Hiring immigrants makes good business sense

Economic forces are pushing skilled immigrants to the forefront of recruiting efforts
By Andy Shaw
|CHRR, Report on Recruitment & Staffing|Last Updated: 05/21/2006

Hiring newcomers to Canada is good business, say several leading Canadian companies that employ large numbers of skilled immigrants. And they don’t need hard numbers to tell them so.

“We see immigrant labour as a vital source for us,” says Norm Hemfelt, vice-president of HR and administration for SNC Lavalin, a global engineering giant based in Montreal. “We haven’t needed to support that with any real metrics because we couldn’t do the kind of work we do globally nowadays without them. It’s as simple as that.”

Hemfelt and others like him are quick to point out the economic forces pushing skilled immigrant labour to the forefront: the Canadian-born workforce is shrinking while the demand for labour is growing; skilled immigrants are a new source of scarce technical and business expertise; immigrants within a workforce can help businesses better understand the needs of Canada’s burgeoning ethnic markets; and multi-lingual staff can help Canadian companies do more business with the rest of the world.