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Hiring & Recruiting Quiz


Is there a difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae and, if so, what is it?


Yes. A Curriculum vitae is an in depth and extensive account of a potential hire or candidate. A Resume, by definition, is a relatively brief or short narration of a potential hire’s education, professional background, knowledge, skills and achievements.


Recruiting in Canada

When you’re recruiting Canadian employees, you need to understand the country’s culture, which can vary by province. Overall, the country emphasizes a work-life balance, with many employees working under 40 hours a week.

1. Respect Personal Space

In the workplace, Canadians rarely touch each other. Most people will stay about 2 feet or an arm’s length of space away when talking face to face. Make sure you don’t stand too close to your potential candidates, but don’t stand too far away either, as doing so can indicate that you’re not interested in the conversation.

2. Make Small Talk

Canadian workplaces are friendly, so you should make small talk with candidates at the beginning of a meeting or interview. Questions about how they are or how their weekend was aren’t considered prying. Instead, they’re a polite way to show interest.

3. Remember That Morals Vary by Culture

Each province in Canada has its own morals, which may or may not be religious. We recommend researching the area where you’re hiring or watching and listening closely to make sure you understand what potential candidates feel is acceptable.

4. Speak the Local Language

In Quebec, for example, workers are entitled to conduct business in French, and you cannot refuse to hire an employee who doesn’t speak English. If you don’t speak French, you may want to learn a few phrases and hire an interpreter. Keep in mind that a province-wide charter dictates that every person has a right to be served in French. This charter may inform your hiring decisions as you’ll want a bilingual workforce.

5. Know That Ranking Matters

While gender doesn’t matter in the workforce, rank does. You can expect candidates to address you as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. unless you instruct them otherwise. You can expect this treatment even if you are decades younger than the person you are interviewing. If you’re hiring for an important and high-ranking position, treat candidates with respect instead of over-the-top friendliness.


The Recruitment Process in Canada

The most common Canadian recruiting source is job boards. Many professionals will look up an advertisement on a popular job board, then also check the company’s recruitment website. However, uploading CVs into a database is becoming a more popular option, so you may want to search for the right candidates on a well-respected resume database.

Just as the culture shifts among provinces, so do the recruiting laws. Each province has the authority to create its own regulations while following the Canadian government’s overarching staffing and recruiting laws. For example, Ontario has the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), which applies to job advertisements. To stay within the law, your advertisement cannot contain any statements, qualifications, or references that could be seen as discriminatory.

Canada’s Discrimination Laws

Canada’s human rights legislation protects employees from discrimination. These laws vary by province but commonly protect against discrimination related to race, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, and religion.

Some jurisdictions in the country have adopted privacy legislation that will protect your employees’ or potential employees’ sensitive data. When you’re staffing your Canadian business, you can collect personal information only for a rational purpose, and you’ll have limited distribution methods. For example, if you must transfer an employee’s information to another country, you’ll need to notify the employee and take steps to ensure that the data won’t be used for any other purposes.


Canada Employment Compliance

Canada has extensive employment laws at both the federal and provincial level, which can make Canada employment compliance bewildering for businesses new to the country. Every province has its own withholding, social services, and notice periods. About 80% of Canadian employees are protected by provincial employment laws, while the rest is covered by federal law.

Most provinces limit the number of hours your employees can work in a week, although some jurisdictions have exceptions for the maximum hours for specific industries. Employees also have the right to an annual paid vacation — although this also varies by province.

Canadian employment contracts often include a probationary period of three months. However, employers are required to provide reasonable notice of termination.

Onboarding Canadian Employees

Before you officially hire Canada employees, you’ll need to examine each new employee’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) and record it. If the number begins with nine, the worker is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and can only work for a particular employer with authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

You’ll also need to ask employees to fill out required forms such as Form TD1 before their first day.

Benefits of Canada Hiring Outsourcing

Because Canada has extensive employment laws, you’ll need to stay well-versed on both federal regulations and those in the particular province where you are hiring.


Hiring is of key importance to the overall productivity of Canadian businesses. A well put together job description is a good business investment because it can be used to support most HR functions: recruitment, selection, orientation, training, work plans, compensation, performance reviews and legal defence. Job descriptions explain the key responsibilities of the actual position, reporting relationships and work environment. The first step in writing or rewriting job descriptions is job analysis. Job analysis is an in-depth study of a job. It provides information for job descriptions. In doing the analysis, you or an employee will gather information about jobs through interviewing employees, observing performance of certain tasks, asking employees to fill out questionnaires and worksheets, and collecting information about a job from secondary sources such as the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.

Here are 8 important steps in Job Analysis

Step 1: Understand the job

Start by developing a complete understanding of the position. This is the foundation on which hiring is based. In conducting your analysis, consider:

  • All of the duties and responsibilities of the position
  • Their scope and level
  • The context in which these are to be performed
  • The amount of responsibility, authority and accountability required to perform the work
  • The major and minor activities

Step 2: Identify Performance Behaviours

Next, identify examples of behaviour that you would use to evaluate the quality of the work. Identify examples of both effective and ineffective behaviours. To do this, ask yourself:

  • What are the performance expectations for superior performance?
  • How do you know someone is doing an excellent, satisfactory or poor job?
  • How does it look when a high performer is doing an excellent job or when a poor performer is doing an unsatisfactory job?

Step 3: Essential Competencies

Using the examples of behaviour as a basis, identify and choose only the most critical/essential competencies required to demonstrate high performance. Differentiate between high performers and average performers:

  • There should be no more than 6 to 10 competencies selected for a role or job. Remember, fewer are better.
  • The key is to select only the most critical/essential competencies required to demonstrate high performance. While all competencies may seem desirable, they are not all critical.
  • Familiarize yourself with the types of competencies and skills.

Next, sort the competencies based on how critical or essential each one is. You could sort each of the competencies into one of four groups:

  • Critical/essential
  • Important/significant
  • Less important/learn on the job
  • Not applicable

When determining how critical or essential a Competency, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (CKSA) is, consider factors such as:

  • The difficulty or criticality of the tasks being performed
  • The impact on job outcomes
  • The impact on the performance of other employees
  • The consequence of error if the CKSA is not present
  • How frequently the CKSA is used on the job
  • Whether the CKSA is required at when the job starts or can be learned or acquired on the job within the first six months

When completed sorting, review and make any adjustments that are needed. Count the number of CKSA you sorted in the Critical/Essential and Important/Significant groups. There should be between 6 and 10 competencies. If you have more than that number, you can rank the competencies in your Important/Significant group and pick only the highest ranking that provide you with an appropriate number of competencies. Put all others aside. If you ended up with fewer than an appropriate number of competencies, then rank the competencies in your Less Important/Learn on the Job group and pick only the highest ranking to add to the Important/Significant group, providing you with an appropriate number of competencies. Put all others aside. The competencies you have chosen form the CKSA portion of the qualifications for the job.

Step 4: Identify Target Performance Level

Target levels refer to the types of behaviours demonstrated by high performers. They are not minimum standards. The key is to select the target level that high performers demonstrate most of the time (general rule – 75% of the time). While all people may be able to demonstrate a level once, target levels refer to what they do most of the time. To assist you, think about what a high performer in the job demonstrates most of the time when they are engaged in that competency. Do not select an inappropriately high target level. Setting the bar too high can lead you to hiring no one. The focus is on trying to describe reality, not ideals. Once you have set the Target Level, you should also set the minimum acceptable level required at job start. You could set Level 1 as the lowest possible level and 5 as the highest. Ensure the minimum level is also realistic.

Step 5: Experience, Education and Training Needed

Review the final list of Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (CKSA) and determine the various ways in which these could be acquired through education, experience (work, volunteer and/or life) and/or training. It may be helpful to consider the background of high-performing employees in this type of position. Be sure to include as many of the equivalent combinations of education and experience as possible. Consider the availability of qualified people in the job market and ensure the qualifications are reasonable given that market. It is important to determine a qualification that is appropriate to the job on day one and not inappropriately high or low. If qualifications are set too high, candidates that have the competencies may be inadvertently eliminated at the screening stage before having the opportunity to prove themselves. Alternatively, if the qualifications are set too low, most of the applicants will need to be considered which can be a time consuming process and many may not have the required competencies.

Step 6: Special Considerations

Identify and include any special considerations you may wish to include. Some jobs may require additional specific criteria like the following:

  • Criminal records review
  • Drivers, firearms or other licenses
  • Professional designations (for example: Professional Engineer)
  • Occupational certifications
  • Physical requirements to lift heavy objects, work in strenuous situations etc.
  • Willingness statements (for example: willingness to work in dusty or noisy environments)

Step 7: Review and Finalize

At this point you have completed the job analysis process. This final step is to give you an opportunity to stand back and take a second look at your work to ensure its valid and stands the ‘common sense’ check. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Given what I know about the accountabilities of this job/role, are the competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities chosen really the most critical ones? Will they help me identify the difference between a high performer and a poor one?
  • Do the behavioural levels identified really define what high or poor performers actually do in this job/role?
  • Are the experience, education and training requirements related to the CKSA chosen: job-related, inclusive, reasonable and appropriate?
  • Have all necessary special considerations been included?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, review your work and make adjustments so that you can answer each question with a ‘yes’. If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions, finalize your Statement of Qualifications. These may now be added to Job Descriptions, included in applicant packages and advertisements, and used as a basis for determining the most appropriate assessment methods to be used in the hiring process.

Step 8: Expected Results

The list of qualifications and competencies developed through job analysis are used to create:

  • The Statement of Qualifications to be attached to Job Descriptions
  • Advertising content and/or applicant information packages
  • Criteria for short listing applicants
  • As a basis for determining the most effective assessment methods


Here are 4 Important Steps in Writing Job Analysis

Step 1: Start with a Job Analysis

Writing the job description is normally preceded by a job analysis. The job analysis is a study of the job or role that helps the employer identify and describe the essential functions of a position, as well as the competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities (CKSA) needed to fulfill the functions.

  • Job Objective

Describe the general nature, purpose and objective of both the organization and the job. Capture the broad scope of the position in no more than three or four sentences.

  • Duties and Responsibilities

Identify functions that are essential to meeting the objectives of the job, and secondary requirements. These should be differentiated in the job description. As specifically as possible, list each duty and responsibility of the job. Each statement should begin with an action verb describing the activity. Examples of action verbs: performs, drives, cooks, coaches, monitors, plans, delivers, supervises, recommends, analyzes, paints, weeds, answers, trains, verifies, sells, organizes, files.

  • Qualifications and Requirements

Identify the minimum qualifications needed to perform the essential elements of the job: education, languages, experience, credentials (for example, to practice in a profession or to operate equipment), skills, and knowledge. Draw attention to any critical expertise or skills. Say whether experience will be viewed as equivalent to formal education requirements. Be careful not to inflate the qualifications for the job. If only a high school education is necessary, make this the minimum requirement rather than a university degree.

  • Organizational structure

Identify where the position fits within the hierarchy of your organization.

  • Special Working Conditions

Are there any unique working conditions that the candidate should know about – for example, a non-office environment, or working with violent clients? It is also useful to mention commitments your organization has to pay equity and/or employment equity.

  • Salary and Benefits

You may want to identify the starting salary or pay range and benefit entitlements that are associated with the position. Mention whether the salary is fixed or falls within a range. If it is negotiable, what factors will influence it? For example, is it dependent upon experience? Job seekers prefer knowing as accurately as possible how much you expect to pay them.

  • Contact

Provide a contact name for applications and information about how job seekers can get in touch – telephone and fax numbers, e-mail and mailing address.

Step 2: Identify Essential Rather than Marginal Functions

To identify the essential functions of the job, first identify the purpose of the job, and the importance of actual job functions in achieving this purpose. In evaluating the importance of job functions, consider, among other things, the frequency with which a function is performed, the amount of time spent on the function, and the consequences if the function is not performed. In defining the essential functions of a job, it is important to distinguish between methods and results. For example, is the essential function moving a fifty pound box from one part of the lab to another, or is it carrying the box? While essential functions need to be performed, they often do not need to be performed in one particular manner (unless doing otherwise would create an undue hardship).

Step 3: Cover the Key Areas

Job descriptions describe the job and not the individual who fills the job. They are written narratives of the major duties and responsibilities of a job position or job role. The job description also states the results expected of anyone in the job. There are many formats used in preparing job descriptions. Typically, the key areas to include are:

  • Job Title
  • Based at (business unit, section – if applicable)
  • Position reports to (line manager title, location, and functional manager)
  • Job Purpose Summary (ideally one sentence)
  • Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities (or duties typically 8-15 numbered points)
  • Dimensions/Territory/Scope/Scale indicators (the areas to which responsibilities extend and the scale of responsibilities – staff, customers, territory, products, equipment, premises, etc.)
  • Hours of Work
  • Date and other relevant internal references

Step 4: Write in a Simple Style

Job descriptions should be written in brief and clear sentences. The basic structure for sentences in a job description should be "implied subject/verb/object/explanatory phrase." It is best to use action verbs like "types" and "files."

Job Description Components

  • Job Title

The formal position of the successful applicant. Use clear terminology.

  • Organization Name

The name of your organization.


Resumes/Curriculum vitaes

A resume is a brief description of a candidate’s education, professional experience, knowledge, skills, and accomplishments. Curriculum vitae is an in-depth account of a candidate’s background. Resumes are common screening tools for administrative positions. Academic recruiters usually ask candidates to supply a curriculum vitae. You can have an outside firm screen resumes/CVs for you or you can do it yourself. A simple way to begin the screening of resumes or CVs is with a "three piles" approach – an initial sort that classifies applicants as qualified, possibly qualified, or not qualified. Although CVs and resumes may provide different types of information, your purpose in screening them is the same – you are looking for candidates who appear, in writing, to have the qualifications and experience you need for the position. The screening process will save you time and energy because you will be selecting only qualified candidates for interviews and job-related testing, if applicable. Following are some guidelines on how to read resumes, CVs, and covering letters. Remember that your objective is to compare the information presented against your selection criteria. Compare the following against your selection criteria:

  1. What is the highest level of education completed?
  2. What other educational designations does the candidate possess?
  3. Examine professional experience. While there is no hard and fast rule about how far back you should go into someone’s work history, you should probably pay special attention to the past 10 years. All experiences that the candidate presents are open for exploration during the interview.
  4. Explore non-traditional experiences which may have enabled a candidate to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the position to the desired (target) standard.
  5. Look for portable and transferable skills.
  6. Spot time gaps in experience and note them for future inquiry.
  7. Are there any patterns in a candidate’s work experiences (e.g., promotions, career changes, employment stability, reasons for leaving positions)?
  8. Identify technical skills which are testable before an interview.
  9. Identify any work samples such as publications or portfolios that you may want a candidate to bring to an interview.
  10. Does the candidate live out of town? Who will pay his/her expenses to travel to the interview and to relocate if hired?
  11. Are there spelling or grammatical errors in the resume/CV?
  12. Is the resume/CV formatted and presented in an appropriate manner?
  13. Does the covering letter link the candidate’s qualifications to the position?
  14. What information is still missing?

The Interview

Hiring the "RIGHT" person in today’s market place is more important than ever. With increased global competition, downsized staffs, and downward price pressures, having the wrong person in a position is costly. Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant’s experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around a topic. Before you start to design your interview questions and process, clearly articulate to yourself what problem or need is to be addressed using the information to be gathered by the interviews. This helps you keep a clear focus on the intent of each question. There are two rules of thumb for deciding how many people to interview:

  • Try to interview from three to six candidates.
  • Only interview people you think you would want to hire.

Get ready to help make the interview go smoothly by doing the following:

  • Develop an interview schedule and stick to it.
  • Try to have more than one interviewer (you risk intimidating the candidate, but you’ll make a better decision).
  • Prepare all the questions in advance, and anticipate possible answers to the questions.
  • Send the job description and/or statement of qualifications to candidates before they come to the interview meeting.
  • Review the resume and know the job description (bring both to the interview)
  • Arrange the meeting time and space – make it comfortable and private to help candidates feel at ease and more empowered.
  • Arrange to have the same interviewers conduct all the interviews.
  • Provide candidates with a comfortable, safe place to wait for the interview.

Tips for Preparing Interview Questions

  • Ask all candidates the same questions. How can you compare candidates with each other if you do not ask them the same questions?
  • Wording of interview questions should be open-ended. Respondents should be able to choose their own terms when answering questions.
  • Questions should be as neutral as possible. Avoid wording that might influence answers, e.g., evocative, judgmental wording.
  • Questions should be worded clearly. This includes knowing any terms particular to the program or the respondents’ culture.
  • Be careful asking "why" questions. This type of question infers a cause-effect relationship that may not truly exist. These questions may also cause respondents to feel defensive, e.g., that they have to justify their response, which may inhibit their responses to this and future questions.
  • Only ask questions that will give you information about past job performance, skills, and personal traits which are directly related to the position you are trying to fill. Get the facts, and then ask subjective questions which will allow you judge the person’s ability to fit your corporate culture and business situation.

Tips for Interviewing Job applicants

  • Keep notes of what each candidate answers.
  • Focus on learning about the person’s experience, ability and personal qualities that will directly affect how he or she will do the critical parts of the job.
  • Ask questions that are open-ended. For example, ask how the candidate’s education would help the person do this job better, rather than ask what education the person has.
  • Do not talk too much during the interview.
  • Do not make a decision too early. Listen carefully to what the candidate has to say through the whole interview.
  • Do not be too concerned if the applicant is nervous, unless it is really relevant to whether the applicant can do the job. For example, nervousness would matter if the person would have to make cold sales calls. For most jobs, it does not matter.
  • Do not ask leading questions, which tell the applicant what answer you want to hear. Do not use stress interviews, designed to see if you can upset the applicant. You can find out if an applicant can handle a stressful job through role-playing, situational questions, or by checking with references.