March 8, 2018

Canada Job Bank-centric requirements result in the need for a separate but coordinated domestic recruitment business process

Recruiters will agree that for filling positions with qualified candidates, the Canada Job Bank is likely not in the top ten of mediums available in the market to achieve that end effectively.

For position sourcing that may require non-domestic sourcing tactics, there is a requirement to advertise on the Canada Job Bank regardless of the province in which the opportunity resides.

It is not sufficient to use effective and focused provincial job boards previously linked to the Canada Job Bank like B.C.’s WorkBC board, www.workbc.ca.

There is an absolute need to remain on regional job boards

The use of boards like Work BC is essential for satisfying regional socio-economic commitments and is necessary to support the local community and local Indigenous participation in the project.

As a domestic recruiting tool for maximizing domestic recruitment penetration (which we presume is the objective of the prerequisite steps for LMIA consideration), the Canada Job Board is one of the worst mediums available for:

  • applicant relevance,
  • penetration,
  • engagement,
  • effectiveness,
  • applicant interface,
  • recruiter interface, and
  • integration with robust corporate recruitment software.

Any significant reliance on the Canada Job Bank will fail to optimize most projects’ regional priority sourcing profile. The typical regional hiring priority in the proximity of the project is as follows: hiring indigenous and those qualified in the local community first, those qualified residing in the region next, qualified residence of the project’s home province, and the rest of Canada. This priority is not just lip service and is often a condition of the project’s regulatory approval.

Domestic recruiting activities and resources are distracted & diluted significantly by the requirements to run parallel but ineffective recruitment efforts via the rigid & cumbersome Canada Job Bank processes.
Recruitment for positions with a potential need to supplement domestic supply can become a tick-box, rationalization exercise to arbitrarily satisfy LMIA requirements. The more onerous and arbitrary the LMIA process is, the more likely it may take away from the focus of actualizing domestic supply due to administrative fatigue associated with the reporting process. We believe that those advising the government forget that those responsible for meeting the requirements operate in a live and dynamic system.
Avoiding/minimizing administrative fatigue in the process results in fierce & aggressive leveraging of every effective domestic recruitment tool available and then accessing work permits through an LMIA only as of the last-ditch effort…which would be more consistent with the spirit and intent of the regulations.

Regardless of mismatch in Canada Job Bank requirements, we must not dilute efforts to satisfy domestic and local socio-economic commitments

We know that if local or regional talent wishes to participate in a project, they are more likely to seek the opportunity on a project or company-specific job boards, word of mouth, employee referrals, job fairs or regional job boards like www.workbc.ca and other boards available in the market. A person living in Dawson Creek wishing to work on a gas plant 60 km away does not seek the opportunity via the Canada Job Bank.

To maintain maximum local and regional access and participation, it will be required to run parallel systems. There is also a need to standardize reports so that the parallel efforts can be rolled up into one tracking sheet to support your LMIA application if required.

This can be complex, especially as those organizations most effective in recruitment engage in a decentralized approach to recruiting (through persistent word of mouth recruitment, referrals, local project staff attending community events etc.). Rolling up the statistics of the forgoing into a centralized repository to eventually support an LMIA application if required is easier said than done. Curtailing or centralizing the activity is not the answer as the above activity is precisely what is needed to maximize domestic recruitment. Furthermore, the home office would never keep up with this typical project team-driven process’s pace and dynamics.

Nevertheless, if coordinated reporting is not implemented into your day-to-day recruiting processes, there will be a need to recreate the sourcing history after-the-fact. Sometimes this cannot be recreated after-the-fact as the metrics required to support an LMIA application are distinct from those often tracked through strictly domestic recruitment efforts. The adage, “you cannot make bad data good,” applies.

If the sourcing experience cannot be regenerated, then the actual recruitment exercise must re-occur with the appropriate metrics tracked for the regulated timeframe.

Employers could be forced to do the same thing and expect different results, usually under extreme pressure. By the time domestic recruitment efforts have failed, the recruitment deficit is often affecting operations.

Failing to integrate the domestic and LMIA-required-metrics-capture into your regular recruitment processes creates delay, causes errors, and increases the potential to achieve an unfavourable response due to administrative and technical reasons, versus either a positive LMIA application result or an LMIA rejection due to available but unsourced domestic supply.

Decentralizing the tracking and ranking, runs contrary to the tracking and report consolidation offered through corporate and off-the-shelf recruitment software

Also, within the Canada Job Bank is “Job Match,” an automated application in which the software ranks passive Canadians (ones who have a profile on the Canada Job Bank but are not applying for the position(s)). These passive participants are ranked for a “match” of the position you are trying to fill. Employers must then positively seek out and invite all “matched” passive job seekers to apply for the position.

No longer are candidates required to look for jobs and apply; to satisfy LMIA requirements, employers must now invite those not even demonstrating an interest or not even searching for opportunities. I have philosophical problems with this in terms of individual and employer respective responsibility, particularly in respect to employers and individuals who are at the time “strangers” to one another.

Many would not think it is too much to ask for applicants to apply for a job, to be considered for a job, but the regulations disagree.

In addition, ranking systems have their limitations.

Anyone who has used automated ranking software knows it can be useful but adult supervision is definitely required.

Recruiters with experience will agree that often automated ranking systems get it wrong, and there needs to be human review and oversight of the applications received. Automated ranking often nominates those absolutely unqualified or rules out dream candidates, especially for resumes associated with technical, industrial work. Algorithms and keyword matching through resume parsing etc. are useful (I am not “anti-tech”), but they are no match for recruiter screens.

Expect future conversations with HRDC agents reviewing your LMIA application who insist that a computer-generated ranking supersedes the ranking instead given by a recruitment expert. This will be particularly cumbersome in industries technical or nuanced in nature like industrial construction and maintenance or oil and gas sectors.

A general lack of respect for skilled trades and industrial technical expertise still exists

Many computer and information National Occupation Code classifications are exempt from the above for “unique or specialized” talent. Of note, it is not apparent that unique or specialized talent is recognized for industrial and technical skilled trade positions, and we view this as an ongoing, problematic bias.

This article was inspired by an informative article written by Brian Dingle of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP which can be found here.

We hope this points to some land mines that your team can work to avoid. We have scars ourselves leftover from prior experience. We can assist those interested in reviewing corporate or project recruitment processes to overcome or minimize the above-noted challenges.

Submitted by Sam Kemble of Workforce Delivery, www.workforcedelivery.com