Beyond “Canadian Experience”: Mobilizing Diverse Talent for Corporate and Community Success - December 2, 2011 Conference

The Beyond “Canadian Experience” project team hosted their first conference titled, Beyond “Canadian Experience”: Mobilizing Diverse Talent for Corporate and Community Success on Friday, December 2, 2011 in North York Memorial Hall located at the North York Civic Centre (Toronto, Ontario). This conference was organized with the following objectives in mind:

  1. To document new and creative ideas for promoting the meaningful and sustainable integration of immigrants into the Canadian labour market, in ways that benefit businesses and local communities.
  2. To share the findings from academic and community research on “Canadian experience” and immigrant labour market integration,
  3. To highlight promising practices of employers who are already tapping into the diverse talent that exist in immigrant communities
  4. To facilitate dialogue between the private sector, community service organizations and immigrant leaders in the North West area of Toronto to address the issue of “Canadian experience” as a barrier to finding meaningful employment.

Conference agenda
Press release

“I think employers face challenges integrating all employees. I think we have a culture in North America that, I don’t know about anywhere else where managers don’t have time to manage their staff. It takes so long to do the hiring process, where other deliverables they have to meet. Their VPs, their directors, their presidents expect them to meet the sales goals, to meet the enrolment goals, to meet whatever other goals there are. Managing employees is seen as the soft skill that really doesn’t matter. You’re not being measured on your performance. I don’t know if that’s with all companies.”

- Conference Participant

“And so, I think it’s the whole biases-inherent and the whole hiring process. And also just being transparent, we were talking about how sometimes, especially in certain sectors, where there’s already an ideal candidate in mind but you’ll have to go through a hiring process and a lot of people who are applying for jobs say that well, it’s so much work applying and preparing for the interview to rather just know and not waste my time because I’m spending all this time applying where I’m really not going to get a job, so just be direct in the first place."

- Conference Participant

Who attended the event?

The event was attended by over 80 participants representing a range of stakeholders interested in the successful integration of immigrants into the Canadian labour market including human resource professionals, employers/business owners, service providers, activists, academics and immigrants. The absence of government representation was noted by several participants in the evaluation. See more

Evaluation results