The Federal Government continues to press its strategy of involving employers more directly in building a strong and highly capable workforce across the country!
Last year, the Canada Ontario Job Grant was introduced. This year, the “Express Entry” system of selecting skilled immigrants to come and work in Canada promises to significantly speed up processing times for Permanent Residence applications, and to make it easier for employers to recruit people with the knowledge and skills they need, from outside country, when they cannot find the needed talent in the domestic labour force.
Express Entry applies to “Economic Immigrants”, who are applying to come to Canada based upon the benefits their knowledge, skills and experience can bring to our economy through their enrichment of our workforce. It is not a new “program”, simply a new “system” for applications and selections of applicants under the following existing programs:
Employers are advised to learn the basics about these existing programs and how they work BEFORE they wade too far into the details of Express Entry. What follows will navigate through this new system at a high level from an Employer’s perspective, in an effort to introduce employers to “how things work”.
An Employer’s Path:
Before an employer can recruit overseas under the new system, they must do everything they can to recruit the people they need locally. Part of that local recruiting effort must include posting their jobs on Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) Job Bank, (which has been modernized and linked to the Express Entry system).
Once an employer has exhausted their domestic search efforts, they can continue their search overseas. Of course employers may use whatever private job boards, databases, networks and other research avenues they like to find foreign candidates, but they should also post on the ESDC Job Board at the same time, so their postings are revealed to skilled immigrants who have already “entered” the Express Entry system. In taking advantage of Express Entry, it will be important that the employer to be somewhat familiar with the “National Occupation Codes” (N.O.C’s) that relate to the positions being recruited, the required language test and proficiency levels for candidates, and the education equivalencies / assessments needed under the contemplated immigration program.
Later on in 2015, the Job Bank will enable a “Job Match” function to make employers aware of applicants whose qualifications match those they are seeking, and to make applicants aware of job postings that seem to “fit”.
The employer proceeds through a regular resume review and interview process to determine if candidates found or who have applied to postings merit a job offer. Once such an offer is to be proffered, the Employer will need to obtain a (positive) Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC related to hiring the proposed candidate in the proposed permanent job function. The Job Offer and reference number for the LMIA should then be provided to the candidate, who can then proceed to engage the Express Entry system, if they haven’t already done so.
An Applicant’s Path
A skilled immigrant interested in becoming a permanent Canadian resident should familiarize themselves with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) programs and rules, specifically the four programs listed above, to see if they can qualify under one of those programs.
If they can, they can (and should) connect with Canadian employers and job boards, both public and private, and actively seek a Canadian employer interested in hiring them. They should register with the ECDS Job Bank, and can begin to look there for possible jobs for which they may be a good fit, and to submit applications for employment. Once they have connected with a qualifying position, they should solicit a Canadian job offer, and a reference from the employer to a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment for the job.
Express Entry Pool
They can then complete and submit and online “profile” to the Express Entry (Candidate) Pool. If they meet the minimum requirements under one of the four programs, they will be entered into the Pool. Complete information about their education, skills and experience should be part of their profile, as well as the fact that they have a valid job offer, (if they have one). They will should register with the ECDS Job Bank if they haven’t already done so.
Express Entry candidates in the Pool will be scored, ranked using a Comprehensive Ranking System, (CRS), which will assign points for skills, work experience, language ability, education and other factors. Additional points are given if the Pool entrant has a valid job offer, a provincial or territorial nomination, and skills and experience factors that contribute to success in Canada.
Invitations to Apply
Periodically, a group of Pool candidates with the highest current rankings in the Pool will be sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Canadian Residence. The candidate must complete and submit the application within sixty days. Such applications will processed within six months, (80 % of the time). Once an application has been accepted, the applicant can notify his Canadian employer and proceed with his immigration process.