titled Recruit Foreign Talent & Build a Culture of Inclusion.

As a Project Coordinator for Speed Career Networking, Smart Connections and other projects dealing with Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP), I was curious to find out what HR professionals are looking for when hiring foreign talent and what activities they embrace to build a culture of inclusion in their companies.

Alberta has one of the strongest performing economies in Canada for the past 10 years and it is forecasted that workers will be needed for 158,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. Where will the skilled workers be found to meet this enormous demand?

This workshop not only answered this question but also helped me understand some of the barriers that are currently endemic throughout organizations. We also explored how to source hidden pools of talent and how to create true cultures of inclusion.

I am not a HR professional and was amazed how challenging it is to create a strategic workforce plan, which would address organizational needs in terms of recruiting and retaining critical skills and talent in a professional and friendly environment of inclusion.

We would like to consider ourselves culturally sensitive but are we culturally competent?  Best practices and tools were shared from the audience, represented by HR professionals form construction, trades, food industry, retail, warehousing and from the City of Edmonton.

The facilitator Nicole Jelley was an excellent speaker who applied a really interesting approach of proactive participation and sharing. She is the Executive Director of Talent Pool Calgary and sits on many boards of non-for-profit organizations’. Nicole is very passionate about the integration of immigrants to their full potential into our Canadian workforce.

I highly recommend this workshop to the HR staff of our partnering organizations. I especially liked Nicole’s idea: “If a HR interviewed few ITPs, but did not hire them, why not refer them to somebody else who may need them?” Seems so logical and easy to do. So then why don’t we do it?  What would it take to try?  

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