Can you think outside the box?

Blog located in Working in Canada posted on May 23, 2013

There is no question. Diversity enhances the bottom line. With the globalization of the markets, diversity makes total sense.

Then, why aren’t immigrants being hired? Why aren’t they getting paid the same rate as Canadians? Why are they still seen as “strange”, or as “outsiders”?

Because immigrants are “different”.

Aren`t  Canadians living in various provinces in Canada different from each other? Let alone those from another continent!

So what are we doing about it?

First, the interview questions must consider the differences in speech patterns, accurate enunciation, voice dynamics with attention to rhythm and intonation. Then, employers must (1) offer programs specifically designed to assist employees who are recent immigrants to Canada; (2) take steps to reduce employment barriers for recent immigrants, such as by recognizing foreign educational credentials or experience; (3) assist new employees with foreign professional or educational credentials in getting these qualifications formally recognized in Canada; (4) offer “onboarding” programs, such as internal coaching or mentoring, to help new employees who are recent immigrants understand the Canadian workplace; and (5) their managers and employees must receive training in cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness to help create a welcoming and productive environment for employees who are recent immigrants.

It’s a process. Immigrants do not present like Canadians. However, they can be coached. The key is to be culturally competent. The world is huge and rich and the right workforce is a blend of different cultures. Companies who think globally must be rewarded for innovation. It’s about meeting in the middle and understanding each other. As little as 7% of communication is in words. Immigrants must recognize this fact. Canadian experience is not solely working experience. It is also communicating in the culture of the Canadian language. It is adjusting to the new country by joining in the tribe.

Learn to recognize qualifications and experience when interviewing an immigrant. Bypass those cultural differences. Think global.

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