6 reasons why foreign workers (temporary or permanent) can supercharge your business

With a record number of job vacancies, the Federal Government has recently implemented reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These changes will allow businesses to hire more overseas workers to address job shortages in their organizations. While some industries face greater shortages than others, sectors across the board need talent. Moreover, based on long-term projections of our labour market, labour shortages are likely to stay in one form or another for years to come. By using initiatives like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (and other government programs), businesses can get overseas talent to supercharge their productivity and growth.

Foreign workers can bring countless advantages to your organization, but here are the top five ones that you need to know of:

Advantage #1:  Establishing the company as a global brand

What business doesn’t want to expand? Especially in the age of social media, brand perception is more important than ever. Your business improves domestically by hiring an overseas worker and treating them well, but your reputation also improves abroad. Suppose your business maintains the status of a great employer. In that case, it would start to attract more talent abroad and have positive band equity if you ever wish to expand your operations internationally. Moreover, having a diverse workforce is itself a robust recruiting tool domestically. Per Glassdoor, over 3/4 of job seekers find a diverse workforce to be an important factor in determining where to work. Foreign workers bring diversity and strength to your workplace.

Advantage #2: Overseas workers make your business more innovative

One great benefit of diversity that foreign workers bring to your workforce is the increase in innovation. Coming from a different culture and country can give workers a unique perspective, and diverse perspectives can bring your business to new and exciting places. A study looking at US companies found that workers on H-1B visas “led to higher product reallocation rates.” Product reallocation “is a strategic inventory method used when the quantity of products available for purchase is limited.” Through product allocation, a business helps ensure that the right supply (when it is limited) meets customer demand. 

Product reallocation is an important measure because it is a strong sign of process innovation for your business. What is especially impressive, is that overseas workers increase innovation through higher product allocation rates, “regardless of how much a company spent on research and development.” In essence, product reallocation, a strong example of process innovation, can be increased by foreign workers irrespective of capital investment by a company. Through their diverse perspective and education, workers from abroad can innovate the way your business, does business.

Advantage #3: Skilled overseas workers fill specific, required skills and needs

Canadians know that each of our provinces possesses different specializations, and workers with different skill sets. Of course, countries around the globe have a similar dynamic. Different countries have different specializations, and by hiring foreign workers, you can employ those who fill specific skill shortages in your business. Management can save money on training programs – and focus on labour to solve problems.

Advantage #4: Foreign workers bring necessary tech skills to your business

It’s no secret that technology is the future. The various sectors in the broad technology sector, be it the cloud, internet of things or Artificial Intelligence are set to expand rapidly over the next decade. Specifically, the Artificial Intelligence sector is seen as a huge potential boon for Canadians, with Canada launching the $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy in 2017. 

For technology industries like AI, foreign workers can be a tremendous source of talent. In fact, immigrants are 39% of computer programmers, 41% of engineers and over 50% of chemists. For exciting new technology, science, and research jobs, foreign workers can help your business excel.

Advantage #5: Overseas workers facilitate knowledge transfer

Similar to how foreign workers increase innovation for their new employers, they also increase the knowledge reservoirs of their organizations. Foreign workers can bring knowledge regarding their country of origin in terms of norms and practices. Such information can help a business reach out to a new target market, or expand overseas. In addition, the knowledge that foreign workers bring to your domestic operations can increase the cultural competency of your organization, making your business more apt in becoming a diverse and welcoming workplace.

Foreign Workers: Advantages upon Advantages

Of course, hiring talent from overseas can bring many more advantages than those discussed in this article. Perhaps not all the above situations apply to you, but guaranteed, foreign talent can at least improve your organization in one area. The time to hire overseas is now!



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