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Can worldwide virtual recruiting help Canada close the talent gap?

Published: October 5th, 2018 By:

The idea of a national virtual career expo to address the real skills shortage in Canada appears to be catching on.

A non-profit organization called the International Talent Acquisition Centre (In-TAC) will hold its fifth national Virtual Career Expo on October 18 and 19. The event provides an online job fair that makes it easier for international job seekers and employers in Canada to connect.

Over 50 employers, including major banks, the Government of Canada, and international technology companies like IBM, Syntronic, Fortinet and Canadian brand names such as Shopify, Alithya and Pythian, have signed up to participate.

“Our goal in providing this virtual venue is to bring skilled individuals from around the globe into the Canadian workforce to combat the challenges of skills shortage the country is facing,” said Ying Xie, Senior Manager at In-TAC.“We have seen positive results from our last three virtual career expos and we are expecting more good news to come.”

Why virtual recruiting is needed

In a survey by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), more than 53 per cent of organizations said that attracting and retaining skilled employees is one of their top challenges. In its latest Labour Market Outlook, ICTC estimates that by 2021, 216,000 technology jobs in Canada will need to be filled. Given Canada’s declining population, the report suggests that immigrants will play a bigger role in filling the skills gap.

“What Canada needs is efficient access to the best and brightest internationally educated professionals to help technology industries transform and grow here in Canada,” Jayson Hilchie, President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada said in the ICTC report.

The Virtual Career Expo is one way to provide “efficient access” to international talent. The virtual job fair allows employers to review candidates on a global basis, without the costs of transportation and displays at on-site events, said Xie. For international job seekers, it provides direct access from their own living rooms to employers who plan to hire.  Too often, skilled immigrants face barriers to finding positions within their skill sets in Canada.

“It is now more important than ever for immigrant services to find ways to provide immigrants coming to Canada opportunities to connect to Canadian employers, even before their arrival to Canada, so that both employers and immigrants will experience a win-win,” said Xie.

The Virtual Career Expo produces results

At a Virtual Career Expo held by In-TAC earlier this year, employers received over 13,000 applications for 2,000 job opportunities. An internal report showed that more than 400 applicants were selected by employers for further consideration, including online and in-person interviews.

“In-TAC’s 4th virtual career fair was a phenomenal boost to our diversity recruitment efforts. Our team was impressed by the scope of this fair and we were able to speak with very strong candidates for positions we had open across all of Canada, ” reported the lead of IBM’s recruitment team. “We are looking forward to participating next year.”

More than 95 per cent of the exhibitors said they would like to attend a similar event in the future

The IT sector is badly in need of top-notch talent that is not available here in Canada,” said Xie.“We’re finding that this new way of recruiting people is very effective.”

For more information or to register for the Virtual Career Expo, see: https://www.in-tac-expo.com/


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