CIBC Sources Skilled Immigrants In Toronto Area

As one of Canada’s largest financial services companies, CIBC is actively seeking a multicultural workforce representative of the communities it serves.

“At CIBC, we are committed to building a workforce that reflects our clients and communities. Attracting skilled immigrants to our organization is an integral part of our workforce plans, especially with the baby boomers entering retirement. This is an important talent pool with the credentials, skills and experience to fill roles at all levels of our organization,” says Sharon Wingfelder, Vice-President of Human Resources at CIBC.

In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the company has established several sourcing policies and initiatives to ensure the company has access to the skilled immigrant talent pool from the time they consider immigrating through to their job search.

Connecting with Potential Immigrants

CIBC has partnered with Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP), a federally funded project that aims to improve employment prospects for prospective immigrants. CIBC provides educational workshops to immigrants in their home country, equipping them with financial and recruitment advice before they land in Canada. CIBC conducted two presentations at their Philippines and Shanghai offices and this year hired three individuals through CIIP.

Verifying International Credentials

CIBC built a partnership with WES , World Education Services Canada. Candidates who present an original WES evaluation report do not need to undergo additional international education verification checks through CIBC’s pre-employment screening process. This allows recruiters to better match a candidate’s skills with opportunities and for candidates to potentially begin employment sooner.

Attending Career Fairs and Delivering Information Sessions

To equip newcomers with the required tools to land a job in the financial services industry, CIBC’s specialized HR practitioners reach out by participating in newcomer career fairs and delivering information sessions at community agencies on resume writing, interviewing skills and an overview of CIBC. Between 2007 and 2008, CIBC has been able to source 13 newcomers through these workshops.

Providing Canadian Experience

In the summer of 2008, CIBC partnered with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, to create the CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity initiative. This initiative gives renewed hope to newcomers who have experience and skills in financial services yet may be lacking Canadian experience, which is often the biggest barrier to getting hired.

The Access to Opportunity initiative includes free Financial Services Literacy seminars at the YMCA Newcomer Centres in the GTA, as well as a six-week job readiness training program called CIBC Connection to Employment that connects qualified newcomers to employment at CIBC or in financial services. The inaugural session began in October 2008, with the first group graduating in December. CIBC expects to hire the majority of graduates from the program.

“Finding a job upon arrival in Canada is a key priority,” Sonia Baxendale, Senior Executive Vice-President of Retail Markets at CIBC. “Through CIBC Connection to Employment we are investing in qualified individuals to give them the skills and knowledge they need to get a job at CIBC or in the financial services sector.”

Tapping into Internship Pool

For years CIBC has used Career Bridge, an internship program for skilled immigrants without Canadian work experience, as a recruitment tool. “It is a great pool from which to recruit individuals who can fulfill the role. My intern had the education, skills and qualifications for the role. He is definitely a go-getter with great interpersonal skills who quickly built relationships with his colleagues and clients,” says Leo Warner, Senior Manager of Corporate Training and Development at CIBC.

Tips for Employers

  • Work with pre-arrival services, such as the Canadian Immigration Integration Project, to raise your organization’s profile with potential skilled immigrants before they leave their countries of origin.
  • Partner with a credential assessment service so that candidates who submit an evaluation from the service don’t need to undergo further educational checks during screening.
  • To improve the chances of skilled immigrants landing a job with the organization, participate in newcomer career fairs and information sessions to provide more details on available opportunities, the required skills and how the organization’s recruitment process workers.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients and more than 42,000 employees in Canada and around the world. CIBC has received several awards for its work hiring and integrating skilled immigrants, including an Immigrant Success (IS) Award and being named one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians in 2008, 2009 and 2010. It was also named as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Workplace Diversity by Canadian Immigrant magazine in 2007.

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