Unlocking Opportunities: Harnessing the Hidden Labour Market Tools for Newcomers in Canada

Supporting newcomers to canada

– By Aparna Chakraborty –

The challenges newcomers face in Canada are formidable, yet their resilience shines through. Systematic barriers hinder their chances of employability, including a lack of Canadian job experience, language barriers, difficulty in getting their foreign credentials recognized in Canada, and a limited professional network. They may also face difficulty adjusting to the Canadian culture, lack knowledge of job search strategies specific to Canada, and encounter discrimination and bias. Despite these hurdles, newcomers demonstrate remarkable resilience, a quality that career development professionals can harness to assist in integrating with the Canadian labour force.

From the beginning of April to early May 2023, Statistics Canada conducted the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) to understand the current environment that businesses in Canada are operating in and their expectations moving forward. Despite the challenges, the Canadian labour market is a beacon of potential. Based on CSBC results, rising inflation, shortage of labour force, and retaining and recruiting skilled employees are the leading challenges businesses expect to face in the short term. In turn, businesses plan on increasing work hours for management and current employees to mitigate these labour obstacles. As a result of the acute labour shortage, especially in sectors like health care, transportation and manufacturing, coupled with an aging labour force, in which 5 million workers are scheduled to retire by the end of this decade, the Government has been bullish in its immigration policy, signalling a wealth of opportunities for those interested in labour market dynamics.

The career development sector is not just a facilitator but a catalyst for change. It plays a crucial role in empowering newcomers. By identifying Canada’s hidden job market, which offers unadvertised job openings for newcomers, and using tools tailored to this market, newcomers can increase their chances of finding fulfilling work, integrating into the Canadian workplace, and establishing a successful career trajectory. This sector has the power to transform lives, not just of the newcomers but also of the Canadian economy, underscoring its significance and purpose.

What can a career development professional do to support newcomers:

Networking: Establishing Connections

Networking is a crucial tool in the hidden labour market, fostering professional relationships that can lead to hidden job opportunities that are not advertised. In Canada, relevant networking is valued for career progression and can be initiated through attending events, enrolling in professional organizations, participating in community groups, and volunteering.

Informational Interviews: Acquiring Insights

Informational interviews or collecting information from people with relevant job experience and inside knowledge of the industry/ job role the candidate aspires to, are valuable tools in uncovering the hidden labour market. They provide insights into industry trends, skills, and company culture and foster a network of contacts for internal job postings that are not advertised.

Social Media: Leveraging Online Presence

LinkedIn is a crucial tool for accessing the labour market. Users must have well-crafted profiles, relevant recommendations, and accolades, thus attracting recruiters and industry professionals. Newcomers should actively participate, share content, and connect with professionals from their industry, boost visibility, and stay informed about the latest industry trends. Optimization of your LinkedIn profile would attract leads organically, enhance your professional reputation, build your credibility and authority, and establish trust much faster.

Direct Outreach: Taking Initiative

Cold calling and emailing are effective strategies in uncovering the hidden labour market for newcomers. Newcomers can demonstrate initiative and interest in the companies and industries they target. Newcomers should research the companies and tailor messages to highlight their skills, potentially creating unique positions or learning about opportunities before advertising.

Career Fairs and Industry Events: Face-to-Face Engagement

Career fairs allow newcomers to interact directly with potential employers, learning about companies, networking, and participating in on-the-spot interviews. This expedites the hiring process and helps newcomers make a strong impression. These events also enable newcomers to understand labour market trends and analyze future predictions.

Mentorship Programs: Providing Guidance

Mentorship programs offer guidance and connections to newcomers to the Canadian labour market. They help them understand the nuances of specific job roles, refine search strategies, and prepare for interviews.

Tapping into Hidden Potential

Newcomers in Canada can tap into the hidden labour market by utilizing networking, informational interviews, social media, career fairs, and mentorship programs. These strategies enhance employment chances, professional networks, and industry insights and thus facilitate integration with the Canadian workforce. Hidden labour market tools can provide numerous benefits to newcomers in Canada, such as access to more job opportunities, networking opportunities, increased job search efficiency, skill development and training opportunities, and support and guidance on job and role fitment and economic independence.

Resources: (New immigration plan to fill labour market shortages and grow Canada’s economy – Canada.ca); Crack the hidden job market with these seven secrets | Canadian Immigrant


Spread the love
Categories: ,
Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It use to be the hidden job market was a big deal and now it is no longer such a big deal with the rise of websites and job boards – I have found people can apply to jobs found on line and do get hired infact the rise of the websites has increased the number of people hired this way. Many of my clients have found jobs online posted by recruiters and on job boards and have secured employment. This was based on a solid resume, LinkedIn and cover letter. Infact one person I am currently working with prior to us working together had applied to 200 jobs with four interview over a year-since we revised her resume and cover letter and LinkedIn in one month she has had five interviews and is at various stages of the interview process. All the jobs she applied were were online and she had zero connections and no networking. This has also happened for new immigrants your marketing package is key and then if you can make connections great. I do encourage info interviews so the individual understands how to sell themselves in a non pressure situation.Other may not agree but the hidden job market is not that big a deal anymore.