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Recruiting newcomers 

Barrier-free job descriptions allow employers to recruit the best talent. Learn how you can remove barriers for newcomers through the recruitment process.  




Canadian Work Experience: Did you know? 

The requirement of “Canadian work experience” is a common phrase used in many job postings, but it may be a form of discrimination. 

Many newcomers have significant and valuable skills and experiences from outside Canada. Acknowledging skills and experience from other countries can enhance your workplace. 

Tips for removing barriers in job descriptions:  

  • Focus on what needs to be achieved
  • List only education and experience vital to successful job performance
  • Show the difference between essential and non-essential qualifications
  • Use clear, concise language
  • Highlight interesting aspects of the position, work environment and organization to attract skilled immigrants to the position

Best practice for recruitment: 

  • Take a flexible and individualized approach to assessing skills.
  • Frame job qualifications or criteria in terms of competencies and job-related knowledge and skills.
  • Support initiatives designed to empower newcomers inside and outside of their organizations (for example, formal mentoring arrangements, internships, networking opportunities, other types of bridging programs, language training, etc.)

Practices to avoid: 

  • Requiring applicants to have prior work experience in Canada to be eligible for a particular job.
  • Assuming that an applicant will not succeed in a particular job because they lacks Canadian experience.
  • Discounting an applicant's foreign work experience or assign it less weight than their Canadian work experience.
  • Relying on subjective notions of "fit" when considering an applicant's ability to succeed in the workplace. 
  • Including a requirement for prior Canadian work experience in the job posting or ad, or a requirement for qualifications that could only be obtained by working in Canada.
  • Requiting applicants to disclose their country of origin or the location of their work experience on the job application form.
  • Asking applicants questions that may directly or indirectly reveal where their work experience was obtained.
  • Asking for local references only.

Need support? If you want to learn more about how to remove barriers for newcomer talent, reach out to Jasper Employment & Education Centre 

Further resources

The hire immigrants website provides multiple resources about managing talent and diverse employees in the workplace.