Canada is one of the United States' most important economic partners. Home to one of the best public education systems in the world, Canada is a booming talent hub across all industries, including tech, financial services, healthcare, and agriculture. Despite being a relatively small country by population, Canada's GDP is approaching $2 trillion. Companies looking to expand globally can hire top Canadian talent by partnering with an EOR service like Via.
Hiring in Canada presents employers with an opportunity to recruit top talent, especially in the tech space. Employers can handle the hiring process themselves by opening an entity, or work with an Employer-of-Record (EOR) service like Via to build out their team in Canada.
Whichever path you choose, there’s a lot to know about hiring in Canada.
When hiring in Canada, you have the option to open a subsidiary, partner with a PEO, or partner with an employer-of-record (EOR).
Sometimes, employer-of-record services are confused with PEOs. Many businesses use the terms interchangeably, but in Canada there is a key legal difference. A PEO is a co-employment relationship, which means that the people your business hires are still your employees. An employer-of-record (EOR) service like Via, on the other hand, is a single legal employer.
With a PEO, you will still have to set up a legal entity in Canada. Think about it like this: a PEO is a partner to which you outsource part of your administrative HR processes, while an EOR is a partner that handles all of the HR process and takes care of your legal and compliance obligations when hiring abroad in Canada.
Setting up an entity in Canada can take months, since it requires a nuanced understanding of Canadian labor laws and best hiring practices.
You’ll need to:
Set up a local branch with a local bank account
Register with each provinces’ government institutions and register employees for the Canadian Pension Plan
Maintain a presence in the country
Find law partners
Hire an accounting firm to run payroll
Hire an internal HR team
For this reason, many companies choose to partner with an EOR service like Via to expedite the process of hiring talent in Canada.
An employer-of-record in Canada is responsible for helping you build your team in a few weeks without the costly process of entity incorporation and set up.
An EOR is responsible all local HR processes:
Maintaining compliance with local employment laws and other regulations
Drafting employment contracts in the correct language (French for Quebec)
Managing payroll and taxes, including withholdings and deductions payments
Administering local benefits, such as private health insurance and mental health resources
Expediting work visas and the LMIA process
A startup in Canada recently used Via to onboard 14 new employees without having to set up an entity. Via helped onboard employees in 6 months with the help of work visa sponsorship saving the company an additional 6 months of application processing time.
If you’re looking to hire Canadian-based employees for short-term or projected-based work, hiring contractors might be a good alternative.
Hiring a contractor in Canada requires much less paperwork. In addition, contractors don’t qualify for benefit packages or pensions, so the employer has fewer expenses. For employers and employees alike, this arrangement allows for more flexibility.
Always make sure that you’re properly classifying employees (and not treating contractors as full-time employees without paying them benefits). Misclassification comes with a hefty fines and back payments of benefits.
Throughout this article, we’ll explore exactly how to hire and recruit employees in Canada.
Finding a job and hiring top talent in Canada is easier than you might imagine. Job seekers have access to numerous websites and recruiting agencies catered to hiring in Canada. Some sites and pages are specific to government positions, while others focus on students looking for jobs. One excellent resource for any individual seeking employment is Canada’s Job Bank.
The Government of Canada’s Job Bank offers tools for prospective employees, as well as employers looking to hire in Canada. You can search the 100,000+ job listings based on specific job titles, types, or locations.
Not sure what type of job may best suits you? The Job Bank offers a career quiz, a skills checklist, and a resume builder to check out. You can also explore the job market through various trend analyses.
With two account options (Standard and Plus), job-seekers can pay to access additional tools. But even without an account, the site is an excellent resource.
Job Bank also offers a hiring section devoted to employers. Here, employers can post a job listing, review advice and recruitment tips, and find resources for promoting diversity in the workplace.
As you begin your hiring journey in Canada, be aware of the following important employment laws:
General Canadian laws to understand:
Minimum wage: $15.55 CAD per hour
Working hours: 8 hour days (40 hour weeks)
Vacations: 2 weeks per year (may vary depending on length of service or province)
Salary payments: Semi-monthly (on the 15th and last day of the month)
To protect your business and your employees, always make sure to create employment agreements in Canada that include:
Hours of work
Via makes hiring talent around the world and building your global team seamless by helping you onboard workers in as little as 2-3 business days. With our easy-to-use platform, Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, employee data privacy compliance, benefits, global payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts provide 24-hour local support and ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity abroad, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.