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BMO Opens its Doors to Help New Canadians Find Employment


Speed mentoring program gives newcomers to Canada a ’jump start’ by helping them make important industry connections

* Newcomers to Canada face a disproportionately higher rate of unemployment here in the Toronto region compared to the total city population
* $1.5 to $2.5 billion is the approximate cost to the Toronto region for failing to recognize the qualifications and experience of immigrants.1

TORONTO - New Canadians seeking to build a better life in Canada descended upon BMO Financial Group’s new Customer Contact Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, today, hoping that the bank’s creative approach to recruitment will help them overcome the traditional bias and misperceptions that have prevented employers in the past from recognizing their true skills and capabilities.

BMO has partnered with ACCES Employment to host an innovative Speed Mentoring event, a series of rapid-fire mentoring sessions that connect job seekers with professionals and managers in their field of interest who will talk with candidates about their skills, experience and career aspirations and provide them with advice about everything from networking strategies, resume preparation, and job opportunities within the bank, all in a tightly-timed series of back-to-back-to-back conversations that will each last 10 minutes.

“Immigrants are skilled newcomers who bring vast knowledge, experience, creativity and innovation to the Canadian workforce. Yet despite impressive credentials and relevant experience, newcomers continue to experience significantly higher unemployment rates than Canadian-born residents,” said Jennifer Reid, VP, BMO Customer Contact Centre.

“Sometimes Canadian employers don’t have a good understanding or trust of the foreign credentials on a resume and too often employers are focused on Canadian work experience,” she said. “According to the Toronto Board of Trade, that bias is costing the Toronto region $1.5 to $2.5 billion each year1. It is also costing employers a valuable competitive advantage that they could otherwise build by attracting a more diverse workforce and hiring the absolute best talent available.”

Manjeet Dhiman, Senior Director, ACCES Employment, added, “We know from experience and from empirical studies that there is a direct and positive correlation between the strength, talent and diversity of an organization’s workforce and the ongoing success and performance of that organization.

“It can also be difficult for new Canadians to make important connections when they don’t have a network of support or simply don’t know how or where to begin. The speed mentoring program gives mentees a jump start by connecting them with prospective employers and helping them make important industry connections,” said Ms. Dhiman.

“One of BMO’s great competitive strengths is the diversity of our workforce,” said Ms. Reid. “BMO is committed to sustaining this advantage by breaking down the traditional barriers to employment faced by so many new Canadians.”

Ms. Reid noted that BMO is hoping to use the Speed Mentoring program to identify suitable candidates for more than 30 positions at its recently-opened Customer Contact Centre in Mississauga. “BMO’s Customer Contact Centre is a great place to start or re-establish a banking career. There are lots of opportunities to learn and advance within the bank. It’s a supportive working environment, and there are a multitude of roles to match a range of interests and aptitudes,” she said.

“New Canadians provide a rich source of incredibly talented people. We’re expecting to connect with some exceptional candidates through this afternoon’s Speed Mentoring event" said Ms. Reid.

1 Lifting All Boats: Promoting Social Cohesion and Economic Cohesion in the Toronto Region – Toronto
Board of Trade (June 2010)


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