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Patrick O’Leary

Director of Canada, Talent Beyond Boundaries

Talent Beyond Boundaries envisions a world where forcibly displaced people can use their skills and talents to move to secure their futures.


It’s getting harder to hire locally for skilled roles. You hear it in the news, over coffee, and in boardrooms. “I still can’t find a family doctor!” “We’ve had this software developer position open for eight months and still no qualified applicants.” Talent acquisition teams are stretched to their limits and their hiring quotas keep growing. Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) has a solution.

TBB is a global nonprofit helping employers solve their labour shortages by recruiting from a pool of displaced talent. Our Talent Catalog augments organizations’ recruitment efforts and gives them access to a pool of previously untapped talent.

We’re building a world where skilled refugees can move internationally for work while helping employers gain access to fresh talent.

Lamis Alhassan,  CCA at Glen Haven Manor, her husband Abdalazeez Alabbas and their daughters, Joudi and Jana, are pictured with Lisa M. Smith, CEO, Glen Haven Manor

It’s the right and smart thing to do

We’ve been sold a false narrative about who refugees are; they are vulnerable victims and a problem to be solved. In reality, many refugees are skilled professionals, very capable of lifting themselves out of displacement if we remove the barriers to skilled migration.

It’s a win-win, for companies, local communities, and refugees themselves. These individuals become integral members of their teams: “The candidates TBB identified have exceptional credentials, a broad scope of practice, an unwavering work ethic, and demonstrate great compassion and care for our residents while contributing to the strength of our team. They are adding a new dimension that brings a bright light,” shares Janice Jorden of Glen Haven Manor, a non-profit nursing home in N.S. Hiring displaced talent helps lift individuals and their families out of vulnerable situations and enables employers to address one of their most pressing business needs.

Khodor Ramlawi,  a TBB candidate and now a CCA at Glen Haven Manor, is pictured with his wife Maya Hamkir along with CEO of Glen Haven Manor, Lisa M. Smith ( left), and Glen Haven’s Employee Relations Specialist Janice Jorden in front of the Nova Scotia nursing home.

Breaking down barriers

Skilled immigration pathways were not designed with refugees in mind. Many displaced people find it challenging to meet the requirements, such as having a passport or having access to thousands of dollars in settlement funds. Displaced people are often not permitted to work where they live, making these administrative barriers nearly impossible to overcome.

The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) seeks to do just this, allowing skilled refugees to travel without a passport and enter Canada as permanent residents. Recent changes to the Pilot as it enters Phase II have reduced some of the administrative hurdles in getting individuals to safety and giving employers a gateway to qualified talent, but there is still a long way to go. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

We’re building a world where skilled refugees can move internationally for work while helping employers gain access to fresh talent. If you’re a business with hiring needs, we can connect you with our outstanding candidates. Contact us today to find your next team member.

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