Supporting Foreign Workers: A Key to Business Success

Supporting Foreign Workers: A Key to Business Success

spacekap-maria-hr

There is much talk about the labor shortage and the difficulty in recruiting qualified personnel in our companies. More and more SMEs are turning to foreign workers, as is the case with Spacekap. Hiring immigrants is one thing, but it is essential to know how to support and, most importantly, retain them!

It takes a lot of organization and resources to ensure that these new workers remain within the company and adapt to their new country. The obstacles are significant: we must assist them with bureaucracy and the various immigration forms to fill out, work permit renewals, and medical appointments. Often, we must find them housing and ensure their transportation morning and evening.

These workers also need to be entertained: “I organize various activities such as soccer tournaments, outings to pick apples, or bowling. They are part of our employee integration program, which helps build connections among them.”

And then there’s translation! Most immigrants come from Latin American countries like Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Guatemala and only speak Spanish when they arrive in Canada. Spacekap can rely on Maria Mayorga, specialized in talent acquisition. She takes care of all these foreign workers: “The factory workers call me mom! Especially those we recruited from abroad because they arrive without any reference point; I am in contact with them even before their arrival. It requires a lot of time and planning. My role is not limited to job interviews! It also requires a great deal of open-mindedness from Spacekap’s managers.” she says.

spacekap maria hr

The importance of integration

Spacekap employs more than 50 foreign workers, accounting for over 75 percent of the technical staff in the factory. Once hired, we must ensure that they integrate into their new environment: ‘It’s difficult for them, especially when they come alone, without their immediate family. I help them acclimatize and look out for them. In the end, the goal is employee retention. We want them to stay at Spacekap, to progress professionally, and to fulfill themselves!”

Transportation

Another challenge facing that companies hiring foreign workers is transportation. Unless they have a business on the island of Montreal or in a large center with developed public transportation, they must be able to transport them!

Spacekap purchased nine vans to provide transportation for its fifty workers. The factory is located in Beloeil, on the south shore of Montreal. Most of these employees live in Montreal: “I manage the fleet and ensure the transportation of each of them! Our shuttles pick them up at strategic points in Montreal and Longueuil. At the end of their workday, we safely bring them back. And for those who work evenings, we drop them off directly at their homes.”

spacekap transportation van

Learning a new language

Learning a new language in the workplace is crucial. First, for economic reasons, to ensure good communication between the foreign worker, their colleagues, and their superiors, but also to guarantee the health and safety of all:” Our employees have made the effort to train and communicate with them , which was quite a challenge that was successfully met. Today, they all attend classes before or after their shifts. They are aware that to obtain their permanent resident status, they must be able to communicate in this language and then be able to bring their families,” proudly adds Maria Mayorga.

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