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It’s not easy finding that perfect employee – wading through piles of resumes and sitting through hours of interviews is no one’s idea of fun. Believe it or not, the hiring process starts as soon as you decide you need a new employee. Following our 5-step plan will keep the guesswork out of hiring.
Step 1: The job description
The job description should lay out in plain language the responsibilities and requirements of the job, while providing you with flexibility to change and update when necessary.
A written job description:
Step 2: Write a great job advertisement
Writing attention-grabbing job ads, and posting them in the right place, can mean the difference between attracting few applicants and having a number of candidates to choose from.
Think about your vacant position as a product you are selling. What is special about your business, industry, location? What is your competitive edge?
Once your ad is written, you have to post it. Deciding where will depend on your budget, the kind of candidates you are hoping to attract, and the position that is vacant. You may want to consider:
The Service Canada Job Bank not only gives employers the ability to post jobs for free, but also offers Job Match – a service that matches job ads with job seeker profiles. After running the matching service, you receive a list of qualified candidates; you can then select the profiles of those you are interested in and ask them to apply. You can also keep track of how many views your ad has garnered, and how many led to applications. You can find more information through Employer Resources.
Step 3: The interviews
For some, meeting candidates face-to-face and rating their suitability for the job and your business can be a scary step. Being well-prepared can alleviate any anxiety.
Start by sorting the applications and resumes, preparing interview questions (we have sample interview questions), and scheduling the interviews.
Understandably, you may have concerns over what you can and cannot ask in an interview, especially when it comes to complying with human rights law. Contact your provincial Human Rights Commission for more information. You can also review our guidelines for avoiding legal pitfalls.
After the interviews are completed you will need to evaluate the candidates.
Step 4: Criminal background checks
Background checks are becoming more and more popular as employers search for the right employee. While pre-hiring background checks are permitted in Canada, criminal background checks can raise concerns around human rights and an employee’s privacy. For this reason, you must first establish that there is a valid occupational requirement for doing the check. You must also clearly state in the job ad and/or conditional offer that the check is necessary.
If you decide criminal background checks are necessary, please note the following:
Criminal background checks can be performed by private investigators or the RCMP. If a pardon has been obtained, then the Canadian Public Information Centre will need to be involved. The search can be performed based on a candidate’s name, birth date and, for greater assurance, fingerprints.
Step 5: Letter of offer
Congratulations! You’ve chosen your ideal candidate – now you need to let them know. Some jurisdictions have a legislative requirement for employers to make a job offer in writing. Whether or not this is the requirement in your province, putting the terms and conditions of employment into writing ensures both employer and employee are starting the employment relationship on the same page.
What to include:
Your new employee should sign the letter, confirming that they understand and accept what your company is offering, the employee keeping the original and you retaining a copy in their employee file.
CFIB has a sample Letter of Offer that you can customize to your situation. It is important to have your lawyer review your document before it is put into practice.