Recruiting from Alberta and Canada

Hiring candidates from diverse pools of talent can:

  • bring new ideas and processes to your organization
  • increase creativity and innovation through different viewpoints
  • expand your customer base through language and cultural awareness
  • give you a competitive edge in future recruitment by developing your company’s reputation as a diversity-friendly employer

Employing a Diverse Workforce (PDF) provides examples from Alberta employers on how creating an inclusive work culture works for both employers and workers.

Local labour pools

Indigenous workforce

With over 220,000 Albertans self-identified as Indigenous, Alberta has one of the largest Indigenous population in Canada. This segment of the population is Canada’s youngest and fastest growing labour force. Many are highly educated and in 2015, nearly 50 per cent of the Alberta Indigenous labour force living off-reserve had post-secondary certificates or diplomas, or university degrees.

With a unique cultural background, young demographics and regional aspect, the Indigenous labour force has the potential to bring a different perspective to your workplace and strong connections to the community.

Reach Indigenous workers by visiting:

The Indigenous Employment Coalition of Alberta works toward bridging the gap between employers and the Aboriginal workforce. View the Promising Practices video, to learn more.

Hiring Youth

Younger employees may offer energy, ambition, new ideas and technological aspect. In 2015, over 60 per cent of employed youth had obtained a high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate or diploma, a university degree.

The following resources may support you in hiring youth:

  • Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) is a wage subsidy program that provides funding to eligible Alberta employers to hire high school or post-secondary students into summer jobs.
  • Youth are most likely to be reached using online job boards and social media. View a list of job banks and job search engines
  • Alberta’s 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions have career centres that can help you reach out to recent graduates. You may also be interested in partnering with post-secondary institutions for co-op and internship opportunities.
  • YouCan Youth Services in Edmonton or the City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre help youth who are transitioning into employment or back into education
  • GenA, a project funded in partnership with the Government of Alberta, helps Albertans aged 18 to 30 secure employment while showing employers the benefits of hiring youth. GenA is available to employers at no cost.
Newcomers to Alberta

Immigrants and other newcomers to Alberta bring with them a wealth of skills and knowledge including, education, vital competencies, training and experience. The may also boost innovation, help employers access new markets, and bring new perspectives to your business.

There are a few things to consider when hiring internationally trained immigrants and newcomers:

  • Determine the level of English fluency necessary for the position. This will allow you to screen for language fluency as one of the many skills you are looking for during the hiring process.
  • Write a barrier-free job description to ensure qualified candidates are not eliminated from the recruitment process.
  • Be aware of cultural differences in resumé styles and focus on essential skills to make sure qualified candidates are not unnecessarily screened out.
  • Have an interview panel that is diverse and understands cultural differences.

Resources to help you reach immigrants and internationally trained Albertans:

  • Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies: can put you in touch with organizations across the province that can help newcomers find work.
  • Consider posting your job within skilled immigrant communities to increase exposure to this potential pool of talent. There are a variety of ethnic newspapers in Alberta.
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service: this service can help you compare an international worker’s credentials with education standard in Canada
  • The Employer Roadmap is an interactive guide on developing a strategy for hiring, retaining and promoting skilled immigrants. It also includes tips and resources for interviewing, integrating and getting the most from these employees.
  • Navigating the Interview Videos and Guide is a series of videos, with two supporting guides, which helps you understand and assess the skills of internationally educated applicants.
  • The Talent Pool includes links and resources for employers on hiring, integrating and retaining immigrants.
  • The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is a funding program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees to increase their knowledge and skills. It could be used to support the hiring and integration of internationally trained Albertans.
  • Work and Culture Online is an online tool that helps employers and internationally trained professionals navigate intercultural communication issues in Alberta’s workplaces.
  • The Employer Inclusivity Index provides a report that measures the inclusivity of their workplace. Each report includes information on how to improve inclusivity.
  • The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks is the national body that measures language proficiency for working in Canada.
  • Break the Wall is a free, online English training resource that employers can share with their employees.
  • You may be able to gain access to highly skilled workers who are completing bridging programs and adapting their international training to meet Canadian occupational criteria and standards.

Hiring Refugees

A refugee is different from an immigrant. An immigrant chooses to settle in another country, whereas refugees are forced to flee their home countries. While immigrants and refugees share many common characteristics, refugees may have some unique needs:

  • Many refugees are forced to flee and therefore do not have official documents to prove their education or professional status. It can be difficult, if not impossible, for them to obtain these documents for a variety of valid reasons.
  • Refugees may have significant time gaps in their resumés. This is due to time spent in transit, waiting for their refugee applications to be processed, as well as time spent settling and improving their language skills upon arrival.
  • Refugees are admitted to Canada on humanitarian grounds and are not screened for their education and language levels. While refugees require more language supports, they have valuable skills, experience and competencies.
  • Some refugees may have fled physically and emotionally traumatic situations and may require additional external supports to help them process and heal.

Most refugees arrive in Canada as a permanent resident and can start working when they are ready. Refugee claimants / and some other types of protected persons, may be eligible to work in Canada but will require a valid work permit.

Persons with disabilities

There are many misconceptions of hiring people with disabilities. A person with a disability, whether mental or physical, could be an excellent candidate for your work.

Reach persons with disabilities through:

Mature workers

In 2016, over 45% of Alberta’s working age population was over the age of 45 years old and continues to grow. Their impending mass retirement means that between now until 2020 the growth rate of the labour force will slow, worsening existing labour shortages. Employers can mitigate the negative effects of this occurrence by implementing strategies that will slow the exit of older workers in their organizations, and by targeting mature candidates for positions left vacant, taking advantage of the expertise and leadership that older workers can offer. You may be able to reach mature workers through standard recruitment practices.

Additional tips and resources to help you attract and retain mature workers:

  • A Guide to Managing an Aging Workforce (PDF) examines the perceptions and realities about older workers and offers ways to keep your employees of any age safe, healthy and engaged on the job.
Gender balanced workplace

To be successful in Alberta’s dynamic and changing economy, employers must find ways to develop and fully use the talents of all Albertans. Implementing a gender balanced workforce plan may be the first step.

In Alberta, women make up 49.3% of the working age populations and this labour pool continues to grow. Nearly 24% of employed Alberta women have attained a bachelor degree, compared to 18% of employed Alberta men.

When looking to hire the best and the brightest, employers in all industries should be recruiting the person most suitable for the position. Many traditional gender specific jobs have become less defined, creating a more diverse workplace culture. For example, more and more women are working in trade while there is a growing amount of men in the nursing field. Women and men bring different and important perspective to the workplace and help organizations better understand and respond to their customer’s needs and motivation.

Additional tips and resources to help you attract and retain women:

Canadian Forces members

Many Canadian Forces members who hold a Certificate of Military Achievement, can transition into a civilian career and work in the full scope of an equivalent trade.

Ways to reach members of the Canadian Forces:

  • Forces@WORK is designed to connect candidates, including individuals who are medically releasing, directly to employers and provide assistance in managing the cultural and career transitions.
  • Helmets to Hardhats Canada is a partnership of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Canadian employers, and federal and provincial governments established to help match former Canadian Forces members to relevant training and employment in their field.
  • BaseToBusiness helps employers attract, recruit and retain experienced candidates trained in more than 100 trades and professions who are transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces to civilian life. Watch a video that shows how BaseToBusiness has helped Hertz get the workers they need.