Using the sponsor network to find a job
A group of private individuals can provide a very valuable employment resource. It can help in a number of ways:
- One or more members of the group might employ the newcomer personally. This could be within the group member’s own company, if a business owner, or on a personal basis. This type of work does not have to be full-time. It can be part-time or on an occasional basis and can be for any type of work that it is acceptable and beneficial to the newcomer. This provides Canadian employment experience and references that can be listed on a resumé.
- A support group member can lobby his or her own employer to employ the newcomer being assisted. Again, if not full-time, the work can be part-time or even occasional/short-term.
- Members of a group can help by accessing their personal and professional networks on social media, at social gatherings and events, at professional events and through direct outreach to family, friends, business connections (including among suppliers and customers.) Some groups may even have HR specialists within their membership, who will be particularly knowledgeable and experienced in leveraging contacts.
The extended network of contacts can be used to not only open the door to specific job opportunities, but also at an earlier stage, to set up practice interviews and friendly conversations about specific sectors which may be of interest. In fact, a meeting set up with a sponsor contact on the basis of being a practice interview or a friendly conversation, might be an easy way to open a door to a resulting job offer. However, to avoid disappointment, a newcomer should be made to very clearly understand the purpose of a practice interview or friendly conversation is not to lead to a job offer from that meeting.
When a group of five to 20 sponsors acts in these ways, the reach can be very extensive and productive. However, steps should be taken to ensure that all members of a group who are going to reach out on behalf of a newcomer understand the employment strategy, the newcomer’s objectives and the criteria for a job being sought. Everyone should be as aligned as possible. The newcomer should also be made to feel that he or she should feel comfortable expressing doubts about particular opportunities that may arise. In accordance with the customs of their origin country, they may feel obliged to pursue any opportunity that is offered, even if it does not truly fit with the employment objectives.