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Research & Policy Development

All our team members have educational and professional backgrounds in conducting high-quality research and evaluation-based studies. We draw on best practices in qualitative research to identify strengths and weakness of studied programs, initiatives and concepts. We specialize in developing and executing comparative studies, “best practice” research, environmental scans and gap analysis studies. Our team is mostly specialized in social and basic research. Our research focus is on systems change, multi-stakeholder approach, multicultural, diversity and immigrant labour market integration issues. We are skilled to provide the following services:

  • develop a research framework and utilize different research methods and techniques, including literature review, interviews, observations, focus groups and surveys
  • conduct interviews, record & transcribe data and provide interview analytical reports
  • analyze qualitative and quantitative data using statistical and social research methods as well as data triangulation
  • develop and analyze a survey questioner with both open-ended and closed questions
  • produce professionally written reports for public distribution


Summary of ITI Survey results published in June 2008 People Talk issue (BC HRMA) 

The ITI project included three environmental scans including one targeting promising practices in five other mainstream professional and business organizations from across the country that are addressing immigrant integration. A second scan focused on the BC HRMA itself and looked at regional advisory councils, roundtables, workshops, conferences & symposiums, awards, third party ads, online resources and published articles. The idea was to see what activities existed around the subject of diversity and economic integration of immigrants. A third scan highlighted local partnerships with NGO’s that could prove advantageous to the BC HRMA and its members.

ITI Surveys BC HRMA Members

The projects primary research also included a survey of the BC HRMA’s 4000-plus members. Conducted from December 4, 2007 to January 4, 2008 a total of 322 members participated in the survey and the results provided an interesting look at HR practices in BC.

Not surprisingly, three quarters of the HR practitioners who responded were female, but the fact that over half of those who completed the survey indicated that they had at least one immigrant in their HR department was unexpected. While over three quarters of respondents are experiencing labour shortages, a very small percentage of companies have integrated immigrants into their workforce. The majority of respondents have no immigrants in executive positions or senior management and companies with Canadian born senior management tended to have fewer or no immigrants in their workforce. However, it was revealed that in companies where immigrants do hold executive positions, they are more likely to have a larger immigrant workforce, hire immigrants for middle management and promote them.

An overwhelming majority of respondents had no materials to assist them in the hiring/integration of internationally trained professionals. The few materials that were in their possession dealt primarily concerned with the recruitment of foreign workers or the provincial nominee program. Similarly, the majority of members reported that they have not participated in any government sponsored projects to enhance immigrant economic integration. When companies provided assistance to their immigrant employees it was primarily for technical course upgrades or had to do with the licensing process.

Along the same lines, most companies have never provided cultural sensitivity training to their employees or managers; however, the vast majority of respondents believe that international practice and experience are valuable benefits that immigrants bring to the table. Many indicated that immigrants are harder working (45%) and that they are also more loyal (38%).

Developing Future Solutions Now

The survey revealed that although the majority of members are experiencing labour shortages and are interested in immigrant integration, there is a significant difference between this interest and actual policies, procedures or practices that facilitate economic integration of foreign trained professionals within their companies. While this is the case, there is considerable desire to rectify this incongruence and members indicated that they would be open to participating in workshops and symposiums that can help them do a better job hiring immigrant talent.