Recruiting Global Talent in a Skills-Based Economy: Findings from the 2022 SPRINT Employer Focus Group

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Skilled immigrants have struggled to know how their international education or competencies are being evaluated and recognized during the hiring process. It can often be difficult for internationally trained talent to know what skills, education, or even experience employers are looking for when hiring in Canada.

Understanding this gap, Canadian employers have been seeking new ways to make their hiring practices, retainment strategies and expectations more transparent for internationally trained talent. By determining how best to assess the skills and experiences of immigrants seeking employment, Canadian employers can do more to address the labour crisis facing many industries across the country.

SPRINT (Skills Passport for Newcomers in Tech) is a pilot project funded by the Employment and Social Development Canada to improve market integration outcomes for skilled immigrant talent in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Biotechnology and Life Sciences (Biotech). In March 2022, SPRINT hosted 15 talent acquisition experts, company representatives and hiring managers to discuss the hiring practices currently being employed in the Canadian tech sector. The focus group discussion aimed to address current hiring practices and expectations held by Canadian tech employers and identify processes that could be implemented to provide easier accessibility in accessing and hiring internationally trained talent.

From thoughts on the value of online designations to the requirement of strong references, the SPRINT focus group gathered key insights and recommendations. The SPRINT Focus Group Report 2022 sheds light on current Canadian tech employers’ recruitment and hiring methods for internationally trained talent and potential future developments that could be implemented to ease barriers faced by skilled immigrants entering the Canadian tech workforce.