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Helpful Links
Some helpful links for employers...

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Guide to BC Economy
A Guide to the BC Economy and Labour Market
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BC Outlook
British Columbia news etc...
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Salary Surveys
ERI Economic Research Institute provides geographic-specific salary survey data to thousands of annual subscribers worldwide.
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Staples Business depot

Staples
Buy office supplies and more at staples. "That was easy".
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Working with a Recruiter

A professional recruiter is your partner. You have the same goal…to hire the best possible candidate for the position you have available.

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It is critical that you be open, honest and forthright with your partner. You should provide them with as much information as possible so that they can sell your opportunity appropriately. At a minimum make sure your recruiter has a thorough understanding of your company, its history and plans for the future. Of course a thorough job description is required along with a description of the "company culture". In addition to a compensation range (including details of the benefits package), growth opportunities for the position should be discussed. An acceptable search plan should be reviewed with the recruiter (i.e. geographic and company targets etc.)

A good recruiter should have a lot of experience and knowledge that you should take advantage of on a consultative basis. They should be helpful in areas of compensation, interview preparation, post-interview follow-up (gathering feedback from you as well as the applicant), and generally shepherding prospects through the recruiting process. Listen to their advice……..they have your best interest at heart.

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The Preliminary Phone Interview

Prior to an interview make sure that your recruiter has briefed you with respect to the candidate (i.e. motivation for making a change, family situation, potential obstacles).

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If a prospect is not local to your area you should interview them briefly on the phone first. The recruiter should make arrangements for the candidate to call you so that they will be in a position to speak freely. It should be your goal to gather just enough information about the candidate to determine if you should invite that person to your office for a face-to-face interview. Briefly describe your company, the opportunity and the key ingredients you are looking for in a candidate. Then, referring to the candidate's resume ask a few questions to determine their qualifications based on the criteria you have set. If you feel good about them, set up an appointment immediately or tell him that the recruiter will contact him shortly. Contact the recruiter to provide feedback and have them follow up further on your behalf.

Prepare the candidate for your face-to-face interview by providing them with information about the company and the position (job description) as quickly as possible. Include a meeting agenda so that the candidate can prepare himself for the interview (this will also give the candidate a sense of professionalism and organization about your company). Make sure that you include a letter (preferably handwritten) that lets the candidate know you are looking forward to meeting with them.

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The Face-to-Face Interview

Prior to the meeting arrange to have 2 or 3 other managers or trusted office personnel meet briefly with the candidate. They should be peers or superiors to avoid insulting the candidate.

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It is your responsibility to make sure that the other managers have a copy of the candidate’s resume, some appropriate discussion topics prepared, and a thorough understanding of the candidate’s reason for interviewing. Make sure that you carefully pick trustworthy managers who will make a positive impression on the candidate. You should obtain feedback from these managers as quickly as possible after the candidate’s departure.

Remember, you are recruiting the candidate. Most of the time good candidates are presently employed and if actively looking they are interviewing with other firms as well (some may be your competitors). Of course it is important that you satisfy yourself that the candidate is qualified for the opportunity, but it is also your responsibility to be polite, courteous, and forthright in selling the position to the candidate and answering any questions he may have. Don’t allow interruptions during the interview. It is not only impolite but leaves a bad impression with a candidate.

It is very important that you be the first one to meet the candidate and interview them. Have an "icebreaker" ready to relax the environment. Perhaps you can discuss something from their resume that both of you have in common. It is your responsibility to lead the discussion and control the interview process. We recommend that you review the company, its’ history and future goals, the opportunity, and why the position is open (at the risk of being repetitive). Ask if they have a clear understanding or any questions. Prior to the interview you should have prepared some questions (some derived from their resume) and now begin the interview by reference to them. The following represents a brief list of questions that we have found are helpful in evaluating a candidate:

  • Ask questions that are relevant by reference to the candidates resume.
  • How do you manage your subordinates?
  • What do you feel are your most significant accomplishments?
  • Why did you leave your previous employers?
  • Describe how your skills and experience relate to our opportunity.
  • What is your impression about the way we are currently doing things?
  • Why are you interested in the opportunity?
  • What do you like the least/best about your current job?

What are your near and long term goals?

Do not discuss compensation at this point. Your recruiter has already informed you what the candidate is earning and has given the candidate your parameters as well. It is best to gather input from others and carefully consider an offer before actually presenting one.

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The Offer

Next, solicit comments from the other interviewers and the feedback from the recruiter with respect to the candidate. If you decide to make the candidate an offer, consider the following:

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Don’t wait more than 2 days to make the offer. In a tight labour market you risk losing a candidate to another company. The offer should be verbal and followed up in writing with a "Welcome" letter. Many companies are drawing up a “letter of offer” for their senior positions which offers clarification on requirements and expectations. Otherwise, simply prepare a friendly letter that lets the candidate know that you are looking forward to their joining the team and then confirm your verbal offer with a specific outline of the terms you discussed. Have the candidate sign and mail a copy back to you. This exercise generally helps to bind a candidate mentally to the opportunity.

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A Recruitment & Placement Agency can:

1. Save the client time and money, save advertising expense, save the employer energy making and taking telephone calls and sorting scores of applicant plus eliminate the fruitless interviewing and reference checking on unsuitable applicants.

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2. Speed up the hiring process, because the agency will probably already have suitable candidates on file and available for immediate interviews. It saves the time the employers would spend on planning the ad, arranging with the newspapers to have it inserted and awaiting replies. This process would probably take a week or more of the client's time.

3. Broaden the scope of search for suitable candidates. Even if the employer advertises on his own, he will only hear from candidates who see that particular ad on that particular day and are motivated that particular day to search for a job. This response may not provide the best quality of candidates for the employer to consider.

4. Save embarrassment to the employer by reducing the number of candidates who may have to be declined. Rejected applicants do not help the employers public relations. The professional agency can work in complete confidence and identify the employer to only a very small number of pre-selected and suitable candidates.

5. Provide better employees. Many highly qualified candidates will only use the convenient confidential and professional services of an agency and will not respond directly to an employer's advertisement. They want to know about the job and not waste their time applying for unsuitable job openings. Only the agency can provide this information.

6. Provide a more professional service. By conducting tests and utilizing interviewing techniques which will produce a more professional decision on hiring than the employer could make on their own, especially if recruiting and hiring is only an occasional responsibility. With an agency, interviewing and testing is a full-time job.

7. Provide an objective third party opinion to the negotiations. Often the candidate will state or admit job and salary objectives to an agent that will disqualify him or her for the job, but this will not be stated or admitted to the prospective employer ending up in an uncertain situation for both parties in the end.

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Eva L., Accountant, Extensive experience covering the full accounting cycle including maintaining general and subsidiary...;

Judy P., Office Administrator, Managed 200 tenants at 14 properties covering all aspects of property management...;

Gloria R., Project Assistant, Skilled Policy Writer: Drafted procedures & work instructions, created tracking templates...;