Canada is a nation of immigrants. Over 20% of us were born abroad, and the vast majority of us still have roots in other countries. We welcome the unique vibrancy and diversity immigrants bring to our country, but these newcomers face systemic challenges in gaining meaningful employment that is aligned with their skill-sets. SmartMove addresses this imbalance.
A partnership between Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) and Small Business BC, SmartMove also helps to reduce labour market shortages by connecting small businesses with qualified newcomers to Canada. The goals are to support you, the small business owner, with hiring qualified workers, improving employment prospects for job-ready newcomers, and to support the creation of diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces.
This free pilot program, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), supports two groups.
- Small Business Owners or Managers – Businesses in the Lower Mainland recruiting within the next four to six months
- Immigrants to BC – Newcomers seeking employment aligned with their skills and training
Please Note: Small Business BC involvement in SmartMove is as a facilitator of the Small Business Owners/Managers group. For any questions relating to the Newcomer group, please contact ISSofBC or visit the Newcomer Page on their website.
Apply for SmartMove
If you’re a small business owner looking to participate in the SmartMove program, please complete your registration. Once completed, an ISSofBC Employer Relations Specialist will contact you regarding your application
What to Expect as a Small Business Owner or Manager
Entrepreneurs who participate in SmartMove receive ongoing support and unique educational opportunities designed to improve key aspects of their business. We have created approximately 6-10 hours of on-demand e-learning courses in areas such as hiring and retention best practices, diversity and inclusion training and more.
Live webinars hosted by a Diversity & Inclusion HR specialist will reinforce the lessons delivered through e-learning. Ongoing support for employers is provided via 24/7 access to an online ‘Ask an HR Expert’ help desk. Check-ins with an Employer Relations Specialist, Julian Chae, will be scheduled throughout the process to offer support in hiring and staff retention. Employers who participate in SmartMove will be coached on accessing ISSofBC’s database to optimize job descriptions and receive tailored candidate matches for open positions.
Finally, employers will participate in training on an artificial intelligence job skills competency matching system. This unique software helps to optimize job descriptions while providing relevant, qualified candidates for your open positions.
- Businesses must be located in the Lower Mainland
- Must have 50 or fewer employees
- Planning to hire in the next 4-6 months
This program will be cohort based. Each cohort is 3 months, with continued follow up to help small businesses find quality newcomer job seekers for their open positions. The schedule for SmartMove’s cohorts are listed below:
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to join SmartMove?
SmartMove is funded by the federal government’s department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is free of charge to both small businesses and newcomers seeking work.
What does the e-learning involve?
SmartMove learning consists of 7 e-courses and 4 webinars. Participants are expected to complete these over the span of the three-month cohort. After that, you will have access to e-learning course content for up to one year from your start date.
How long are the e-learning courses and webinars?
Each e-learning course may take 45-60 minutes totaling approximately 6-10 hours of material. These e-learning courses are self-paced so you can start, stop and continue anytime you want. Each webinar is 1 hour long and provides the opportunity to engage with others in your cohort.
Can I watch a webinar recording instead?
All participants will receive access to review the webinar recordings for one month.
What happens if I need to exit the program because I no longer have a job vacancy to fill or I get too busy?
Small Business participants are encouraged to do as much learning as possible from the program, however, if you need to exit please contact ISSofBC’s Employer Relations Specialist, Julian Chae, right away to communicate the reason you cannot continue.
Does my small business have to be in the Lower Mainland of BC to take part in SmartMove?
Yes, given the funding for this project, only businesses operating out of the regional districts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are eligible.
I am the only employee of my business. Can I still participate?
Yes, we welcome small businesses of any size under 50 employees as long as you plan to hire for one or more vacancies.
How many of my employees can access the courses and webinars?
As many as you like but each individual will have to create their own SBBC account to access the learning. You must designate one main contact who will connect with the ISSofBC Employer Relations Specialist.
What kind of potential employees will I be connected with?
ISSofBC’s employment program works with candidates who are job-ready, legally eligible to work in Canada and at least 19 years of age.
Can I take the e-courses or webinars on the go on my cell phone?
Yes, but for an optimal learning experience, e-courses and webinars both are best accessed on a laptop or desktop. For webinars, download the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device (Android Google Play, iOS App Store) in advance. Otherwise, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click the join link. You can also join a test meeting to familiarize yourself with Zoom beforehand.”