Attention Finance Recruiters: “Canadian Experience” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be!

Canada is one of the top countries in the world that has the highest foreign-born population (20%). People come here from far and wide to seek new opportunities, only to find that these are not without their fair share of challenges. While the nation takes great pride in being a cultural melting pot, it turns out that some employers aren’t quite so welcoming. 

“Sure, have you done the same work in Canada?” is a question posed to so many hopeful immigrant candidates at job interviews, putting them in a very difficult position. Studies show that employers are searching for Canadian workplace experience to ensure that new recruits are familiar with workplace cultures, social norms, and expectations. 

Here, we are faced with a Catch 22; You can’t get employed without Canadian experience, yet you need employment to get Canadian experience. 

We are here to break that vicious circle. In this article, we explain how finance recruiters in Toronto can actually benefit greatly by hiring individuals with little to no Canadian experience. 

Did You Know About the Prima Facie Discrimination?

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated that assessing candidates based on their ability to be a “good fit” allows for biases to set in. The OHRC introduced a policy that bans the Canadian experience criteria in Ontario. 

What does this mean? The Canadian experience requirement is a prima facie discrimination – one that the candidate could press charges against when they have sufficient evidence. Thus, this requirement is only allowed in very few circumstances. In essence, employees using it must have a bona fide reason for using it. 

The policy also states that employers shouldn’t dismiss a candidate’s foreign experience or assign it any less value for that reason alone. 

Unfortunately, in Ontario, most employers are not aware of this discrimination, and even instances of the same occupy a very small part of the news to the point that they are easy to miss. 

Immigrant Candidates Are Rich in Transferable Skills

Though candidates may lack Canadian experience, smart individuals will accept the challenge head-on and bring a whole host of transferable skills to the mix. This may be in the form of communication expertise, interpersonal acumen, and self-management that are adaptable in any industry. 

In fact, studies have shown that embracing candidates from diverse backgrounds and diverse experience levels improves business outcomes. Heterogeneous teams solve problems more effectively than homogenous teams given the different perspectives available. 

Apart from seeing more innovative results, diverse teams help the company prepare better though alternative viewpoints. Global boundaries are quickly blurring as more and more businesses are crossing geographic borders. Diverse employees are a much better reflection of the diverse customer base your company is catering to. 

Diversity is Crucial in the Finance Sector

1 out of every 12 jobs in Toronto is in the financial services, with this sector employing 274,525 people in Toronto in 2017 for positions ranging from tellers in local offices to insurance agents in multinational firms. 

It is easy to see that the finance sector is a key player in this country’s investment. At over $500 billion in 2017, financial services account for almost half of Canada’s foreign direct investment and are currently the fastest growing services export. 

A question asked most often is, “Does Canada need accountants?” Absolutely! Accountants are on the NOC List code 111 qualify for Permanent Residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program. In spite of the large influx of accountants in recent years, the demand for chartered accountants is nevertheless on the rise. 

With the finance sector quickly transgressing boundaries and being the nation’s top employer, diversity is the need of the hour. Canada is culturally diverse, and now customers feel comfortable with employees that represent them. Foreign workers are highly motivated, educated and skilled and are set to play a significant role in Canada’s labor force.

What are the best finance jobs? Financial planners, financial analysts, investor relations associates, actuaries, and credit analysts are just some of the jobs that are demanding skilled and competent professionals. 

As such, finance recruiters stand to benefit by looking outside the Canadian-born candidate pool when hiring, considering that international professionals can help develop new local and global markets on the company’s behalf. 

Fresh perspectives, stimulated thinking and tapping into more effective ways of doing business are the way of the now. And these are just some of the benefits a foreign workforce brings to the table. 

Need Help Finding Skilled Finance Professionals?

You have come to the right place! 

Controllers On Call specializes in connecting businesses with competitive finance and accounting professionals. We can get any position, full- part-time or contract, filled on short notice. We use a zero-tolerance and error-free screening process and give you access to valuable connections in the Canadian business world. 

Contact us to find the right candidate today!

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