Author: Melissa Babel, B.A. (Hons) LL.B, Barrister and Solicitor at Babel Immigration Law
Talent is in demand around the world, and many skilled foreign workers will have the option of immigrating to more than one country. Canadians have long focused on the ‘brain drain’ to the United States, but the reality facing employers in a Global Talent pool is that the options available to skilled talent are unlimited.
Attracting Foreign Talent – The Global Talent Stream
One option for Canadian employers to attract foreign talent to Canada is the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program has two sub-streams. Stream A allows employers who are supported by a Designated Referral Partner to support a work permit application for an individual with unique and specialized talent. Stream B allows employers to hire highly skilled worker workers to fill positions in in-demand occupations listed in the Global Talent Occupations List. This list includes STEM occupations where there is a recognized shortage of talent in the Canadian Labour market.
Employers applying to this program submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan that outlines the efforts the employer will make to help to address the skills shortage in Canada. Employers will commit to actions directed at overall job creation, and skills and training investments that will benefit the Canadian economy.
Retaining your Talent – Supporting long-term retention of skilled talent through Permanent Residence
What can Canadian employers do to support the long-term retention of their foreign skilled workers, and ultimately the success of their organizations? Supporting the skilled worker in obtaining Permanent Residence in Canada is key. This type of support can help to smooth the transition to Permanent Resident status and provide peace of mind for the worker and his/her family, while also supporting the goals of the organization to retain critical talent.
How can a Canadian company help their employees to become Permanent Residents of Canada?
Firstly, consider how you offer employment to the foreign worker. In the Express Entry system, which is the basis for processing applicants for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class, workers who have full-time employment or permanent employment are considered to have ‘Arranged Employment’. The Express Entry system is based on a competitive assessment of candidates, and those who have long term employment prospects in Canada are awarded significant bonus points (50 for skilled workers and 200 for senior executives) that make them more competitive and hence likely to be invited to apply for permanent residence sooner than other applicants whose positions in canada are time limited.
Secondly, instead of leaving the permanent resident process in the hands of the individual to navigate, employers who engage corporate immigration counsel on behalf of the workers, are offering a benefit by showing their commitment to the long-term success of the worker and his/her family. A secondary benefit for the employer is having visibility into the permanent resident process, which is critical to the retention of a highly skilled workforce.
At Babel Immigration Law we love helping Canadian employers and employees achieve their goals. Ask us how we can help with the attraction and retention of skilled talent in Canada!