August 8, 2011

Understand and Evaluate Your HR Practices

To get the support of leadership, it’s important to know where you are now and where you want to be. To do so, gather information about your current human resource practices and how they may screen-out skilled immigrants or prevent them from advancing to senior positions in your organization:

  • Understand both the challenges and successes of skilled immigrants in your organization.
  • Gather data about your workforce demographics to assess how your organization is actually performing in hiring and retaining skilled immigrants compared to others.
  • Conduct a skill-set inventory of your employees, and particularly of skilled immigrants in your organization. Are you leveraging their total skill-sets? Are they working to their individual capacity?
  • Review your recruitment process to determine whether your organization screens-out qualified candidates including skilled immigrants.
  • Determine who is immigrant-ready in your organization. Human resource staff tend to be better aware and equipped to act than line or hiring managers who tend not to have HR education or experience. This can help you identify where you can have immediate impact when introducing new strategies and techniques.
  • Interview skilled immigrants in your organization, including those who have since moved on to other opportunities (exit interviews are good opportunities to ask). They are an excellent source of information and learning.

Use the Workshop: Assessing the Recruiting Process to make a full assessment of your recruiting process.

Once you have finished the assessment you need to analyze the findings and ask key questions:

  • How many skilled immigrants did we hire this year? How does this compare to previous years?
  • Who are the hiring influencers in our organization?
  • In what areas (business areas, geographic) do skilled immigrants typically work?
  • What types of cross-cultural events, training or other supports were offered to employees last year?
  • How many skilled immigrants were promoted? To what levels within our organization?
  • How many left the organization? Where did they go and why?
  • What external resources and support do we need to recruit and retain skilled immigrants more effectively?

A Closer Look at Your HR Practices

In addition to examining your previous experiences with skilled immigrants, ask your managers and HR professionals:

  • What recruitment sources were most/least successful in attracting skilled immigrants to apply for employment opportunities?
  • What screening methods did we use to ensure a qualified pool of applicants included skilled immigrants?
  • What interview methods (including questions and skills assessment tools) were used and did they have an impact on the likelihood of skilled immigrants receiving an offer?
  • What accommodation policies are in place for skilled immigrant employees who may have religious and/or cultural observances?
  • Are there specific HR practices and/or policies that require reconsideration given the changing demographics in our workplace?

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