New HRPA program helps Ontario reduce the outflow of highly skilled internationally educated professionals

Cultural Competency Training program helps organizations to become more culturally inclusive and more effectively hire, on-board and develop diverse talent.

TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario workplaces need the skills and know-how of internationally educated professionals, but 40 per cent of skilled worker or business class immigrants ultimately leave Canada within 10 years*—frustrated that they have not found work in their chosen profession.

To help stem this outflow and to help Ontario workplaces more effectively hire, on-board, train and retain internationally educated professionals, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is offering the Cultural Competency Training Program—a one-day certificate program to help organizations understand the impact of cultural dimensions on hiring and behaviour in the workplace.

Funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and delivered by HRPA and diversity expert Daria Kowalyk, the program aims to minimize the cultural biases we all hold.

"Whether we know it or not, we all come to work with cultural biases that affect our relationships with others—especially newcomers who may not share those same cultural biases," says Kowalyk. "For example, most Canadians expect eye contact during a conversation as a sign that the other person is engaged in the conversation. However, for some cultures, direct eye contact is a sign of disrespect.

"When different cultural norms collide in the workplace, there is the risk of misunderstanding, which can lead to miscommunication, hurt feelings—and even not getting hired in the case of job interviews. The Cultural Competency Training Program seeks to minimize these misunderstandings through education."

Available in-class at HRPA's downtown Toronto Learning Centre or in-house at a client's location, participants will learn to:

  • Understand the impact of cultural dimensions on behaviour
  • Define cultural competence at the individual and organizational levels
  • Adapt hiring practices to different cultural dimensions and diverse communication styles
  • Identify strategies to effectively source, screen and interview culturally diverse candidates/newcomers to Canada
  • Minimize selection bias due to cultural differences
  • Formulate culturally sensitive interview questions that take cultural dimensions into consideration
  • Identify changes required to create a more culturally inclusive organization
  • Develop a course of action including strategies for improving individual and organizational levels of cultural competency

"World-class organizations understand the business rationale for a diverse and inclusive workplace," says Kowalyk. "Not only does a diverse workforce mirror customers and clients, but from a talent management perspective, an inclusive workplace attracts the best and brightest from all cultures. HRPA's Cultural Competency Training Program gives organizations the tools and know-how to build and get the most from an inclusive workplace."

For more information on HRPA's Cultural Competency Training Program, including program information, a cultural competency quiz and helpful resources, please visit

*From Renewing Immigration: Towards a convergence and consolidation of Canada's immigration policies and systems, Conference Board of Canada, 2008.

SOURCE: Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

For further information:

Duff McCutcheon 
Communications Specialist
Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
Tel 416.923.2324 x 324
Toll free 1.800.387.1311

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Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

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