How to recruit internationally

Sometimes you have to look a little further for talent. How do you find, select and hire a foreign employee?

“All the leading sectors in Greater Montreal have major manpower needs,” says David Lebel, Director of International Talent Attraction at Montreal International. “IT, video games, aerospace… and more, with the economy doing well we can expect the demand for talent to increase in the coming years.”

So it’s understandable that a growing company needs to extend its recruitment internationally. But where do you begin? David Lebel suggests marking out the geographic pools where there is a high recruitment potential. “If we’re looking for aerospace, we will be looking at Toulouse or Seattle. The American West Coast is known for video games, and so on.”

There are many ways to approach candidates. You can participate in one of the recruitment missions arranged by Montreal International or Quebec International, if you are in these markets. “We arrange fairs by invitation,” explains David Lebel, “which means that applications are pre-selected based on companies’ needs.”

Another avenue is to post in targeted local markets. “We first identify local job sites, including those specializing in our industry, and post our job offers. You can also hire a local recruitment agency, or an agency from here that specializes in international recruitment.”

Plan to provide support

You don’t recruit abroad without effort. The process of hiring takes a few months: “The recruiting mission is the first contact. We see the candidate’s personality. It is usually followed by an interview by Skype.”

When you get hold of the rare gem, the work is not yet finished. “The company has to apply for a work permit (provincial and federal),” explains the director. To obtain it, it has to demonstrate that it has tried to hire locally and that its efforts have not yielded any results. “There is, however, a simplified program for industries where there is an already-recognized shortage,” the director says reassuringly.

The company will then have to consider the worker’s integration. “Immigrating is major life change,” recalls David Lebel. “Some companies use relocation agencies to help companies find a school for their children and other services.”

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