What is this research about?
This report summarizes the findings of a year-long study of promising, new or innovative initiatives that can help connect SMEs with the skilled immigrant labour pool.
What did the researchers find?
The findings suggest that existing efforts targeted at large employers (such as online resources and service coordination) can be further targeted to meet the needs of SMEs. In particular, this study found:
- SMEs face challenges finding skilled employees – especially for those positions that require highly specialized skills or are temporary. Some SMEs are turning to social media to recruit skilled workers.
- SME must compete for skilled talent. Many SMEs cannot provide the same levels of compensation and benefits as larger organizations.
- SMEs are reluctant to train new employees. Many cannot afford the time needed to train a new worker. Others fear that their investment will be lost if the individual moves to a competitor.
- SMEs are too busy to attend HR training events, workshops or seminars. However, they are more likely to attend networking, professional training or business development events.
- SMEs trust business information and advice that they get from their peers and professional service providers such as accountants.
- SMEs perceive government programs as rigid and not flexible enough to meet their needs. They are wary of the costs involved in labour force programs – including the cost of applying and reporting.
- SMEs might be less familiar than larger companies with the business case for hiring skilled immigrants, as well as the demographic trends affecting their business.