• Hiring Right – the First Time

    16 December 2014

    Recruiting mistakes are expensive, both monetarily and operationally. But it’s not uncommon for companies to spend a minimal amount of time on this important task because everything else seems more important. So you post a job ad, read some resumes, pick two or three people for an interview, conduct the interview, and then make a job offer.

    And then a few months later realize you’ve made a mistake, and now you have to start again.

    If you follow the steps outlined below and commit the time to follow the process, chances are you will be far more successful in recruiting and retaining new employees. The initial investment in time will give you a significant ROI.

    Assess your needs – Define the why, what, when and who. For example, why is there a need for this position? Is this a full-time position or part-time position? Have we reviewed your current organizational structure lately to assess whether you really do need this position? Who currently that may not be working to capacity? Are you or your employees doing tasks that are no longer necessary? Can other processes be streamlined or eliminated which would give other employees time to assume tasks?

    Define the job – Consider the specific tasks associated with the position. Is there duplication of tasks performed by someone else? What percentage of time will the new person spend on each of these tasks? By applying percentage of time to each task, you may realize the position is not a full-time position after all.

    Analyze and identify the key competencies – Identify what competencies the employee must have to perform successfully in this role, e.g., attention to detail, mathematical reasoning, staff management, problem solving, written communication skills, etc. Be specific about the experience, e.g., 3 years, 5 years; 7 years of previous experience in a similar role. Specify the exact skills; must be fully conversant with Microsoft Word, Simply Accounting, Advanced Excel, AutoCAD, MS Project, cost accounting. What education is required to undertake the tasks? Does the position require a university degree or would a college diploma plus 3 years’ experience, be acceptable?

    Post the Position – Research the best place to post your advertisement, i.e., job boards, LinkedIn, Kijji, Monster, Government web-sites, newspaper, association websites or magazines. Free job postings don’t always reach the best candidates. Be very specific about what you need, using the key competencies above to attract the best candidates. And “boast” about what your Company offers its employees by way of interesting work, excellent benefits, training opportunities, etc. Request that candidates forward a covering letter describing their skills and expertise, along with their resume.

    Screen the Resumes – All too often candidates merely read the title of a job posting and forward their resume. Select candidates who have taken the time to write a covering letter which speaks in detail to your specific job posting. Search resumes for key words; those outlined in the job posting. If you have reviewed, say 20 resumes and you have at least 5 candidates that look interesting, start the telephone interview process immediately. Remember that candidates are looking for work so you may lose a good candidate by waiting until your receive a hundred resumes before starting the process.

    The Interviews – YES! Interviews! – Prepare a schedule so that you stay on track and keep the process moving. Who will be involved in the process? What is their availability?

    The telephone interview: Verify facts in the resume; assess communication skills, does the candidate meet your key competencies?

    The face-to-face interview: Prepare specific behavioural questions, i.e., open ended – not “yes” or “no” responses. Consider who else besides you should interview the candidate. The face-to-face allows you to assess grooming, poise, knowledge, experience and skills.

    The testing interview: If your position requires specific experience using an accounting program, key- boarding, AutoCAD, Excel, then “test” the candidate to ensure they actually have the level of skill you require. Consider psychometric testing to further your understanding of how the candidate will work, how he/she prefers to be managed, and uncover areas where you may need to probe further in the next interview.

    The final interview: The final interview allows you a “second or third look” at the candidate; review the test results with the candidate, discuss any areas of concern, and ask for references. Discuss salary and benefits and any other pertinent information that will allow the candidate and you to feel fully informed of the decision to move to the final phase.

    Reference checks – Reference checking should be similar to the interview process. Ensure you have at least two direct managers who can provide a reference. If the candidate can only provide personal friends or co-workers, this should be red flag.

    Explain to the referee the job, the key competencies, and the skills and experience you require. Prepare open ended, specific questions for the referee and probe areas that may raise a red flag or where the referee can’t give specific answers to your question. Avoid asking questions that require a “yes” or “no” response as they will not confirm what you need to know. Verify the referee’s position and the time the candidate worked for or with the referee. If you require a university degree or a diploma, then verify that the candidate actually has a degree or diploma. It’s sad but true; candidates do embellish not only their skills and expertise, but their level of education as well.

    And finally, prepare your employment contract and make an offer! Oh and don’t forget to prepare an in-depth orientation plan in order to ensure a smooth transition for the candidate into his/her new role!


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  • 2015 Changes – AODA / Health & Safety

    16 December 2014
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    As one year comes to an end, we begin to reflect on the past year and attempt to plan for the next. The same holds true for health and safety obligations. As we begin to prepare for the year- we must also begin to prepare for changes to health and safety requirements, specifically AODA, and Health and Safety awareness training.


    As you may be aware, in 2005 The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed. The purpose of this Act is to ensure Ontario is fully accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. Since 2005, there have been some significant changes that have been mandated to ensure organizations are in compliance.
    By end of 2012, all businesses in Ontario that provide goods or services were to be fully accessible. Creating an Accessibility Policy as it pertains to Customer Service Standards and training your staff with regards to AODA were only the beginning. All private or non-profit organizations with 20 or more employees were required to file an accessibility report to advise that the standards were being met. In 2014 you were required to file a second compliance report ensuring that you are still meeting the requirements under the Customer Service Standards.
    There are four more standards that all organizations must begin to comply with to ensure they are accessible to all employees, customers, and business partners. Your Accessibility Plan will need to be filed in 2015. These four standards include:

    The accessibility for employment ensures that all businesses in Ontario are accessible during their recruitment processes and are fully supporting their current workforce with any disabilities. For example, advising job applicants that modifications can be arranged to accommodate them accordingly. For current employees, accommodation can be met by creating written accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. Organizations must also provide individualized emergency response information for people with disabilities.

    Information and Communication
    Information and communication accessibility standards will ensure Ontario businesses and organizations meet the requirement that their information is fully accessible for people with disabilities. For example, websites, resource material, and textbooks must also be made available in alternate forms when requested.

    The Accessibility Standards for transportation’s goal is to provide easy and fully accessible public transportation in Ontario. All information regarding accessibility equipment and routes must be available to the public. In addition, additional fares cannot be added to a support person assisting a person with a disability.

    Design of Public Spaces
    All public spaces and buildings must be fully accessible to everyone in Ontario. All parking lots, public areas, both indoor and outside, must comply. Service areas, such as waiting areas and counters and outdoor playgrounds, parks recreational areas are all included. Keep in mind, that this only applies to new construction or if there is major changes to existing features.
    Need help with AODA, let us know, we are here to help ensure you are compliant. We offer on-line training and knowledge testing, as well as group training, and assistance with developing your AODA policy and plans.


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