Cross-Cultural Training Helps Skilled Immigrants Integrate At Deloitte

Deloitte values the global experience of skilled immigrants. Canadian experience is not a prerequisite at Deloitte. The firm searches for skills, competencies and relevant experience – even if it’s international.

One of Deloitte’s fastest growing areas of business is serving medium-sized private companies. To serve such companies, not all Deloitte staff need to be Chartered Accountants (CA). They can perform certain accounting functions and gain Canadian experience while working towards their Canadian designation.

Deloitte provides cultural training for new employees to get them up to speed on Canadian practices.  One way the firm does this is through the Cultural Navigator Program, a self-assessment that clarifies differences between cultures, both social and in the workplace. Amongst other things, the employee will receive information on the nuances on hierarchy and reporting relationships, working in a team and, giving and receiving feedback in a multicultural environment.

The firm also offers language training to help new hires with their communication and presentation skills

Another powerful factor that has led to the successful integration of skilled immigrants into the firm has been the vision and drive from the Toronto Managing Partner, Yezdi Pavri, who is responsible for the practice’s active involvement in The Mentoring Partnership in the Toronto area.

The program matches professionals with a newcomer from a similar field, to inform them of the Canadian practices in their industry, and provide coaching on their job search skills and networking. Deloitte’s Greater Toronto Area office currently has 67 employees who are mentors and the firm is proud to be a corporate partner of The Mentoring Partnership.

Pavri has promoted mentoring himself, using different forums as an opportunity to encourage staff to become mentors. He attributes the success of mentoring newcomers to Canada to his living Deloitte’s shared value: “strength from cultural diversity.”

When asked why the firm mentors and hires so many skilled immigrants, Pavri explains that it’s really a business imperative: “As we look at the local demographics, it’s increasingly difficult to find the talent we need to serve our clients. The biggest growing talent pool is skilled immigrants and we have been able to capitalize on their potential, and will continue to do so.”

Tips for Employers:

  • Don’t make Canadian experience a prerequisite. Instead, look for skills, competencies and relevant experience — even if they’re international.
  • Provide cross-cultural training for new employees to get them up to speed on Canadian workplace practices.
  • Mentor skilled immigrants to build leadership capacity and access a new talent pool to better serve clients.

Deloitte, one of Canada’s leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to a wide range of Canadian and international clients. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein, which is an association of firms operating in almost 150 countries. There are 6,600 employees across the country, with 2,500 employees in the Toronto area.

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