Webinar: Cities at Work: Recruiting and Managing a Diverse Workforce

April 10, 2013

As major employers, cities are in a unique position to model a positive approach to hiring immigrants and managing a diverse workforce. Join Cities of Migration to learn how recruitment strategies developed by the municipalities of Saskatoon (Canada) and Bremen (Germany) are not only creating a workplace where equity and diversity are valued – they are building cities for future growth and shared prosperity.

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Featured Good Ideas

  • The City of Saskatoon has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for its success in developing a workforce that is representative of its newly diverse population, achieved through a mix of community outreach, partnerships, and pre-employment coaching.
  • The City of Bremen started an inclusive campaign in 2009 to recruit more young people from immigrant background into the civil service under the slogan “You are the Key…to your Future and your City”. The campaign successfully recruited for a wide range of departments, including police, firefighters, law enforcement, judicial administration, financial management and general administration.

Learning Takeaways

Communicate a transparent hiring process to external applicants using open and creative outreach

Getting creative with their hiring campaigns, the City of Bremen engaged in a city-wide public campaign, from online videos on training programs, public transportation ads, to multi-lingual booklets about public service careers, to reach out to young migrants and migrant families who were unaware of employment opportunities in civil service. The City of Saskatoon hired a diversity coordinator who offered face-to-face pre-employment consultations about the city’s hiring process, tours of city hall, information on foreign credentials, mock interviews and resume reviews.

Talk to staff about HR diversity in relation to organization-wide strategic objectives to build buy-in

The City of Saskatoon saw a rapid rise in diversity of its population, recognized a need to respond, and saw an opportunity to brand itself as one of the country’s top diversity employers. For Saskatoon, open communication between the HR department and the city’s strategic initiatives from the top was essential for improving diversity and buy-in from senior to junior staff.

Make your staff feel included when developing new HR Diversity models and tools

The City of Saskatoon conducted focus groups to have dialogues about diversity and identify intercultural awareness training needs. To showcase positive interventions in the workplace, the City created an inclusive workplace champion recognition program that awarded staff members who showed leadership or commitment to diversity and change.


Mubarka Butt, Employment and Total Compensation, City of Saskatoon

Mubarka Butt is currently the Manager of Employment and Total Compensation with the City of Saskatoon. Mubarka has her BBA in Accounting and Finance and holds the global designation of Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP). She has been with the City for 3 years. Prior to this Mubarka was a Human Resource Manager in the transportation industry. Mubarka has extensive experience in the area of employment equity reporting both at the federal and provincial level, inclusive workplace practices and diversity programming. In 2012 Mubarka led a team to complete Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Application process and as a result the City of Saskatoon received two recognitions; Saskatchewan’s Top Employer 2013 and also received national recognitions as Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2013.

Brigitta Praatz-Schanz, Training and Education Center(AEC), City of Bremen

Brigitta Praatz-Schanz is responsible for employee training at the Training and Education Center at the City of Bremen. The Training and Education Center, under the Senator of Finance, provides vocational training and further education for public administrative staff at the City, which spearheaded the campaign, “You are the Key…to your Future and your City” (Du bist der Schlüssel…für deine Zukunft und deine Stadt), to recruit young people from immigrant background into the civil service. Brigitta Praatz-Schanz supports new applicants and trainees through their interview, examination and training process.

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