Published On: Monday, 09 April 2018

International Recruitment: The Pros and Cons

International Recruitment: The Pros and Cons

HUMAN RESOURCES - With a strong economy and recent data from BC Statistics indicating an unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent, the ability to find qualified and ready workers is challenging businesses all over the province.

Over the past year, some restaurants in Victoria have had to close their doors, or reduce opening hours because of an inability to find culinary staff. Technology firms have not been able to expand or capitalize on business opportunities due to staffing challenges and construction firms have had to postpone work because they have been impacted by the inadequate number of tradespeople.  

When all efforts have been exhausted to find a Canadian worker, and in order to meet business needs, some employers have explored the option of hiring foreign workers. While this tactic has both benefits and challenges, it has been successful for many organizations.


  • Many individuals who are able to move to Canada for work are focused and tend to be committed, diligent and hard-working.
  • As an employer, you can specify a trade certificate or post-secondary requirement.  
  • There are firms that will help you locate the right candidate, able to help with the legwork required to bring the person to Canada, and support them in getting the appropriate working visas.
  • Because a business has to qualify to bring in a foreign worker, the successful hire is provided the visa/work permit as long as they work for the approved business which offers employers stability in staffing.
  • An ethnically diverse workforce can improve collaboration and inclusion in the workplace, stimulate new thinking and introduce more effective ways of doing business. International workers may help you develop new global markets.


  • The process to recruit foreign workers has strategic business implications and does take time, usually from 6 - 12 months.
  • The employer will have administrative work and costs based on the type of program utilized.
  • There are financial commitments for employers including travel costs for the worker, accommodation options and BC Medical for the first 3 months.
  • There is a misconception that foreign workers can be paid less which is not the case. and employers must commit to providing competitive wages for all staff, regardless of where they are from.

In this time of labour shortages, it is critical that you look at all of your options in order to find the best people.

If you are interested in learning more about international recruitment, please connect with Alison Langford     

Dawn Robson is an HR Consultant with Chemistry Consulting.