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Greater Moncton Playbook

The Employer Playbook supports the Greater Moncton Immigration Strategy 2020-2024. The strategy is a five-year plan that outlines the contributions of immigrants to Greater Moncton’s economy. It also details the actions taken to both attract and integrate immigrants into the community. The Employer Playbook is available in French on the Greater Moncton Immigration site.

Hiring
Move beyond unintended bias when filling a vacancy
Onboarding
Welcome new employees, improve retention
Integrating
Meaningfully prepare the workplace to include immigrant talent

Recruiting

Inclusive Job Descriptions

Clear and inclusive job descriptions are important when recruiting immigrant talent. They will ensure that appropriate applicants aren’t inadvertently screened out and that the best person for the job is determined.

  • Essential vs. Non-essential Duties

    Need to figure out your absolute must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves for job descriptions? It’s important to get this right, as job descriptions often include many non-essential requirements for a role that could inadvertently screen out suitable candidates. For example, did you know when determining whether to apply for a job, men will apply when they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, whereas women will only apply if they meet 100 percent1?

    When considering immigrant candidates, remain open to any additional skills and experiences that they may offer. Experience with international markets, additional language fluency, and connections to growing segments of the local market are all value-added qualities.

    This worksheet will help you to define essential versus non-essential job duties. Developed by the Human Resources Management Association (now Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia & Yukon), this tool can help you create a more precise job description and rank each candidate’s skills and experience based on their résumé. This will allow you to screen résumés objectively — without bias — and identify the best candidates to interview. 

    This printable template scorecard may be of use.

    “When hiring individuals with no direct experience, I always look to their personal traits and any other transferable experience. It always begins with a candidate that is at least willing to learn and try new things. Being great at non-essential skills can often set them apart from candidates who may have the essential skills, but lack in the non-essentials. Candidates that are open in communication, can adapt, and are self-driven are often the type we pursue. Those skills set them up for success and often open up doors of opportunity.”
    Bruce Lutes
    Recruitment Assistant, Shannex

    1A Hewlett Packard internal report as cited in “Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified,” Harvard Business Review, August 2014.

  • Writing Inclusive Job Descriptions

    Looking for suggestions on how to write more inclusive job descriptions? Check out these tips: 

    • Avoid using technical terminology, jargon, acronyms, or long, complex words or sentences.
    • Use culturally neutral qualifications. For example, ask about the ability to complete a project on time, rather than requesting a specific project management credential. 
    • Clearly communicate the essential skills required, while emphasizing that non-essential skills, though not required, are assets. 
    • Post the salary range to fill roles more efficiently. 
    • Include potential career trajectory information to highlight professional growth.
    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    Working NBRecruitment supports | PETL Working NBRecruitment and retention| WorkNB (travailnb.ca)Working NB provides support in recruiting candidates, writing job postings, and accessing job fairs and job banks.
  • Assessing Language Requirements

    Need to assess language requirements for prospective hires? The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) can help you assess the language proficiency of immigrants using national standards for both official languages. Consider using CCLB levels in job descriptions to ensure that the right candidates apply for the job.

    Language proficiency and communication skills are often a concern when evaluating immigrant candidates. Consider recommending language programs like those of Le Cafi-NB to international students and immigrant candidates (see resources).

    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    English Conversation Circle (ECC)Services - MAGMA - AMGMPROGRAMS - MAGMA - MAGMA (magma-amgm.org)MAGMA offers virtual English conversation circles to anyone in Greater Moncton, regardless of immigration status, who wishes to practice speaking English.
    French Conversation CircleEnglish – Le CAFi (cafi-nb.org)Contactez-nous – Le CAFi (cafi-nb.org)Le Cafi offers French conversation circles to those who want to practice speaking French.
    Blended Online Language Training (BOLT) - Working NB/CCNBProgram PageBrochure - Southeastern
    Brochure - North Region
    BOLT offers flexible online language classes aimed at helping newcomers learn while also managing a work schedule.
    PREI - CAFi CAFI International Student Retention InitiativeInternational Student Retention Program (ERP) – CAFi (cafi-nb.org)Programme de rétention des étudiants internationaux (PRÉI)The CAFI International Student Retention Program assists international students and graduates with English language skills, vocational training including job shadowing, employer networking, and job readiness training through the Workplace Essential Skills (WES) program.

Reaching Immigrant Talent

Gone are the days of want ads in the newspapers. And go-to job search websites such as Indeed or the Canada Job Bank don’t always effectively reach immigrant talent. Discover how organizations can recruit in, creative new ways.

  • Advertising

    Are you looking to reach immigrant talent beyond traditional job search engines such as Indeed or the Canada Job Bank? Using these websites is often time-consuming, especially for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with limited human resources capabilities. And for immigrant job seekers, these sites don’t always allow their qualities and skills to be highlighted. Achieving a more diverse workforce begins with creating a more diverse candidate pool. Consider posting your job ad with the following:

    • Immigrant or community media sources and publications 
    • Associations for internationally trained professionals 
    • Language-training program websites and social media groups 
    • Local settlement or employment agencies

    Developing relationships with these organizations is a great way to attract immigrant talent, as many of them offer job readiness programs for immigrants and prepare them for jobs in in-demand sectors. Another effective strategy is to encourage your current immigrant employees to make referrals. This also lets your staff know that you are committed to expanding your immigrant talent pool.  

    And when advertising a role, be sure to include relevant health and safety policies so as not to deter potential applicants. Workplace safety is a top priority for most job seekers.

    Online Adaption
    Most organizations have an online presence. Explore their websites and social media to access virtual audiences. And, if a job can be done remotely, consider broadening your search. Candidates living in other regions of the country can provide unique perspectives and localized support for your customers.
    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    Working NBRecruitment supports | PETL Working NBRecruitment and retention| WorkNB (travailnb.ca)Working NB provides support in recruiting candidates, writing job postings, and accessing job fairs and job banks.
    Atlantic Immigration Program / MAGMAServices - MAGMA - AMGMPROGRAMS - MAGMA - MAGMA (magma-amgm.org)The Atlantic Immigration Program assists employers in hiring skilled workers and recent international graduates who want to live and work in New Brunswick. To learn more, email [email protected]
    Head Start to EmploymentHead Start to Employment - New Brunswick Multicultural Council : New Brunswick Multicultural Council (nbmc-cmnb.ca)Getting Started - New Brunswick Multicultural Council: New Brunswick Multicultural Council (nbmc-cmnb.ca)The New Brunswick Multicultural Council’s Head Start to Employment program supports employers in attracting, hiring, and retaining globally competitive talent.
    Skills Launch / MAGMASkills Launch – New Brunswick Multicultural Council (nbmc-cmnb.ca)Skills Launch - New Brunswick Multicultural Council: New Brunswick Multicultural Council (nbmc-cmnb.ca)The Skills Launch Immigrant and Refugee Employability Project for Youth and Adults connects local employers with immigrant talent. This full-time program helps participants hone their job search and interview skills through occupational and sector-specific orientations, learn career-focused language and workplace essential skills, and obtain experience through paid job placements.
    Immigration Greater MonctonWelcome to MonctonBienvenue au Grand MonctonImmigration Greater Moncton is a one-stop shop of services for those wishing to immigrate, live, study, or work in the area. This web portal includes a list of resources and programs for employers looking to hire immigrant talent.
    “We are very fortunate to have so many agencies, organizations, associations, and educational institutions that provide support and resources for newcomers. When I’m conducting a job interview with a newcomer, if they mention they are very newly arrived I’ll often ask if they have connected with MAGMA, CAFi, WorkingNB, ONB, or the immigration section of the City of Moncton website as appropriate. If not, I’ll provide them with the information. I’ll often get a thank you from them later, saying they really appreciated the information, have reached out to the recommended agency, and are benefitting from it.”
    Pat Langelaan
    Assistant Director, Talent and Culture, Accor Global Reservation Centre
  • Job Fairs

    Have you ever considered job fairs or networking events as a way to attract immigrant talent? In person or online, many employers find job fairs one of the most successful ways to recruit newcomers who are seeking employment. These events provide opportunities to connect directly with local agencies and share job openings. And, if your company is large enough, consider hosting your own event. Be sure to advertise the event on your company’s Facebook page as well as on other relevant social media in the region.

    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    Working NBRecruitment supports | PETL Working NBRecruitment and retention| WorkNB (travailnb.ca)Working NB provides support in recruiting candidates, writing job postings, and accessing job fairs and job banks.
    City of MonctonGreater Moncton NewcomerSalon de l'emploi pour les nouveaux arrivantsThe city of Moncton organizes the Greater Moncton Newcomer Job Fair several times a year to connect newcomers and international students to jobs.
    “When recruiting immigrants, we try our best to refer candidates to the programs offered by Working NB. When we have a specific candidate that we feel could benefit from one of the programs, we provide the contact information and let them know the services are there to guide them through the steps required to get qualified to work in our province, particularly in their field of expertise.”
    Lisa Poirier
    Recruitment Consultant, Medavie Health Services, NB
  • International Recruitment

    If you have trouble hiring the right person from the domestic candidate pool, then recruiting from overseas may be an option. The Government of New Brunswick and embassies have the resources to facilitate Canadian employers’ tapping into talent pools worldwide. If you seek help from a recruitment agency, make sure you work with licensed professionals who can navigate paperwork and procedures, as immigration consultancy is regulated in Canada.

    Did you know?
    Success with recruiting talent from overseas depends on being up front with prospective hires to find the right fit, for the employer and the employee. “Indicators for Greater Retention” is an informative guide to hiring immigrant talent outside of New Brunswick.
    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    Immigration GNBInternational recruitment (welcomenb.ca)Embarking on international recruitment (welcomenb.ca)The Government of New Brunswick offers information and services to help employers recruit employees internationally.
    Immigration GNBHire a recruiter or consultant (welcomenb.ca)Hire a recruiter or consultant (welcomenb.ca)To find an authorized immigration consultant or licensed HR professional, consult this list from the Government of New Brunswick.

Screening-In Immigrant Candidates

Sometimes we need help being objective when screening résumés. Learn how to screen out bias while screening-in immigrant applicants.

  • Résumés

    Do you need help with your résumé screening process to ensure you’re not inadvertently screening out otherwise suitable immigrant candidates? For example, a recent Canadian study showed that the name on a résumé affects the candidate’s chance of receiving an interview. Despite having identical education and experience, applicants with Asian-sounding names were far less likely to receive an interview than those with Anglo-sounding names. 

    Read this downloadable PDF to learn how to screen out bias while screening in immigrant candidates.

    “It is hard enough making the move to Canada, but to then craft a perfect résumé and to find a suitable place of employment — it can be a lot to take on for newcomers. ‘We’ as the recruiters must realize that everyone makes mistakes and we need to shake off the old mentality that one small spelling error can make or break someone’s chances of getting the job. How a candidate interacts over the phone tells the real story, and is often how I treat the true ‘first impression.’”
    Bruce Lutes
    Recruitment Assistant, Shannex

Hiring

Validating International Credentials

It can be challenging to determine if an applicant has the required credentials for a job, particularly if the individual holds international credentials. Sometimes professional help is needed.

  • Credential Evaluation Services

    Does your HR Department need help understanding the academic qualifications of job candidates educated abroad? A credential evaluation may help. Credential evaluation services, such as those provided by World Education Services (WES), can authenticate and evaluate international degrees and diplomas to determine their authenticity and Canadian equivalencies to mitigate hiring risk and streamline the hiring process.

    Did you know?
    WES provides international academic credential evaluation services to both job candidates and businesses. For candidates and businesses, WES has a free Degree Equivalency tool which instantly provides Canadian academic equivalents. Also, for employers, you can register with AccessWES, a secure online delivery platform that allows you to access credential evaluations when a job candidate has selected your office as a recipient.

Addressing Bias

Everyone has unconscious biases. The goal is to be aware of biases and take steps to mitigate them.

  • Exposing Unconscious Bias

    Did you know that most of us have unconscious biases? And that our experiences often influence our perceptions of an immigrant candidate? For example, studies show that if there’s only one visible minority or woman in an applicant pool, it makes the person stand out as different and activates an unconscious bias against them. But we can counteract this and support racial and gender equity by including multiple candidates of colour or women. This is called the “two in the pool” effect.

    Two in the pool

    To help you recognize unintended personal bias and move beyond cultural differences during the interview process, download this self-assessment tool.

    “I fear myself that I might have some inherent bias brought on by the lack of familiarity, on immigrant résumés, about their educational institutions or employers. I’m just not familiar with those companies or universities. Whereas, if I look at résumés from domestic applicants who went to Mount A, worked for Irving, you know, it just creates a sort of cultural bias because I understand that experience, as opposed to the immigrant experience. So not quite sure how to process that. Just something I fear.”
    John Wishart
    CEO, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton

Interview Considerations

When interviewing newcomers to Canada, there may be some cultural differences to take into consideration.

  • Interviewing Immigrant Candidates

    Need help formulating interview questions so they elicit the information needed to assess a candidate’s skills? When interviewing immigrant candidates, we must ensure that the questions are not inadvertently setting the candidate up to fail. 

    Consult this downloadable PDF on interviewing immigrant candidates.

  • Virtual Interviews

    With the rise of remote-first workplaces, virtual interviews are more common. This downloadable pdf on cross-cultural interviewing in a virtual environment offers useful insights.

Onboarding

Welcoming Immigrant Employees

It’s always important to welcome newcomers to a new workplace. However, there are specific considerations when those newcomers are also new to the country.

  • Orientation

    The successful retention of new employees begins at the onboarding phase. It’s important for them to feel welcome and effectively onboarded into the workplace. This is especially true of immigrant employees, who may need more guidance with expectations around work systems, culture, and the rules of the organization — both written and unwritten. This is easy to overlook when the workforce is made up primarily of individuals who share a cultural background. For example, expectations could include the etiquette of shared spaces, such as refilling the coffee pot when it’s empty, taking breaks on the honour system, what “open-door policy” means, or how best to contribute ideas.  

    Refer to this downloadable PDF on how to create a welcoming environment for new hires.

  • Online Considerations

    Onboarding new employees remotely can be a challenge to the forming of relationships built on trust. Communication is even more important in a remote environment, so be sure to share the ways your team communicates. For example, perhaps email is used for more formal requests, whereas instant messaging is better for more informal, discussion-based exchanges. 

    Here are some other ways to build employee relationships remotely: 

    • Share contact information for managers, IT support, and HR. 
    • Create a directory and organizational chart that includes photos, employee information, and fun facts.
    • Schedule virtual “water cooler” chats, and encourage staff to share their non-work-related interests such as recipes or book and film recommendations.
  • People, Performance, and Paperwork

    During the orientation process, consider the “Three Ps”—people, performance, and paperwork:

    • Who are the key people any new employee must meet, what will those meetings look like, and when should they take place? Examples include informal social events, group onboarding activities, assigning a buddy, meetings with senior leaders, team building, mentoring, and other key meetings. 
    • What is required to support any new employee in the performance of their role? Examples include job shadowing, setting expectations and providing feedback, HR check-ins, coaching, and other training. 
    • Lastly, what paperwork and processes must be reviewed, completed, and explained? Examples include company orientation, handbook or policies, resources, and forms.

    Adapted from the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia’s Onboarding Newcomers: A Toolkit for BC Employers.

  • Beyond the First Week

    New immigrant hires need regular check-ins to clarify misconceptions, avoid future misunderstandings, and improve the orientation process. Consider asking new hires these questions:

    • What has surprised you about the way things work here?
    • What have you liked? What has frustrated you?
    • What information would have been helpful to have on your first day?
    Consider This
    To garner better feedback, replace yes-or no questions with open-ended questions:

    Yes or No QuestionsOpen-Ended Questions
    Do you understand?What other information can I give you?
    Does that make sense?What do you think?
    Is that clear?How do you think we should start?
    Do you have any questions?What other questions do you have?

    Encourage newcomer employees to seek help if needed from the following resources:

    ResourceLink – ENLink – FRDescription
    Immigration Greater Moncton Newcomers’ GuideNewcomers’ GuideGuide à l’intention des nouveaux arrivantsThe Greater Moncton Immigration Newcomers’ Guide outlines the available services for newcomers immigrating, living, studying, and working in Greater Moncton.
    Greater Moncton Integration Services BrochureIntegration Services BrochureIntegration Services BrochureThe Integration Services brochure is a quick guide of available services and programs to help newcomers in the Greater Moncton area.
    Immigration Greater Moncton NewsletterImmigration Greater Moncton NewsletterBulletin d'information d'Immigration Grand MonctonRegister here to receive the Immigration Greater Moncton Newsletter and regular updates on upcoming special events in Greater Moncton.
    “It’s very important for your immigrant staff to know you all work as a team and there is help if needed. The employees of both the Moncton immigration office and MAGMA are very educated and helpful in answering any questions about required immigration documents. In the past, I’ve passed along my immigration contacts to my immigrant staff for any questions they may have had. It’s very important they receive the proper answers from an immigration professional.”
    Emily Mackenzie-Brush
    Settlement Counsellor, MAGMA- AMGM (Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area)

The Buddy System

To help newcomers settle in more easily at work, some organizations make use of the buddy system.

  • Peer Buddies

    Connections in the workplace often form naturally, but sometimes, particularly with newcomers, they are slow to form. Providing a peer or onboarding buddy to onboard a new employee can help. Although it depends on the organization, peer buddy programs work best for SMEs, or those who are located in remote areas. It’s also important for employers to be intentional when choosing a peer buddy, to consider the immigrant employee’s needs and perspectives.

    For information on how to create a peer buddy program for your workplace, review this downloadable pdf.

Integrating

Mentorship

Mentoring has proved to be a cost-effective approach to help integrate newcomers as well as build cross-cultural understanding.

  • Mentorship Programs

    Inclusion is more than a numbers game, and integration is a two-way street. Mentorship may help to address both, depending on the needs of your employees. As a bonus, mentors and employers often acquire a greater understanding of both the talents and challenges many immigrants face.

    Internal Mentorship

    Internal mentorship is a cost-effective measure that supports the integration of immigrant hires, as well as cross-cultural understanding among existing staff. Research shows that when mentors are actively engaged with the people they mentor, the new hires form stronger emotional bonds with the workplace, report higher job satisfaction, and perceive greater support from the organization. 

    For new immigrant employees, mentoring also:

    • Fosters a sense of belonging, helping them to better adjust to their new environment
    • Allows them to learn the intangibles of what is needed to succeed in the workplace 
    • Provides the opportunity to learn more about their company and Canadian workplace norms
    • Offers a proven way to help immigrants transition to Canadian workplace culture

    However, employers need to be intentional about internal mentoring. Connections need to be meaningful and determined on a case-by-case basis due to cultural differences. Sometimes it’s best to let connections happen organically.  

    In addition, internal mentorships may not be feasible for most SMEs. These programs often work best with larger organizations, although it depends on the nature of the industry and the type of work.

    If you want to learn how to create an internal mentorship program, this downloadable PDF offers useful guidance.

    External Mentorship Programs

    If the timing isn’t right for your organization to develop its own internal mentorship program, or if you don’t have the necessary resources, there are outside programs you may be able to make use of.  

    Joining an established mentorship program helps you:

    • Identify and develop potential new leaders
    • Address issues of talent shortages
    • Reduce recruiting and training costs
    • Create a culture of learning and information-sharing which can improve job satisfaction for all your employees
    Online Adaptation
    Evidence shows that mentoring via real-time videoconferencing yields outcomes equivalent to in-person mentoring. Email, chats, and text messaging allow flexibility in keeping the lines of communication open.

    Consider these regional mentorship programs:

    • Greater Moncton Mentorship Programs
    • 3+ Connector Program
    • MAGMA’s Federal Internship for Newcomers Program
      The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program (click here for the French webpage) offers newcomers to Canada a chance to acquire valuable temporary work experience and training opportunities with federal, provincial, and municipal organizations.
    • Halifax Partnership
      Halifax Partnership’s National Connector Program connects immigrants with local professionals across more than 30 communities nationwide. Participating members have been successful at retaining immigrant talent and creating more welcoming, inclusive communities. 

Inclusive Leadership

Inclusive workplaces start with inclusive leadership.

Reflection From Regional Leadership

"Traditionally, we have thought about making workplaces diverse and then we discuss inclusion. This is backwards. If we create inclusive workplaces, the diversity will come. If we create diverse workplaces without inclusion, the diversity will dwindle. The most important part of this discussion is to focus on anti-racism. We need to have anti-racist policies that fight systemic and overt racism and foster inclusive places. This is where I want to work."
Manju Varma, Ph.D.,
New Brunswick Commissioner on Systemic Racism

Partners

WES wishes to thank our partners for their collaboration on this initiative

Engage with WES

Have questions about the Employer Playbook or would like to share your feedback? Interested in learning more about our employer initiatives?