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Posted by Marie-Josée Chouinard, Vice President - Attraction and Retention | Talent and Investment at Québec International, February 17 2023
Management & HR
Hiring International Employees: The First Steps


Businesses are increasingly seeking to expand their recruitment pool and look abroad to find the best and the brightest. But as they are willing to launch a strategy to attract qualified foreign workers, many firms ask the same question: Where to start?An active partner in this area for 15 years, Québec International has been coaching more than 450 businesses every year through information sessions, consulting services, international mobility training for HR professionals, and the organization of international hiring missions. 

To answer this question from businesses, Québec International is presenting here the first, but all-important steps of an effort at hiring international employees.

1. Strategic Planning of Manpower Needs 

Every firm must review their business environment and develop their growth outlook in order to properly assess their manpower needs, in each job category on a short, medium and long-term basis. Once this assessment has been completed, they must take the time to consider the labour pools available locally for the trades and professions they are seeking, identify those affected by labour scarcity, and then determine their actual international hiring requirements.

2. Prepare the HR Team for Hiring International Employees

A business that embarks on international recruiting must count on a strong HR team that can adapt its practices to the reality of international mobility. This team will need proper training and coaching to manage the entire process, from preparation to onboarding of international workers… not to forget retention.  

3. Budget Estimation for International Recruiting 

Companies must estimate the costs related to hiring international employees: preliminary steps, transportation, onboarding and learning curve, in-house training, etc. However, these expenses must be weighed against the cost of local manpower unavailability, as a prolonged job vacancy can lead to substantial financial losses. This represents an often significant opportunity cost for the future growth of the business. 

4. Coaching by Experts 

Employers will considerably improve their chances of succeeding with their international hiring efforts when they call upon credible, certified consultants and involve local players in the reception of newcomers (cities, organizations, etc.). 

5. Implementation of Multiple Strategies 

To overcome the major issue of labour shortage – that will persist in the coming years – businesses will need to concurrently implement different strategies, such as automating processes, developing an attractive employer brand, setting up working conditions conducive to staff retention, etc. International recruiting is a potential solution, but not the only one! 

Webinar: Introduction to International Recruitment

To get your international recruitment process off to a good start and learn more about the steps involved in recruiting abroad, join us for the Webinar (available in French only) “Recrutez vos talents avec Québec International : une introduction au recrutement international” on March 2, 2023 at 1:30 p.m., in cooperation with AGA Benefit Solutions. 

This webinar is for businesses in the Quebec City area. 

Looking forward to meeting you!

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Holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, International Profile, Entrepreneurship and SMB Management from Université Laval, and graduate of L’Effet A, Marie-Josée Chouinard has coordinated more than 85 missions during her 15 years of experience in international recruiting. She has a detailed knowledge of the issues, international and regional partners, and government agencies dedicated to talent attraction and retention.
Marie-Josée Chouinard, Vice President - Attraction and Retention | Talent and Investment at Québec International