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Accelerating the Integration of Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals




FORWARD

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) regulates the human resources profession in the province of Ontario. It is committed to protecting the public and advancing its members’ careers and professional capabilities. HRPA is Canada’s HR thought leader with more than 18,000 members in 28 chapters in Ontario and other locations across Canada and around the world.

HRPA is internationally recognized for its knowledge, innovation and leadership. It connects its membership to an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities and it annually hosts the world’s second largest HR conference. HRPA grants the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management.


About the Authors

Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., CHRP

Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., CHRP

Claude Balthazard was appointed Director, HR Excellence for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) in March 2007.

Claude has spent over 20 years in Human Resources in academia, government, consulting, and business. Claude has drafted staffing policy for the Federal Public Service, developed assessment centres for the early identification of managerial talent, conducted Level 5 (financial impact) evaluations of training programs, developed programs to increase learning agility among high-potential managers, conducted organization-wide leadership talent reviews, worked out linkage models to quantify the impact of employee engagement on customer relationships and profitability, developed tools to assess employee engagement, conducted culture audits, and developed certification tests for regulatory compliance. Claude holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Waterloo.


Justin Ramesar, M.HRM

Justin Ramesar is the project manager for the Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals research project. He holds a Master’s of Human Resource Management (with Honours) from the University of Melbourne in Australia and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario. Justin is a member of HRPA, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Australian Human Resource Institute. He is a subject matter expert in transformational HR practices. Justin has consulted for the Ministry of Health and serves on the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Employer Expert Panel.




Corrina Mason, MISt.

Corrina Mason is an Information Specialist at the Human Resources Professionals Association. She holds a Master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (with Honours) from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Prior to her appointment at HRPA, she held positions at the Ontario Legislative Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. She has previous experience in social services in Alaska and continually strives to use her expertise to reach underserved populations.




Table of Contents

I Executive Summary
II Introduction
III Literature Review
IV Methodology
V Results
VI Discussion
VII Actions
VIII Conclusion
Appendix A: Works Cited with Annotations
Appendix B: Bibliography
Appendix C: Current Integration Projects

Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) are innovative, adaptable, resilient, have proven leadership capabilities and have access to professional networks that, in combination, provide Canadian businesses with a ‘knowledge advantage’ over their competition


Executive Summary

Canadian businesses exiting the global recession are now facing their greatest obstacle to date – finding, engaging and retaining professional level talent. “Data from Statistics Canada reveal that by 2011 immigration will account for 100% of Canada’s net labour force growth and all net population growth in the next 25 years.” (Ikura, 2007) Therefore, the labour market for highly skilled professional talent will increasingly draw from sources outside the boundaries of Canada. Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) are the answer to businesses developing new products and reaching untapped markets. IEPs bring to the table a unique cultural understanding that their native counterparts lack. IEPs are innovative, adaptable, resilient, have proven leadership capabilities and have access to professional networks that, in combination, provide Canadian businesses with a ‘knowledge advantage’ over their competition. Engaging an IEP in your workplace will lead to decreases in turnover, absenteeism, and health costs while promoting your organization as a best-in-class place to work. (Robinson & Dechant, 1997)

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has completed its first exploratory research project to understand the challenges and barriers facing Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals (HR IEPs). Over the past year, the research team at HRPA has completed a qualitative research study to understand the perceptions HR IEPs and employers have of HRPA and the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. The results indicate that the impediment to successful integration of HR IEPs, at the professional level, stems from programming alignment issues between key stakeholder groups, including the regulatory body, transition programming providers and IEP agencies operating within the province of Ontario. The solution to accelerating the integration of highly skilled HR IEPs can be realized by combining the efforts of these stakeholders groups. HRPA has developed and implemented aspects of the HR IEP Integration Strategy that will accelerate the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession.

HR IEP Integration Strategy:
Regulatory Body, Transition Programs, IEP Agencies

The HR IEP Integration Strategy is based upon the findings of a literature review, the results of focus group consultations and HR IEP survey data. In total, HRPA spoke with 107 participants from 34 countries. Notably, 64% of the participants hold a Bachelors or Master’s degree from their home country - higher than the average Canadian statistics. 94% of the HR IEPs immigrated to Canada with the intention to pursue a career in HR, while only 48% of participants were successful in finding a job in the field of HR within the first two years of arrival. The results indicate that there is a 46% gap in an HR IEP’s intention versus the reality of pursuing their chosen profession here in the province of Ontario.

The HR IEP Integration Strategy focuses efforts on three key areas which, in combination, will mitigate the intention gap highlighted by this study. Concentrating efforts on the regulatory body, transition programs and IEP agencies will accelerate the integration of HR IEPs into the
Ontario HR profession.

As the regulatory body of the HR profession, HRPA plays a significant role in accelerating the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession. Enhancing the recognition of international professional experience and academic training will enable HR IEP to obtain their CHRP designation in a shorter amount of time. In response to the research findings, HRPA has developed and launched the ‘Alternative Routes’ program allowing HR IEPs to have their international experience and education verified so they can sit the first CHRP examination within six months of arriving in Ontario – this is a significant win for HR IEPs.

HRPA has also created a new HR IEP Membership category, providing HR IEPs with a discounted membership rate for twelve months. The objective of this program is to initiate HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession and provide them with professional development and networking opportunities to expedite their integration.

In addition, the creation of an online information resource directing IEPs to the appropriate bridging, mentorship and professional networking opportunities will enhance their chances of gaining relevant employment in a shorter amount of time.

Furthermore, the results indicate a compelling need for HR IEP-specific training programs that provide HR IEPs with the required employment law framework within which Ontario organizations operate. Along with pre-employment education, there is a significant need for post-employment coaching on the part of HR IEPs and their immediate manager. This result crosses professions and is a significant finding for all professional bodies to consider in the development of their integration strategy. HRPA is in the process of partnering with an IEP agency in Ontario to design and deliver this program with an anticipated launch in 2010.

From the employer’s perspective, middle managers need access to cultural competency training

The results also indicate that stakeholders - such as the regulatory body, employers and IEP agencies need to expand their collaborative efforts to ensure that highly skilled professionals do not fall through the cracks. Stakeholders have the opportunity to combine efforts in educating employers about the significant, long-term value HR IEPs bring to their organization. From the employer’s perspective, middle managers need cultural competency training to help mitigate HR IEPs voluntary turnover intentions that present themselves within twelve months of their employment contract. Middle managers need to be trained on how to conduct performance and coaching conversations with people from different cultural backgrounds. HRPA is in the process of partnering with agencies in Ontario to design and deliver HR IEP Conferences in 2010.

By accelerating the professional certification process of the regulatory body, creating an HR IEP membership category, providing an employment law course and ensuring middle managers are equipped with the tools to conduct culturally sensitive performance reviews and coaching discussions, Ontario employers are well-positioned to reap the competitive rewards of hiring internationally educated HR professionals to their organizations.


There is a significant need for post employment coaching on the part of the HR IEPs and their immediate manager.

This result is compelling and crosses professional boundaries



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Introduction

In 2006, the Ontario legislature passed the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act (FARPA) to ensure that the registration practices of professional regulatory bodies did not impose unfair barriers to the registration of IEPs. Although HRPA does not currently fall under Schedule 1 of the FARPA Act, it is our intention to provide the public with transparent and accessible registration and certification processes.

This study closes the knowledge gap by revealing the barriers to entry of HR IEPs, therefore enhancing the capacity of HRPA to integrate HR IEPs into the Ontario labour market

The Human Resources Professional Association is the regulatory body of the Human Resources Profession within the province of Ontario as per the Human Resources Professional Act of Ontario, 1990. HRPA contends that the Certified Human Resources Professional designation can serve as a bridge to employment for Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals. Currently, there is extremely limited qualitative and quantitative information available on HR IEPs in Ontario. This study serves to close the knowledge gap by revealing the barriers to entry for HR IEPs and therefore enhancing the capacity of HRPA to integrate HR IEPs into the Ontario labour market. The research outcomes will enable HRPA to adopt registration and certification protocols that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair to all Human Resources Professionals, internationally or domestically educated. This will further HRPA’s commitment to align our policies and practices with that of the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act of 2006.

Professional regulatory bodies often do not have the means to assess and recognize foreign credentials, which unfairly restricts IEPs entry into the regulated professions. As a result, IEPs skills are often underutilized in the workplace


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Literature Review

Search Strategy

The research team at HRPA searched for resources and materials published between 1995 and 2009, specifically looking for items concerning Internationally Educated Professionals in Canada, educated in and/or working in the field of human resources. However, due to a lack of literature, the search quickly widened to include other countries and other professions. The research team pursued academic research, business resources, human resources trade publications, as well as statistical information from Statistics Canada and the International Labour Organization. Partner organizations such as the World Education Service (WES) and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), were also consulted. In an effort to compile a current, cohesive list, the research team later searched for information on programs being implemented in Ontario that assist IEPs entry into the professional labour market. The following paper provides a sampling of articles that reflect the most relevant issues facing internationally educated professionals, please see Appendix A on page 37.

The barriers that Internationally Educated Professionals face in finding employment in their chosen profession are significant. After reviewing the literature, HRPA identified six major themes.

1. Language proficiency
2. Cultural barriers
3. Lack of foreign credential recognition among professional regulatory bodies
4. Under-utilization of Internationally Educated Professionals’ skills
5. Immigration procedures and immigrant expectations
6. Lack of collaboration among stakeholders

A review of the current literature highlights that employers and regulators are concerned with English and/or French language proficiency among IEPs. Secondly, employers and regulators are averse to cultural differences and prefer to avoid what is challenging or unfamiliar to work with. In addition, professional regulatory bodies often do not have the means to assess and recognize foreign credentials, which unfairly restricts IEPs entry into the regulated professions. As a result, IEPs skills are often underutilized in the workplace, manifesting in lower wages among immigrant professionals, both at the point of entry into their chosen profession, and throughout the span of their career. Researchers have also suggested that immigration procedures, which employ the use of a points-based system to select the most highly educated individuals with extensive experience in their profession, is discordant with the realities of the labour market in Canada. Finally, the research calls for a comprehensive approach among stakeholders to address the issue in a fair, evenhanded way.


Language

Among Canadian employers and regulators, there is a preoccupation with proficiency in the English and/or French language among IEPs. A lack of official-language proficiency is perceived to create barriers between IEPs and customers, IEPs and colleagues, and IEPs and their professional community. Statistics Canada’s longitudinal survey of immigrants in Canada (Grondin, 2005) revealed that immigrants who report being able to speak an official language fluently were more likely find an ‘appropriate’ job within their first four years of immigration – and their earnings were higher. They also reported that language training appears to aid immigrant employees in achieving job promotion, with those who had taken language training were more likely to have been promoted more than one level within four years of arrival to Canada.

In their research on the barriers blocking internationally educated professionals in the field of engineering, Girard and Bauder published many comments of their steering committees, which overwhelmingly addressed language problems as barriers to licensure as a professional engineer.

“Companies that require their engineers to deal with customers are reluctant to employ international engineering graduates in these positions, if their language skills are not up to the required standard of proficiency. Second… poor language skills serious affect the ability of an international engineering graduate to work effectively in a team-based unit. Finally, some engineering jobs require engineers to explain technical issues to nontechnical staff … In these circumstances, poor language skills can be a significant impediment.” (Girard & Bauder, 2005)

Supporting this, Rooth and Sarella’s human capital research found evidence of the “economic advantages of being able to speak fluently in the most country’s language as both income and employment rates are higher.” (Grant, 2007) Their study of Finnish immigrants in Sweden compared census data of Finnish immigrants that speak a dialect of Swedish, with those immigrants who speak Finnish, a language that is significantly different from Swedish. The researchers determined that the employment outcomes of the Finnish who spoke a dialect of Swedish were considerably more favourable in terms of income and employment rates.

Another paper suggests that IEPs also perceive that speaking English-as-a-second-language is the underlying factor that negatively affects the evaluation of their credentials and experience. In a survey of 404 Indo- and Chinese-Canadian immigrant professionals residing in Vancouver, “79 percent indicated that speaking English as a second language was a factor that influenced the evaluation of their credentials and recognition of foreign experience.” (Basran & Li, 1998)


Cultural barriers

There is some evidence that, employers and regulators are averse to cultural differences and prefer to avoid what is challenging or unfamiliar to work with. In their research, Girard and Bauder explored the “soft skills” of professional practice, and found that there is a perception that IEPs have difficulty understanding the cultural context of Canadian business and professional ethics. “Regulators told us that Canadian professional ethics are difficult for immigrant professionals to internalize. … Until candidates internalize these context-specific soft skills and the cultural norms of professional practice they will not be licensed as professional engineers, regardless of how well they understand the principles of engineering science”(2005). The regulator’s comments suggest that a lack of knowledge of the cultural context can quash any amount of scientific and technical expertise.

There is a perception that IEPs have difficulty understanding the cultural context of Canadian business and professional ethics.


Regulatory Bodies

The research also indicates that the practices of regulatory bodies can unfairly restrict entry into regulated professions. As the gatekeepers of the professions, their primary purpose is to protect the public by maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism among practitioners. To
achieve this, regulatory bodies require a high standard of education and experience for entry into a profession – and to meet this requirement, individuals must demonstrate that they have the acceptable credentials.

In many cases, this hinders IEPs ability to associate themselves with their professional association within their new primary residence. As Basran & Li contend:

“Foreign-trained professionals encounter a difficult situation in the Canadian labour market. On the one hand, non-recognition of their foreign professional work experience disqualifies their entry into professional jobs leaving them no chance to get Canadian work experience; on the other hand, the emphasis on Canadian work experience as a requirement for professional employment makes it difficult for them to be qualified for professional jobs.” (1998)

Bauder (2005) echoes this argument, stating, “Immigrants who lose the value of their credentials and work experience through institutional regulatory processes cannot pursue employment opportunities for which they are legally ineligible.” Thus, it is immensely difficult for internationally educated professionals who struggle to “Canadianize” their credentials, and thereby make their skills relevant in the Canadian labour market.


Non-recognition or underutilization of immigrants’ skills

The non-recognition of immigrants’ skills has deep implications. “Data from Statistics Canada reveal that by 2011 immigration will account for 100% of Canada’s net labour force growth and all net population growth in the next 25 years.” (Ikura, 2007) Yet the employment outcomes for immigrants are increasingly grim, both in terms of levels of employment and income.

Using 2006 census data, Galarneau & Morissette explored the educational attainment and level of employment of immigrants. They found that immigrants are more highly educated than ever before (58% of men, and 49% of women held at least a bachelor’s degree) yet the proportion of those immigrants in jobs with low educational requirements has increased. This holds true for recent immigrants and established immigrants, which the researchers suggest “that difficulties experienced by recent immigrants are not necessarily temporary.” (2008)


Statistics Canada reveals that by 2011, immigration will account for 100% of Canada’s net labour force growth and all net population growth in the next 25 years

Researchers have also found that the underutilization of the immigrant skills results in earnings deficits for immigrants. A human capital earnings analysis of the 1996 census micro-data concluded that immigrants receive lower earnings premiums for education, and for work experience. The study further concluded that immigrants from some origins earn less than immigrants from other origins – specifically immigrants from non-European origins experience a greater disadvantage than immigrants from European origins.” (Reitz, 2001)

Additionally, the Conference Board of Canada asserts that Canadians could benefit substantially from improved learning recognition. According to Bloom and Grant (2001), more than 540,000 Canadians stand to gain an average of $8,000 to $12,000 annually in income from improved learning recognition, and of these, more than 340,000 possess unrecognized foreign credentials. They assert that “an enhanced system of learning recognition would allow Canada to put its human resources to better use by improving the initial matching between vacancies and job applicants and by ensuring that many Canadians are not locked into low-value jobs.” In addition, recognizing foreign credentials would have the added benefit of offsetting the “brain drain” to the United States.

Furthermore, researchers McCoy and Masuch (2007) illustrate six case studies of immigrant women with post-secondary degrees and employment backgrounds in non-regulated managerial and business professional occupations, and their experience in the Calgary job market. This qualitative longitudinal research explores the concepts of the “glass wall” and “survival jobs,” illustrating the role of employment services and
programs, which do a good job facilitating the entry of skilled immigrants into the labour force, but still results in a degree of “skill waste.” The authors conclude that employment services for immigrants in non-regulated professions needs to be addressed on a policy level, as well as increased efforts in bridging programs, job search strategies, and employer education.


Immigration practices and immigrant expectations

Citizenship and Immigration Canada operates on a points based system, designed to select individuals with a high level of education and experience, yet immigrants are often dissatisfied with the situation they find themselves in upon arrival in Canada.

“Knowing that they [immigrants] have spent many years educating themselves and with the confidence of some successful work experience in their country of birth, these valuable workers are often unpleasantly surprised by the reality of the new labour market they are trying to access. Both unfair employment practices of employers and the protectionism of the leadership of professional accreditation bodies clash with the need to fill skilled labour shortages with qualified, foreign-trained personnel. The result is underemployment, poverty, and widespread frustration among immigrants who not able to fully utilize their considerable skill and experience even though there is a shortage of workers with their credentials in the labour market of their adopted country.” (Grant, 2007)

One researcher has argued that altering the selection process could have positive results. Hawthorne suggests that “employability” should be the determining factor in the admittance of immigrants, and that foreign credentials should be evaluated before arrival in Canada, asserting that this strategy is “designed to avoid years of forced labour market displacement or skill discounting due to non-recognition of qualifications.” (2007) Hawthorne cites Australia as an example, saying that, “within two years of Australia’s abandonment of the human capital model of selection, 81% of economic immigrants were securing work within six months of arrival (compared to 60% in Canada), a figure rising to 83% by 2006.”

For their own part, “Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials are aware of research findings that Canadian employers do not value foreign work experience, their continued inclusion of this item in the selection system represents a strong assertion of their own belief that foreign experience measures significantly positive production potential.” (Reitz, 2001) However, the Government of Canada is working to better match the expectations of immigrant professionals, and the reality of their integration into the labour market. According to Human Resources and Social Development Canada, the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program has implemented services to help prepare potential immigrants while still residing in their country of origin – providing them with credential verification, language, and skill assessments to determine any gaps in qualifications. The FCR program also provides resume-writing and Canadian workplace orientation services to “allow immigrants to begin to address some of these gaps before coming to Canada and to ultimately speed up their integration into the labour market.” (Ikura, 2007)


Lack of collaboration among stakeholders

In the literature, researchers make a resounding call to involve stakeholders at all levels to improve the integration of immigrant professionals in the Canadian labour market. “Governments, immigrant service providers, regulators and employers must work together to design programs which expose immigrant professionals to the social, cultural and language proficiency criteria upon which licensing and hiring decisions are based.”
(Girard & Bauder, 2005)

In 2002 the Maytree Foundation published a comprehensive call to action that focuses on practical solutions. Among these action items: creating an internet portal to provide increased access to information, labour market counselling, improvement of the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) program, regulatory reviews, employee mentorship, bridging programs, collaboration in academic assessments, and incentives for all participants. (Albiom, 2002) The justification for the sweeping proposal is twofold. First, the credentials of qualified immigrant professionals is not being recognized which places them at a significant disadvantage. Second, the Canada as a country is never able to benefit from the significant skills that immigrant professionals can provide.

“Currently, skilled immigrants may find they have to ‘start from scratch’ in order to practise in their specialized field in Canada. This process can be discouraging, costly, time consuming and may result in Canada never benefiting from the needed skills. The proposed systems approach assumes there are points of commonality with Canadian qualifications. The focus of the system is to identify quickly the commonalities and any gaps, and ensure supports are in place for the skilled immigrant to quickly fill those gaps. Accurate, up-front system information will help create realistic expectations and map out concrete plans to identify and fill gaps. Opportunities to begin overseas will help expedite the path to the Canadian labour market.” (Maytree Foundation, 2002)


Gaps in the literature

Although there is significant research available on the barriers facing IEPS, the barriers facing IEPs in the field of human resources was virtually non-existent. Other regulated professions such as healthcare and engineering represent the bulk of the literature. The Human Resources Professionals Association, as the regulatory body of the human resources profession in Ontario, is in a unique position to shed light on the topic and provide relevant detail in its research to fill this gap. HRPA hopes to be able to incorporate practices that will successfully address the needs of internationally educated human resources professionals, while simultaneously maintaining its rigorous educational and experiential requirements. Please see the Works Cited appendix on page 37.


Hawthorne cites Australia as an example, saying that, “within two years of Australia’s abandonment of the human capital model of selection, 81% of economic immigrants were securing work within six months of arrival (compared to 60% in Canada), a figure rising to 83% by 2006”


HR IEP Project – Literature Review, Focus Group Consultations and Survey



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Methodology


Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals are defined as individuals who have obtained their highest level of education or professional experience from an accredited academic institution or verifiable corporate body outside the boundaries of Canada. These individuals have successfully completed the Canadian Immigration process and meet the minimum requirements to enter and gain meaningful employment within the borders of Canada.

HRPA, in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Ontario, designed a research project to fulfill two primary objectives:

• Identify barriers and find solutions that accelerate the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession

• Understand HR IEP’s perception of HRPA and the CHRP designation

In order to assess the project objectives, HRPA developed an exploratory qualitative research project. This method of assessment was best suited to understand the topics multi-layered perceptual constructs. The project was divided into three primary activities to uncover challenges and barriers inherent to HR IEPs in sourcing meaningful employment: a literature review, focus group consultations and a follow-up survey.

During the preliminary stages of this project, HRPA sponsored an extensive literature review focusing on Internationally Educated Professionals. This work provided the HRPA research team with a robust information base to understand current issues researched in this field (Appendix A – C pages 37-46).

HRPA launched a recruitment campaign to elicit participation of Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals residing in Ontario to participate in the focus group consultations. The communications campaign was linked with the deployment of the online recruitment system that asked potential participants a series of detailed questions to gain an understanding of their backgrounds. The online recruitment system allowed for ‘qualified’ candidates to be moved forward to the selection team who vetted applications and secured focus group placement for qualified individuals. We had an unprecedented response to our request for participants with over 180 candidates filling out the 30-minute online questionnaire. Of these candidates, we selected 100 qualified individuals to participate in the focus group consultations.

In order to fully assess the barriers and challenges facing HR IEP’s entry into the Ontario labour market, HRPA decided to run an additional two (2) focus groups that were employer-focused. HRPA extended the use of their membership database to recruit twenty (20) senior level Human Resources professionals who work for large companies with greater than one thousand (1000) employees that had large HR departments and greater than ten (10) HR employees to participate in the focus groups. Overall, we invited one hundred and twenty (120) qualified participants to assess the extent of barriers and challenges hindering the full integration of Internationally Educated HR professionals into the Ontario labour market.

During June, July and August 2009, HRPA hosted a total of twelve (12) focus group consultations, ten (10) targeting HR IEPs (N=89) and two (2) targeting employers (N=18). In total, we spoke with one hundred and seven (107) participants from thirty-four (34) countries. The post-focus group consultation survey had a total of one hundred and ten (N=110) respondents. Together, the literature review analysis, focus group consultations and the post-survey data provided the HRPA research team with an information base-line to develop the HR IEP Integration Strategy that will accelerate the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession.

107 participants from 34 countries

64% of the participants hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
71% of the participants had 7 or more years of HR experience

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Results


The post-focus group survey yielded responses from one hundred and ten (110) HR IEPs residing in the province of Ontario. 64% of the participants hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 71% of the participants had seven (7) or more years of experience working in HR before immigrating to Canada. 94% of the participants immigrated to Canada with the intent to pursue a career in Human Resources. Of this group only 48% or fifty one (51) individuals were successful in finding a job in the field of HR. The results indicate that there is a 46% gap in an HR IEP’s intention to work in HR versus the reality of pursuing their chosen profession in the province of Ontario.

Perception of HRPA and the CHRP Designation

The focus group consultation process enabled the research team at HRPA to discuss the perception of HRPA and the Certified Human Resources Professionals (CHRP) designation. In total we spoke with eighty nine (89) HR IEPs. The focus group participants represented thirty-four (34) countries. Sixty-four (64) participants or 72% were female and twenty-five (25) or 28% were male.

The results indicate that there is a 46% gap in an HR IEP’s intention to work in HR versus the reality of pursuing their chosen profession in the province of Ontario

The majority of respondents perceive the CHRP as a desirable designation. They see it as their passport to employment within the province of Ontario


The majority of respondents perceive the CHRP as a desirable designation,with 21% holding the CHRP, and another 24% working towards the designation. They perceive it as their passport to employment within the province of Ontario. They believe that employers require it as a condition of employment even with it is only stated as ‘preferred’ in HR job postings.

However, there are mixed feelings towards the CHRP as a valuable source of knowledge in its own right. IEPs understand the necessity of knowing the Canadian-centric aspects of the CHRP, but they resist having to revisit the aspects of the qualification that they believe their original qualification covered.

HR IEPs are ambivalent in their attitude towards HRPA. On one hand, they perceive it to be professional and proactive. It is their conduit to the Canadian HR profession and therefore 70% of respondents are members of HRPA. HRPA staff are perceived to be knowledgeable and accessible. At the same time, they do not believe HRPA is IEP-friendly. They do not perceive it to be empathetic to their needs. They do not believe HRPA has a specific strategy to accelerate the integration of IEPs into the profession.

HR IEPs number one request: enhance recognition of international experience and education

The cost of the CHRP process was cited as prohibitive for IEPs who were in the process of setting up a new life. Respondents like HRPA seminars and conferences but find them expensive. A common criticism was that there was a fee for everything. It was felt that at least some services should be free, such as public exhibitions and networking events. The HRPA Annual Conference is highly regarded and respondents perceive volunteering as the best way to engage in their profession without paying a fee.

Respondents also stated a need for more targeted, structured networking events that are attended by prospective employers who can help find them work, as well as the need for greater mentoring, internship and co-op programs. Respondents want HRPA to help broker opportunities for them, whether they are related to learning or employment.

Respondents want HRPA to help broker opportunities for them, whether they are related to learning or employment

A large proportion of HR IEPs consulted reported that their number one request of HRPA is to accelerate their acquisition of the CHRP designation through enhanced recognition of their experience and credentials. They believe this can be achieved through equivalency exams and links to HR associations from the IEPs’ country of origin.

HR IEPs Barriers to Entry

Focus group participants (N=89) vocalized many perceived barriers to entry in the Ontario HR profession. The following statements highlight the most common themes from the focus groups:

HR IEPs indicated that their immigration experience was far more difficult than they anticipated. They did not expect to encounter such apathy towards their previous qualifications or such resistance to their lack of Canadian experienceespecially because many of them were led to believe that there was a demand for HR IEPs in Canada.

Many respondents stated that their endeavours to find work were far more difficult than they expected then to be. The majority of them also reported working in positions below their previous experience or capacity.

A common theme emerging from the discussions was the need to “dumb down” their resume and even camouflage their source of education. HR IEPs felt that employers do not trust international credentials or experience because they do not yet have an accepted yardstick to evaluate them.

HR IEPs expressed a need for a centralized point of contact. One respondent stated, “Your friend is the computer. The first stop needs to be a roadmap. The roadmap would include mentorship and all that stuff...because there is this fearful person.” Other respondents echoed the sentiment of needing a one-stop online information source specific to HR IEPs. The information resource should be accessible prior to the HR IEPs arrival in Canada and provide consequential information throughout the course of their employment integration.

Identified HR IEP Training Needs, Cultural Context Course 13.7%, Ontario-specific employment law course 21.1%, HR IEP Special Conference



Potential Solutions

The focus group consultation process provided a number of potential solutions to accelerating the integration of HR IEPs. The solutions addressed two major categories of skill deficiencies identified by HRPA: Training needs and Transition needs.

The post focus group survey provided the respondents with an opportunity to dictate the types of programs and services that would best accelerate their integration into the Ontario HR profession. It is notable that the relative perceptions of the proposed programs were fairly evenly weighted, suggesting that a combination of integration programs, from both categories, would be most beneficial to their successful integration.

The Voice of the Employers

Though limited in scope, the employer focus groups (N=18) revealed valuable insights. Senior HR leaders at large Canadian companies understand the need to hire HR IEPs. They want the perspective and competitive advantage that IEPs can bring to their organization – and while diversity programs are well-entrenched within Canada’s medium to large size companies, the process for integrating IEPs may not be. At the senior level, IEPs are perceived to bring the value of an international perspective, innovation and creativity.

Employers want to trust the credentials of IEPs. However, they need the endorsement of HRPA and/or an equivalency service that verifies the qualifications and experience of the IEP. They expressed a willingness to partner with HRPA to build a business case for hiring HR IEPs, as well as a willingness to educate their hiring managers on the virtues of hiring HR IEPs.

HR IEPs bring the value of an international perspective, innovation and creativity

Nothwithstanding, employers were concerned that HR IEPs be well-versed in Canadian labour laws and standards. HR IEPs may be perceived as weak in that area – especially if they do not have sufficient Canadian experience and their CHRP. Newcomers need an immediate grounding in the Canadian employment law. There is a need for a course in basic legislation that will provide IEPs with a fundamental understanding of their new market.

IEPs are innovative, adaptable, resilient have proven leadership capabilities and have access to professional networks that in combination provide Canadian businesses with a ‘knowledge advantage’ over their competition.


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Discussion

Canadian businesses exiting the global recession are now facing their greatest obstacle to date – finding, engaging and retaining professional level talent. “Data from Statistics Canada reveal that by 2011 immigration will account for 100% of Canada’s net labour force growth and all net population growth in the next 25 years.” (Ikura, 2007) Therefore, the labour market for highly skilled professional talent will increasingly draw from sources outside the boundaries of Canada. Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) are the answer to businesses developing new products and reaching untapped markets.

IEPs bring to the table a unique cultural understanding that their native counterparts lack. IEPs are innovative, adaptable, resilient, have proven leadership capabilities and have access to professional networks that, in combination, provide Canadian businesses with a ‘knowledge advantage’ over their competition. Engaging an IEP in your workplace will lead to decreases in turnover, absenteeism, and health costs while promoting your organization as a best-in-class place to work. (Robinson & Dechant, 1997)

The Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals research project has enabled HRPA to understand the challenges and constraints that HR IEPs face upon entering the Ontario labour market. The study results indicate that the impediment to successful integration of HR IEPs, at the professional level, stems from programming alignment issues between key stakeholder groups including the regulatory body, transition programming providers and IEP agencies operating within the province of Ontario. The solution to accelerating the integration of highly skilled Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals can be realized by combining the efforts of these stakeholder groups under the umbrella of a centralized communications network housed by the regulatory body.

The impediment to successful integration of HR IEPs, at the professional level, stems from programming alignment issues between key stakeholder groups including the regulatory body, transition programming providers and IEP agencies operating within the province of Ontario

In total, HRPA spoke with 89 HR IEPs from 34 countries, and 18 representatives from large Canadian organizations. It is interesting to note that 64% of the participants hold a Bachelors or Master’s degree from their home country – higher than the average Canadian statistics. 94% of the HR IEPs immigrated to Canada with the intention to pursue a career in HR while only 48% of participants were successful in finding a job in the
field of HR within the first two years of arriving. The results indicate that there is a 46% gap in an HR IEPs intention versus the reality of pursuing their chosen profession here in the province of Ontario. In response to the research results, HRPA has developed an HR IEP Integration Strategy.


The results indicate that there is a 46% gap in an HR IEPs intention versus the reality of pursuing their chosen profession here in the province of Ontario

HR IEP Integration Strategy

The HR IEP Integration Strategy focuses efforts on three key areas of programming to mitigate the intention gap highlighted by this study. Concentrating efforts on the regulatory body, transition programming providers and IEP agencies will accelerate the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession.

Regulatory Body

As the regulatory body of the HR profession in Ontario, HRPA plays a significant role in accelerating the integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR Profession. The results indicate a significant need for the regulatory body to enhance the recognition of international experience and academic training therefore streamlining the process for HR IEPs to sit the first CHRP examination

The focus group consultations revealed that the current association membership pricing model constrains many HR IEPs from joining HRPA and therefore limits their ability to participate in professional development and networking opportunities. HRPA recognizes the importance of providing a membership category for HR IEPs and has developed a membership category that is further discussed in the Actions section of this report.

A common theme stemming from the consultation process was the lack of a centralized information portal that provides HR IEPs with specific information about the HR profession in Ontario, links to IEP agencies and social networking sites for HR IEPs that would help their transition to the HR profession.

A substantial number of the participants indicated a strong need for a mentorship program that would link HR IEPs to established HR professionals within the province of Ontario. An HR IEP mentorship program would employ tactics of ‘reverse mentorship’ in which the mentor/protégé relationship would be mutually beneficial. The mentor’s role would be to provide career coaching and networking activities whereas the protégé’s role would be to provide new market information and discuss HR solutions that were effective in the HR IEPs home country. This is a unique opportunity for the HR profession to provide other professional associations with a mentorship framework that enhances the ability of a profession to engage its’ professionals in a social learning environment. The future development and implementation of this element is critical for the accelerated integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession.

Transition Programs

The study provided the necessary discourse to understand the various HR IEP-specific transition requirements. Many aspects of the HR function cross country boundaries as they are general components of an overall HR strategy. However, there are aspects within HR that require the application of specific legislative frameworks to the policies and processes designed by an organization’s HR department. The results suggest a significant need for an Ontario-specific employment law course.


HR IEP Integration Strategy



HR IEP Integration Strategy, Regulatory Body Academic & Experience Credentialing HR IEP Membership Category


In conjunction with an Ontario employment law course, HR IEPs require knowledge of the Canadian business environment including business terminology, relationship-building tactics and occupational-specific language. HRPA recognizes the significance of providing HR-specific transition programs for HR IEPs and will be partnering with IEP agencies to deliver these programs as discussed in the Actions section of this report.

The results indicated a significant need for postemployment coaching on the part of HR IEPs and their immediate manager. In Canadian businesses, it is expected that managers provide their direct reports with performance reviews and developmental opportunities. The structure, vocabulary and environment in which these discussions occur are significantly different than similar discussions in other cultures. The ability of a manager to provide a performance discussion that aids the HR IEP in enhancing their performance is a critical transition step to ensure the longevity of the employment relationship and to reduce voluntary turnover intentions. This is a significant finding for all professional bodies to consider in the development of their IEP Integration Strategies.

IEP Agencies

The results suggest that stakeholders such as the regulatory body, employers and IEP agencies are required to expand their collaborative efforts, thus ensuring that highly skilled professionals are able to access their chosen profession and engage in meaningful employment in a timely fashion. IEP agencies require the opportunity, through agency/employer roundtable discussions, to educate employers about the significant, long-term value HR IEP bring to their organization. From an employer’s perspective, middle managers need access to cultural competency training to help mitigate voluntary turnover intentions that present themselves by HR IEPs within twelve months of their employment contract. Middle managers require training on how to conduct performance and coaching conversations with people from various cultural backgrounds, thus enhancing the HR IEPs performance throughout the term of the employment relationship. The results suggest that an HR IEP-specific conference, hosted in major centres across the province of Ontario, is the most suitable venue for HR IEPs, employers and IEP agencies to collaborate.

In conjunction with an Ontario employment law course, HR IEPs require knowledge of the Canadian business environment including business terminology, relationship-building tactics and occupational-specific language. HRPA recognizes the significance of providing HR-specific transition programs for HR IEPs and will be partnering with IEP agencies to deliver these programs as discussed in the Actions section of this report.

The results indicated a significant need for postemployment coaching on the part of HR IEPs and their immediate manager. In Canadian businesses, it is expected that managers provide their direct reports with performance reviews and developmental opportunities. The structure, vocabulary and environment in which these discussions occur are significantly different than similar discussions in other cultures. The ability of a manager to provide a performance discussion that aids the HR IEP in enhancing their performance is a critical transition step to ensure the longevity of the employment relationship and to reduce voluntary turnover intentions. This is a significant finding for all professional bodies to consider in the development of their IEP Integration Strategies.

IEP Agencies

The results suggest that stakeholders such as the regulatory body, employers and IEP agencies are required to expand their collaborative efforts, thus ensuring that highly skilled professionals are able to access their chosen profession and engage in meaningful employment in a timely fashion. IEP agencies require the opportunity, through agency/employer roundtable discussions, to educate employers about the significant, long-term value HR IEP bring to their organization. From an employer’s perspective, middle managers need access to cultural competency training to help mitigate voluntary turnover intentions that present themselves by HR IEPs within twelve months of their employment contract. Middle managers require training on how to conduct performance and coaching conversations with people from various cultural backgrounds, thus enhancing the HR IEPs performance throughout the term of the employment relationship. The results suggest that an HR IEP-specific conference, hosted in major centres across the province of Ontario, is the most suitable venue for HR IEPs, employers and IEP agencies to collaborate.

Evaluation

HRPA is committed to providing its membership with fair, transparent and accessible certification processes. A focus on providing HR IEPs with programming and developmental opportunities requires that HRPA evaluate its initiatives.

The first step to evaluating HR IEP programs is to understand the number of HR IEPs in our membership. During the October 2009 CHRP examination process, HRPA asked exam writers to self-identify if they were an HR IEP, 10.4% indicated they met the criteria.

The introduction of the HR IEP membership category will further enable HRPA to understand this demographic and continuously provide programming that meets the needs of this segment of our membership. It is important to track the growth rate of this segment going forward.

Tracking the number of HR IEPs who enter the Ontario labour market and gain meaningful employment within twelve months of entry is a critical metric to successful labour market integration and will be measured during 2010.

These indicators will allow HRPA to continuously improve the programming provided to HR IEPs in their quest for a continued career in the Human Resources profession within the province of
Ontario.

HR IEP Critical Metrics
• Membership Growth
• CHRP Exam Writers
• Employment Ratio




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Actions

In response to this study, HRPA has designed a number of HR IEP-specific programming activities that will aid in the accelerated integration of HR IEPs into the Ontario HR profession.

HRPA has developed and launched the ‘Alternative Routes’ program allowing HR IEPs to expedite the verification process of their international experience and education thus, allowing them to sit the first CHRP examination within six (6) months of arriving in Ontario – this is a significant win for HR IEPs. The Alternative Routes program is intended to provide flexibility for experienced HR professionals. The program is a points-based system that recognizes professional level experience, formal training, coursework and other HR designations. The program requires the candidate to obtain fifty points to qualify to write the first examination towards the CHRP designation.

HRPA has created and launched a new HR IEP membership category that will provide HR IEPs with reduced Association membership fees of $180.00 for a twelve month period. The HR IEP membership category will enable HR IEPs to participate in HRPA sponsored events that will aid in their professional development and networking opportunities, creating an environment conducive to finding employment prospects.

Actions in Progress
  • Alternative Routes
  • HR IEP Membership
  • HR IEP Information Portal
  • Employment Law Course
  • HR IEP Conference

HRPA has also created and launched an online information resource directing HR IEPs to the appropriate bridging, mentorship and professional networking opportunities that will enhance their chances to gain relevant employment in a shorter amount of time. The HR IEP information portal is accessible through http:// www.hrpa.ca/OfficeOfTheRegistrar/Pages/InternationallyEducatedProfessionals.aspx.

The study indicates that HR IEPs require Ontariospecific HR knowledge. HRPA has partnered with an IEP agency in Ontario to design and deliver a training program will provide HR IEPs with education in Ontario employment law, Canadian business context and occupational specific language training. HRPA anticipates the launch of this program by mid-2010.

A key finding of this study revealed that an HR IEP-specific conference would be a suitable venue to facilitate collaborative activities between HR IEPs, employers and IEP agencies operating within the province of Ontario. HRPA is currently preparing to host three (3) HR IEP-specific conferences that will be hosted across Ontario during 2010. The objective of this program is to provide each stakeholder group with the appropriate training to minimize the skill gaps that where identified in this study. The HR IEP conferences are designed to create employment opportunities for HR IEPs and generate an enhanced awareness of the value HR IEPs bring to Canadian organizations.


Alternative Routes Diagram




Overview of the Alternate Route Points System


Alternate Route

Points

Advanced degree in HR or IR 50
Approved executive program in HR 50
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) 50
Chartered Member of CIPD 50
Some other designation in HR (see application for details) 10 or 20
Responsibility for overall HR Function in medium to large organization 10/year
Practice in Employment Law 10/year
Experience at a professional level in HR 5/year
Experience as an HR consultant 5/year
Experience as an instructor in a recognized post-secondary institution 5/year
Courses in HR from the approved list 5/course



Actions in Progress

  • Alternative Routes
  • HR IEP Membership
  • HR IEP Information Portal
  • Employment Law Course
  • HR IEP Conference

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Conclusion

The Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals research project served to provide HRPA, as the regulatory body of the HR profession in Ontario, with a qualified knowledge base to develop HR IEP-specific programming activities that will accelerate HR IEPs integration into the Ontario HR profession.

The Certified Human Resources Professionals designation is perceived as a bridge to employment for HR IEPs residing in the province of Ontario. The results indicate that the impediment to successful integration of HR IEPs, at the professional level, stems from programming alignment issues between key stakeholder groups including the regulatory body, transition programming providers and IEP agencies operating within the province of Ontario.

The adoption of certification protocols that are transparent, objective and impartial to all Human Resources Professionals, internationally or domestically educated, furthers HRPA’s commitment to align our policies and practices with that of the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act of 2006. By accelerating the professional certification process of the regulatory body, creating an HR IEP membership category, providing employment education and ensuring key stakeholders have the necessary information through collaborative HR IEP conferences, Ontario employers are well positioned to reap the competitive rewards of hiring Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals to their
organizations.


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Appendix A: Works Cited with Annotations


Alboim, N. (2002). Fulfilling the promise: Integrating immigrant skills into the Canadian economy. The Maytree Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.torontoalliance.ca/docs/FulfillingPromise.pdf February 26, 2009.

Focusing on practical solutions, this paper takes a systems approach and proposes ten initiatives to improve the integration of skilled immigrants in the Canadian labour market. Among these are: (1) An internet portal to provide access to information, tools to aid decision-making and labour market entry of skilled immigrants, (2) collaboration in academic assessments by assessment providers and client groups to improve access, consistency and reciprocity of the assessments, (3) labour market counselling and learning plans to identify and fill gaps in the qualification of skilled immigrants, (4) mentorship by Canadian practitioners to link Canadian practitioners with skilled immigrants in their fields, (5) start-up funding for sustainable bridging programs beginning with multi-stakeholder discussions aimed at identifying program criteria and funding/delivery/evaluation mechanisms to provide start up funding for bridging programs, (6) reorientation of LINC language program to reorient and expand the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) program, (7) conduct regulatory reviews to convene regulators interested in reviewing assessment practices and requirements for internationally trained professionals, (8) develop a leadership council, (9) provide incentives for all participants, and (10) make available a compendium of activities and ideas through the Maytree Foundation’s online publication “Environmental Scan: Existing Practices and Future Directions in Access to Professions and Trades.”



Basran, G.S. & Li, Z. (1998). Devaluation of foreign credentials as perceived by visible minority professional immigrants. Canadian Ethnic Studies: Canadian Immigration. 30(3), 7-23.

This study explores the perceptions of visible minority immigrant professionals, and suggests that they face systemic barriers entering the Canadian labour force. The researchers surveyed internationally educated Indo- and Chinese-Canadian professionals in Vancouver, BC and found that they perceive structural barriers and downward social mobility upon entering the labour market. The problem becomes evident when they attempt to have educational qualifications and work experience assessed by Canadian regulatory bodies. These gatekeepers may act in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner, failing to fully recognize high quality education and experience. The researchers call for policy changes to ensure that the credentials of internationally educated professionals are fairly assessed, and to ensure that Canada benefits fully from its international talent.

Bloom, M. & Grant, M. (2001). Brain gain: The economic benefits of recognizing learning credentials in Canada. Conference Board of Canada.

According to its Household Survey of nearly 12,000 individuals, there is a wide disparity between the education and skills of many Canadians, and the recognition and rewards they receive. The three groups most affected by the learning recognition gap are: immigrants, people with prior learning gained through work and training, and transferees between post-secondary institutions or between provinces. The Conference Board asserts that an improved system for recognizing the learning of these groups would result in a “brain gain” to offset the “brain drain” to the United States, and if eliminated, it would give 38 | Accelerating the Integration of Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals
Canadians an additional $4.1 billion–$5.9 billion in income annually. Of particular interest in this research was the assertion that 340,000 Canadians possess unrecognized foreign credentials, and the corresponding significant lack of confidence employers and regulators have in learning that has not been recognized in a Canadian credential document.

Ikura, J. (2007). Foreign credential recognition and Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Canadian Issues, Spring, 17-20.

This paper assesses the Human Resources and Social Development Canada’s approach to foreign credential recognition. The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) program has made efforts to improve its processes, but barriers remain. Ikura defines these barriers as lack of information on credential recognition to educate immigrants before arriving in Canada, lack of tools for Canadian institutions to assess the credentials of immigrants, lack of consistency of the tools available to perform such assessments. The Government of Canada has made significant efforts to increase the labour force through immigration to ensure that it is equipped to deal with a globally competitive market, yet highly educated and skilled immigrants have difficulty having their credentials assessed. This paper presents a snapshot of the progress the FCR program has made to ensure that immigrant professionals have access to credential assessment and recognition processes that are “fair, accessible, coherent, transparent and rigorous.”

Hawthorne, L. (2007). Foreign credential recognition and assessment: An introduction. Canadian Issues. Spring, 3-13.

This paper reviews the substantial literature on the employment outcomes of internationally educated and foreign skilled immigrants in Canada. Hawthorne notes significant findings on unemployment, underemployment, and chronic low wages of skilled immigrants, as well as the significant research on the exclusionary “social control” exerted by Canadian institutions and regulatory bodies.

McCoy, L. & Masuch, C. (2007). Beyond “Entry-level” Jobs: Immigrant Women and Non-regulated Professional Occupations. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 185–206.

This paper illustrates six case studies of immigrant women with post-secondary degrees and employment backgrounds in non-regulated managerial and business professional occupations, and their experience in the Calgary job market. This qualitative longitudinal research explores the concepts of the “glass wall” and “survival jobs,” illustrating the role of employment services and programs, which do a good job facilitating the entry of skilled immigrants into the labour force, but still results in a degree of “skill waste.” The authors conclude that employment services for immigrants in non-regulated professions needs to be addressed on a policy level, as well as increased efforts in bridging programs, job search strategies, and employer education.

Reitz, J.G. (2001). Immigrant Skill Utilization in the Canadian Labour Market: Implications of Human Capital Research. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2(3), 347-378.

Reitz presents a quantitative analysis of the underutilization of immigrant skills by doing a humancapital earnings analysis. The analysis finds that immigrants receive lower earnings premiums for education, immigrants receive lower earnings premiums for work experience, and immigrants from some origins groups earn less than immigrants from other origins. The study suggests that the persistence of employment discrimination is a result of “deeply ingrained prejudices, ignorance, social conformity, and established bureaucratic practice.” The author postulates that policy changes are necessary in the realm of foreign educational credential recognition, and Canadian certification for foreign professionals to facilitate a better “mutual orientation” for immigrants and their potential employers.


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Appendix B: Bibliography


Abu-Laban, Y. & Gabriel, Christina. (2002). Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization. Broadview Press.

Alboim, N. (2002). Fulfilling the promise: Integrating immigrant skills into the Canadian economy. The Maytree Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.torontoalliance.ca/docs/FulfillingPromise.pdf February 26, 2009.

Aydemir, A. (2003). Effects of business cycles on the labour market assimilation of immigrants. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2003203-eng.pdf

Aydemir, A. & Skuterud, M. (2004). Explaining the Deteriorating Entry Earnings of Canada’s Immigrant Cohorts: 1966-2000. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2004225-eng.pdf

Basran, G.S. & Li, Z. (1998). Devaluation of foreign credentials as perceived by visible minority professional immigrants. Canadian Ethnic Studies: Canadian Immigration. 30(3), 7-23.

Bloom, M. & Grant, M. (2001). Brain gain: The economic benefits of recognizing learning credentials in Canada. Conference Board of Canada.

Boyd, M. & Schellenberg, G. (2007). Re-accreditation and the occupations of immigrant doctors and engineers. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007004/pdf/10312-eng.pdf

Brekke, I. & Mastekaasa, A. (2008). Highly educated immigrants in the Norwegian labour market: permanent disadvantage? Work, employment and society, 22(3), 507–526.

Cardozo, A. & Guilfoyle, S. FCR in key sectors of the economy. Canadian Issues, Spring, 133-136.

Cardu, H. Career nomadism and the building of a professional identity in female immigrants. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 429–439.

Crawford, J. Successes and stumbling blocks: The creation of a mentorship program for internationally educated professionals. Canadian Issues, Spring, 130-132.

Donaldson, I. (2007). Enhancing policy capacity on the issue of foreign credential recognition. Canadian Issues, Spring, 55-58.

Frenette, M. (2002). Do the Falling Earnings of Immigrants Apply to Self-Employed Immigrants?. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2002195-eng.pdf

Frenette, M & Morissette, R. (2003). Will they ever converge? Earnings of immigrant and Canadianborn workers over the last two decades. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2003215-eng.pdf

Galarneau, D. & Morissette, R. (2008). Immigrants’ education and required job skills. Perspectives on Labour and Income, Catalogue no. 75-001-X.

Gilmore, J. (2008). The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market in 2007. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-606-x/71-606-x2008003-eng.pdf

Girard, E. & Bauder, H. (2005). Barriers blocking the integration of foreign-trained immigrant professionals: Implications for smaller communities in Ontario. University of Guelph, Department of Geography.

Goldberg, M.P. (2007). How current globalization discourses shape access: Professions and trades policy in Ontario. Canadian Issues. Spring, 31-35.

Grant, P.R. (2007). Accessing the higher echelons of a host country’s labour market: Policy directions from the personal experiences of skilled immigrants. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 135–139.

Grant, P. R. & Nadin, S. (2007). The credentialing problems of foreign trained personnel from Asia and Africa intending to make their home in Canada: A social psychological perspective. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 141–162.

Grondin, C. (2003). Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada Progress and Challenges of New Immigrants in the Workforce. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-615-x/89-615-x2005001-eng.pdf

Grondin, C. (2005). Knowledge of Official Languages Among New Immigrants: How Important Is It in the Labour Market? Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-624-x/89-624-x2007000-eng.pdf

Guo, S. (2007). Tracing the roots of non-recognition of foreign credentials. Canadian Issues, Spring, 36-38.

Guo, S. (2005) Difference, deficiency, and devaluation: Non-recognition of foreign credentials for immigrant professionals in Canada. In the 2005 National Conference On-line Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, May 28 – May 31 2005. London, Ont.:University of Western Ontario.

Hawthorne, L. (2007). Foreign credential recognition and assessment: An introduction. Canadian Issues. Spring, 3-13.

Ikura, J. (2007). Foreign credential recognition and Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Canadian Issues, Spring, 17-20.

Kelley-Freake, E. (2007). Career essentials: A lighthouse in an ocean full of information and options. Canadian Issues, Spring, 123-125.

Khan, C. (2007). The closed door: Credentialized society and immigrant experiences. Canadian Issues, Spring, 63-68.

Khan, S. (2007). Skills international: Linking internationally educated and trained professionals with employers in Canada. Canadian Issues, Spring, 142-144.

Krahn, H., Derwing, T., Mulder, M., & Wilkinson, L. (2000). Educated and Underemployed: Refugee Integration into the Canadian Labour Market. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1(1), 59-84.


Kustec, S., Thompson, E. & Xue, L. (2007). Foreign credentials: The tools for research. Canadian Issues, Spring, 26-30.

Lee, G. & Westwood, M.J. (1996). Cross-Cultural Adjustment Issues Faced by Immigrant Professionals. Journal of Employment Counseling, 33(1), 29-42.

Li, P.S. (2001). The market worth of immigrants’ educational credentials. Canadian Public Policy, 27(1), 23-38.

Li, P.S. (2002). Destination Canada: Immigration Debates and Issues. Oxford University Press.(Book review available at http://www.cjsonline.ca/pdf/destination.pdf).

Lin, Z. (1998). Foreign-Born vs. Native-Born Canadians: A Comparison of Their Inter-Provincial Labour Mobility. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m1998114-eng.pdf

Lochhead, C. & Mackenzie, P. (2005). Integrating newcomers into the Canadian labour market. Canadian Issues, Spring, 103-106.

Man, G. (2004). Gender, work and migration: Deskilling Chinese immigrant women in Canada. Women’s Studies International Forum, 27, 135– 148.

Matoo, A. & Neagu, I.L. (2008). Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the US labor market. Journal of Development Economics, 87, 255–269.

McCoy, L. & Masuch, C. (2007). Beyond “Entry-level” Jobs: Immigrant Women and Non-regulated Professional Occupations. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 185–206.

Mitchell, P. (2007). New immigrant employment program developing Canada-wide skills assessment tool. Canadian Issues, Spring, 112-113.

Morrow, K. (2007). Quality assurance in the evaluation and recognition of foreign credentials. Canadian Issues, Spring, 43-46.

Ogilvie, L., Leung, B., Gushuliak, T., McGuire, M., & Burgess-Pinto, E. (2007). Licensure of Internationally Educated Nurses Seeking Professional Careers in the Province of Alberta in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration. 8, 223–241.

Ontario Regulators for Access. (2004). Business case: Rationale for improving access to professions by internationally educated and trained candidates. Access Solutions Project, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Orme, L. (2007). Immigrant workforce integration: The Hamilton experience. Canadian Issues, Spring, 75-78.

Ostrovsky, Y. (2008). Earnings Inequality and Earnings Instability of Immigrants in Canada. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2008309-eng.pdf

Picot, G. & Sweetman, A. (2005). The Deteriorating Economic Welfare of Immigrants and Possible Causes: Update 2005. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2005262-eng.pdf

Picot, G., Hou, F., & Coulombe, S. (2007). Chronic Low Income and Low-income Dynamics Among Recent Immigrants. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2007294-eng.pdf

Reitz, J.G. (2001). Immigrant Skill Utilization in the Canadian Labour Market: Implications of Human Capital Research. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2(3), 347-378.

Renaud, J. & Cayn, T. (2007). Jobs Commensurate With Their Skills? Selected Workers and Skilled Job Access in Québec. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 8, 375–389.

Robinson, G. & Dechant, K. (1997). Building the Business Case for Diversity. Academy of Management Executive, 11(3) 21 – 31.

Schalm, P. & Navpreet, S. (2008). Evaluating new Canadians requires new tactics. Canadian HR Reporter, 21(11), 18.

Shibao G., S. & Andersson, P. (2005-2006). Non/Recognition of Foreign Credentials for Immigrant Professionals in Canada and Sweden: A Comparitive Analysis. PCERII Working Paper Series. Retrieved from http://pcerii.metropolis.net February 25, 2009.

Slade, B. The Uneven Terrain of “Learning Organizations”: The Deskilling of Immigrant Professionals. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toront. Retrieved from http://www.wln.ualberta.ca/papers/pdf/36.pdf February 26, 2009.

Slade, B. The Uneven Terrain of “Learning Organizations”: The Deskilling of Immigrant Professionals. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toront. Retrieved from http://www.wln.ualberta.ca/papers/pdf/36.pdf February 26, 2009.

SP Consulting & The Whetstone Group. (2007). Help Wanted: Bridging the Gap Between Immigrants and Employers. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Retrieved from http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/cs/sp/hrsd/prc/publications/research/SP-673-01-07/page00.shtml

Sweetman, A. (2004). Immigrant Source Country Educational Quality and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2004234-eng.pdf

Sweetman, A. & McBride, S. (2004). Postsecondary Field of Study and the Canadian Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants and Non-Immigrants. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2004233-eng.pdf

Turnbull, H. & Brown, S. (2006). Connections to Action: Report on the 2006 Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Breaking Barriers Building Bridges Conference Think Tank. Progress Career Planning Institute.

Van Ngo, H. & Este, D. (2006). Professional re-entry for foreign-trained immigrants. Journal of International Migration and Integration. 7(1), 27-50.

Walker, J. (2007). International approaches to credential assessment. Canadian Issues, Spring, 21-25.



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Appendix C: Current Integration Projects


Bridging programs

Career Bridge for Internationally Qualified Professionals
Career Bridge is an innovative internship program designed to address the dilemma of “no Canadian experience, no job; no job, no Canadian experience” that prevents many skilled immigrants from contributing to Canada’s economy.
http://www.careerbridge.ca/

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Integration Initiative
ICTC’s Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Integration Initiative is aimed at improving the integration of IEPs into Canada’s ICT workforce.
http://www.ictc-ctic.ca/en/content.aspx?id=1880

Settlement.org
Settlement.Org is a website for newcomers to Ontario and among other services it offers a directory of Ontario’s Bridge Training Programs.
http://www.settlement.org/sys/link_redirect.asp?doc_id=1004671

Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)
Bridging and transition programs currently offered by colleges and institutes across the country.
http://www.accc.ca/english/services/i-services/bt_programs.htm

International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP)
The University of Waterloo in collaboration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario offer a bridging program for immigrant professionals.
http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca/iobp/

hireimmigrants.ca
A step-by-step interactive guide with comprehensive strategies and tools to enhance an employer’s human resources planning and practice from recruiting to retaining skilled immigrants.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/how/5

Government of Manitoba Immigration Website
“Bridging” programs are educational, and work-experience programs that help newcomers overcome obstacles to getting employed. Bridging programs can include acquiring necessary skills, and learning the language used in a particular occupation.
http://www2.immigratemanitoba.com/browse/work_in_manitoba/profession/work-recognize-bridging.html

Fast Track to Technology Occupations (FTTO)
Centennial College in Toronto and Sheridan College in Oakville have teamed up to provide a bridging program for newcomers to Canada who are seeking careers in technology.
http://www.technologyfasttrack.ca/


Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

TRIEC’s primary mission is to create and champion solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Region labour market. To achieve this mission, the council focuses on three objectives:
• To convene and collaborate with partners, creating opportunities for skilled immigrants to connect to the local labour market.
• To work with key stakeholders, particularly employers, building their awareness and capacity to better integrate skilled immigrants into the workforce.
• To work with all levels of government, enhancing coordination and effecting more responsive policy and programs for skilled immigrant employment.
http://www.triec.ca/

International Accounting and Finance Professionals (IAFP) program

The International Accounting and Finance Professionals (IAFP) program was developed to assist and support individuals like you. It is designed to help you achieve your objectives in the shortest time possible.
This unique program includes two streams:
  • Stream 1 – Bridge to Accounting Credentials: For professionals whose immediate or longterm goal is certification and licensing with one of the accounting licensing bodies
  • Stream 2 – Bridge to Employment in Financial Services: For professionals whose immediate goal is to obtain employment in their areas of direct or related expertise or experience
    http://ce-online.ryerson.ca/ce_2008-2009/program_sites/program_gateway.asp?id=2727

Centre for Skilled and Internationally Trained Professionals
The Centre for Skilled and Internationally Trained Professionals is a work search program that helps internationally trained professionals navigate the obstacles of licensure recognition and secure meaningful employment in their field of expertise.
http://www.bredin.ab.ca/ImmigrantServices/Centre%20for%20Skilled%20and%20Internationally%20 Trained%20Professionals/Default.aspx

Centre for Skilled and Internationally Trained Professionals
The Centre for Skilled and Internationally Trained Professionals is a work search program that helps internationally trained professionals navigate the obstacles of licensure recognition and secure meaningful employment in their field of expertise.
http://www.bredin.ab.ca/ImmigrantServices/Centre%20for%20Skilled%20and%20Internationally%20Trained%20Professionals/Default.aspx

BioTalent Canada
In 2007 BioTalent Canada conducted an environmental scan of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) in Canada’s biotechnology sector. It was determined that there are four imperatives for harnessing the talents of internationally educated scientists, researchers and technicians: Canadian experience; English competency and cultural integration into the biotechnology business environment; Practical assessment of skills and confirmation of experience; and an industry broker to facilitate links between employers and prospective employees.
http://www.biotalent.ca/default_e.asp?id=79


Projects / Programs

Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) collects, organizes, and distributes information, and acts as a national clearing house and referral service to support the recognition and portability of Canadian and international educational and occupational qualifications.
http://www.cicic.ca/en/index.aspx

CERIS Project, York University and CEHS.
CERIS Project Synopsis – Educating for Employment Integration: Ontario Education Projects available at
http://ceris.metropolis.net/Virtual%20Library/RFPReports/LumTurrittin2006.pdf

George Brown College - Social & Community Services
Career and Work Counsellor Program (for Internationally Educated Professionals)
http://www.georgebrown.ca/Marketing/FTCal/comsrv/C129.aspx

Ontario Immigration – Global Experience Ontario
An Access and Resource Centre for the Internationally Trained
http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/english/geo.asp

Ontario – Office of the Fairness Commissioner
Its mandate is to ensure that certain regulated professions have registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
http://www.fairnesscommissioner.ca/en/faq.asp

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration – Employers Section
Provides information on how to recruit internationally trained professionals, and assess international credentials.
http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/working/employers/answer2.shtml

University of Toronto Comparative Education Service
The Comparative Education Service of the University of Toronto is a credential evaluation service. They are recognized by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) as abiding by the General Guiding Principles for Good Practice.
http://www.adm.utoronto.ca/ces/


THANK YOU

HRPA would like to acknowledge our funding partners:

Project Funded By:











HRPA would like to extend a special thank you to our research partners:

Mike Lipkin
President
and
Sarah Pretty, B.A.H.
Vice President Business Development & Client Services



Racquel Sevilla
Manager, Corporate & Stakeholder Relations




Rhonda Singer, M.Sc. C.H.R.D.
President




Margaret Carter, CHRP
Professional Standards Co-ordinator
and
John Johnson
Information Specialist



Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) | 1902-2 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M4W 3E2 | Tel 416.923.2324 Fax 416.923.7264 Toll-free 1.800.387.1311 | www.hrpa.ca




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