6 Common Mistakes When Hiring Foreign Employees

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Hiring a foreign employee can be daunting the first time, but with the right advice, you can easily navigate the process. There are several common pitfalls you need to be aware of along the way.

1. Not Scheduling Enough Time

Hiring foreign workers can take longer than hiring Canadian workers, and it is important to budget for ample time. If you hire a foreign worker who is already in Canada, the process can be fast, but if you recruit a worker from abroad and he or she has to apply for a visa, it can take up to three months even with the Express Entry program.

2. Misunderstanding Work Permits

To legally work in Canada, foreign citizens must have a valid work permit in place. If someone is currently working in Canada but has a work permit tied to another employer, you cannot hire that person unless he or she obtains a new work permit. However, if he or she has an open permit, you can hire that person. You can also encourage foreign job candidates to apply for a work visa.

3. Confusing Programs

There are several programs for foreign workers to obtain permits, but the most popular ones tend to be the temporary worker, international mobility, and skilled worker programs. International mobility and temporary work permits are for workers who fill a temporary spot for a short period of time. However, some of these workers may apply for work permit extensions or to become permanent residents. Skilled workers, in contrast, are professionals or tradespeople who receive work permits after obtaining job offers from Canadian employers. These individuals may also receive open permits if they are chosen for the provincial nominee program.

4. Forgetting the Labour Market Opinion

To hire a foreign worker, you may have to complete a labour market assessment to prove that no Canadians can fill the post. Typically, you don’t need an assessment if you are using the skilled worker program. With the temporary worker program, you almost always need an assessment, but in most cases, if you want to hire workers through the international mobility program, you are exempted from the requirement.

5. Not Checking Social Insurance Numbers

When you hire foreign workers, you must check their work permits, but you must also make sure they have a Social Insurance Number. If any hirees do not have an SIN, you may send them to a Service Canada office to obtain one. If you reside more than 100 kilometres from an office, your hiree may request the number by mail.

6. Restricting Searches

If you are thinking about hiring a foreign worker, you can search for workers with open permits in Canada. You can also look through the bank of applicants in the skilled worker program or use the Job Match service. However, you may also want to consider looking through private databases of visa applicants or searching for foreign nationals to recruit through international sites such as LinkedIn. It is important to diversify your search so you find the best candidates possible, whether they are from Canada or abroad.

References & Resources

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