With companies moving to fully-remote workforces, international hiring is on the rise in Canada, allowing business leaders to offer more flexible work environments, distributed teams, and increased technology optimization. In short, international hiring tears down traditional geographical barriers and connects more people with diverse backgrounds. 

And with unemployment at an all-time low, Canadian companies need talent more than ever. Unemployment rates have decreased month over month for the first part of the year, with an average rate of 5.1% in May— an unprecedented rate, and hovered around 5.4 through August.

And while these positive job statistics are good for the economy, it does mean we need more people in the workforce. Low unemployment rates and increased job vacancies are driving companies to hire globally — and that’s a good thing! Along with lower unemployment rates, continued remote work encourages employers to cast wider geographical nets, and with experts agreeing that 40% of Canadian work can be done remotely — it makes sense. 

Harnessing the power of an international talent pool can be a major win for Canadian employers. 

International hiring can translate to growth, diversity, and innovation. 

International hiring helps meet increased labour needs. 

With unemployment at an all-time low throughout the year, employers were hiring and hiring fast! As of December 2021, there were around five vacancies per 100 positions. That was a 73% increase year over year. Hiring international talent helps fill these vacancies.

In-demand jobs are also prime for international hiring. Roles such as software developer, engineer, and accountant can be easily hired, onboarded, and maintained remotely. 

International hiring increases recruitment efficiency and flexibility.

Given the sometimes-limited job seeker pool, proactively engaging international candidates instantly expands your reach. At the same time, though, the world is a big pool. So if you want to target international hires but are new to the process, consider a walk-before-you-run approach — hiring a graduate from top universities in key countries, for example, or a foreign job seeker with a Canadian degree. 

Targeting the places and skills you’d like to hire can help refine the international hiring experience. It may be daunting with so much opportunity, but honing in on certain regional markers can help you hire more efficiently. 

International hiring diversifies your workforce. 

Canadians are diverse. We’re the most diverse nation in the G8, with one in five Canadians foreign-born. Of course, this diversity trickles down to our workforce as well. But Canadian organizations care more than the optics of diversity. Sixty percent of Canadian organizations have a multi-year Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program, with nearly half setting and measuring goals regularly. 

Implementing a strong multi-year DEI program can ensure your success with international hiring. There will be many different thoughts, experiences, and backgrounds working together, so executing a DEI program as a resource for all employees can be a successful and smart strategy. 

Hiring a diverse team can present many benefits to the organization, too. Because people come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, this can foster innovation and creativity in new and exciting ways. Diverse teams also bolster performance and credibility while attracting top talent and improving authentic access to global markets. It’s truly a groundbreaking opportunity for Canadian businesses. 

International hiring can complement local hiring initiatives.

Global hires can also help you understand Canadian businesses, too. They can help bridge language and skill gaps in your organization, create an environment for learning and enrichment, and promote an inclusive work environment. 

International hires can present drastically different wages across global markets if your goal is efficiency and profitability. While it’s important to remain equitable among your employees, international market variances can benefit your overall profitability. 

International hiring adds unique skills and specialties.

Expanding your talent pools in competitive industries or those with known labour shortages gives your organization a considerable advantage. Advantages include: language fluencies, global and regional perspectives, and specific and specialized high-tech and engineering skills. Foreign workers may show adaptability, new skill sets, and/or a willingness to take risks. 

For example, there is a high demand for tech workers and a growing number of folks specializing in tech in Africa. According to Google’s latest Africa Developer Ecosystem report, tech companies compete for African talent. 

Other benefits to international hiring

Ultimately, hiring internationally will give you a competitive advantage in your market. International employees can fill skill gaps, diversify your workforce, and expand your business — making you extremely competitive. 

Uniquely, a global workforce can drive 24/7 innovation while allowing employees to rest. Moreover, when implemented fairly, working across time zones can help productivity. International hires can complement your local workforce by exposing broader talent and experience.