For a Job in Canada Think Smaller!
International workers seeking to immigrate to Canada on either a temporary or permanent basis and who have been granted a job offer have a substantial advantage relative to those without one. In addition to making it far more likely to get immigration status, a job offer also makes it far easier to start a new life in Canada. Those who commence their new life in Canada with a job offer in hand can,
with respect to their economic development, often outpace their non-job counter parts by several years. This much is fairly obvious. However, what is far less obvious is how international workers can go against commonly held false assumptions and follow rarely used strategies for dramatically increasing the likelihood of landing a job in Canada.
The total population of Canada is nearly 35 million. The total population of the three largest cities is around 5 million. As a result, over 85% of the population of Canada lives outside the three largest cities. Both international workers and employers falsely assume that the only real chance of getting a job in Canada is within the large cities. The fact that both employers and workers assume this makes it doubly unlikely that workers will get jobs outside the large cities. Since it is largely employers in large cities who seek international workers, it is unlikely that employers in smaller cities are even aware of having the option to hire international workers. Conversely, since workers make the same false assumption, they seek work almost exclusively in the large cities.
Immigration data from the last several years supports this view. The three largest cities in Canada, Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal, hosted a substantial proportion of the total number of international workers coming to Canada. In the province of Ontario, for example, Toronto absorbed 9,537 international workers in 2013. Toronto has a population of approximately 2.5 million. Ottawa, in contrast, took in 443 international workers in 2013, despite having a population approaching one million. This is also despite the fact that Ottawa has a very well developed technology sector and a significantly lower unemployment rate than Toronto.
As another example, Hamilton, a city in Ontario with a population of 520,000, took in only 175 international workers in 2013. Thus, despite Toronto being only five times larger than Hamilton in terms of population, Toronto took in fifty five times more international workers in 2013 than Hamilton.
What lessons can be drawn from these facts with respect to job search strategies for international workers? It is necessary to go against the common assumption that only the major cities should be targeted for job searches.
In order to significantly increase the likelihood of finding a job look outside the major cities. Figure out what skills you possess and what companies outside the major cities employ people with your skills. Companies in smaller cities and, in particular, smaller companies in smaller cities, often never even consider the option of hiring international workers. Sometimes it is worthwhile for international workers to become proactive and contact employers within these cities directly in order to introduce to them the possibility of hiring international workers. At uniivaa we actively solicit employers in larger cities in order to connect them with international workers who submitted their info into our database.