Fact Sheet #6d) Recruiting, Hiring, Integration Strategy and Employment Equity

Level 2

Element: Leadership and Accountability

Outcome 6: Management is engaged in human rights culture change.

Indicator 6d): Human resources personnel or other resources have been delegated the development of recruitment, hiring and integration strategies to reflect employment equity principles.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Documents reflecting integration strategies.
  • Implementation of the 9 legislative requirements of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) through human resources professionals or other resources.

Indicator Description

Under the EEA, the core obligations of employers mean that employers must implement positive policies and practices, special measures and accommodation policy in order to increase the representation in the workforce of women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and members of visible minorities who are the four designated groups. The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) also underlines the importance of a barrier-free workplace.

Suggested Approach

  • At Level 2, the organization is working in cooperation with agencies specializing in hiring designated group members; it can also target student programs and student transition programs for recruitment of designated group members, in various professional categories.
  • At Level 2, the organization has developed an employment equity plan with concrete objectives and specified responsibilities, as well as policies and procedures regarding accommodation and accessibility, and communicates these plans and policies to all employees.
  • The Level 2 organization offers training to enhance supervisors’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities concerning employment equity. The organization ensures that the training include issues linked to the promotion, retention, and development of members of the designated groups.
  • The organization not only implements recruitment objectives based on existing gaps, but can monitor progress effectively and communicate clearly about those objectives and how they are being met.
  • The organization encourages designated group members to participate in professional development programs such as the Career Assignment Programme Group and the Accelerated Executive Development Program.
  • The organization is transparent about the full integration of the designated groups into the workplace, and fosters open discussion with employees regarding their needs for accommodation in order to maximize participation in the workplace, demonstrate respect and goodwill on integration, and to facilitate employment equity goals. The Level 2 organization relies on policies and procedures regarding accommodation and accessibility, and communicates about these policies on a routine basis.

Promising Practices

Recruitment and hiring: 

  • Mention that the employer supports employment equity principles in all job offers. 
  • Consider proactive recruiting decisions, to expand the employment equity plan beyond the requirements of the EEA. The objectives identified by the Level 2 organization are applied in an integrated way to all types of recruitment decisions (indeterminate, determinate, contractual, students).
  • Make the most of recruitment methods that have the greatest impact on members of the designated groups (including recommendations from other employees, staffing agencies, etc.), and can also implement targeted staffing processes for designated groups.
  • Ensure that private temporary staffing agencies are aware of and kept up to date about the organization’s employment equity objectives, and can work in cooperation with agencies specialized in hiring and development of members of the designated groups.
  • Implement an awareness strategy intended for learning establishments and organizations specializing in candidate referral.
  • Encourage designated groups members in temporary positions to apply when job opportunities are open to external candidates, for both determinate and indeterminate positions. Foster the development of a Young Professionals Network to prompt their designated group members to participate in nomination processes. 
  • Target student programs and student transition programs for recruitment of designated group members, in various professional categories, and can be open to possibilities of internships. 
  • Establish a directory of employees who are members of the designated group to participate in selection committees. Create an information pamphlet destined for new members of selection committees. Along with this, the organization will ensure that members of the selection jury are aware of the needs of all candidates. 
  • Offer awareness sessions regarding diversity to personnel involved in the selection process. 
  • Re-evaluate requirements for positions to be filled (education, bilingualism, experience, etc.) in order to prevent systemic barriers.

Integration, development, and retention:

  • Develop mentoring programs and on-the-job training opportunities for designated group members, and routinely consider members of the designated groups for temporary or acting assignments.
  • Offer training to supervisors to inform them of their roles and responsibilities concerning employment equity, diversity and accommodation issues. Ensure that the training includes issues linked to the promotion and development of designated group members; the training can also highlight the links between eliminating barriers to employment for members of the designated groups, and the positive effect on the bottom line when workplaces become generally more diverse and free from discrimination.
  • Ensure that there is a link between the succession planning expertise and databases, as well as employment equity groups, in order to prevent eventual under-representation. Consider making succession planning an ongoing item on meetings of senior leadership.
  • Evaluation is a vital step in any planning process. In order to evaluate the efficiency of equity, integration and diversity measures put in place, use tools such as the Public Service Employee Survey, an annual workforce analysis, employment systems reviews, and the success rate of members of designated groups in generic competitions.
  • Prior to the arrival of a new employee who is a member of a designated group, work on raising awareness with all employees about diversity, employment equity and accommodation.
  • To enhance integration, establish a Diversity Week for your workplace and dedicate one day to employment equity.
  • Be aware of career plans of employees who are members of designated groups.
  • Institute regular follow-up for human resources with managers and employees members of designated group to ensure integration.
  • Encourage members of designated groups who are leaving the organization to participate in exit interviews.

Useful links and tools

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Guide to Screening and Selection in Employment - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Balancing Conflicting Rights: Towards an Analytical Framework - Ontario Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Legislation and the Charter: A Comparative Guide - Parliamentary Research Branch - Government of Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about Employment Equity - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Compliance Program - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Systems Review – Guide to the Audit Process - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 

A Guide for Managing the Return to Work - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Duty to Accommodate Frequently Asked Questions - Canadian Human Rights Commission

A Place for All: A Guide for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights and the return to Work: The State of the issue - Research Report - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Office for Disability Issues - Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Mental Illness - Canadian Mental Health Association

Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective - Research Report - Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities - Research Report - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Fifty Percent Aboriginal Hiring Policy - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Services for Aboriginal Peoples - Service Canada

First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Strategy for a Racism-Free Workplace - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Kurvits v. Canada ( Treasury Board ) 

Nelson v. Durham Board of Education, [1998] O.H.R.B.I.D. No. 14 (McNeilly)
(Only available with a membership to the Canadian Human Rights Reporter website)

Chopra v. Canada (Department of National Health and Welfare), 2001 CanLII 8492 (CHRT)

Hill v. Air Canada, 2003 CHRT 9 (Groarke)

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