August 18, 2011

Make the Hiring Decision

When making the hiring decision, you need to focus on objective criteria, such as the candidate’s experience, qualifications and competencies. At this stage, it’s important to get feedback from other interviewers to provide a more objective picture of each candidate — and to eliminate subjective “gut feel” or “best fit” judgments.

If more than one candidate meets your hiring criteria, consider holding a second round of interviews or a workplace assessment, where the candidates can demonstrate their skills.

Workplace Assessment

To create a workplace assessment:

  • Identify the many ways that the job or task could be accomplished.
  • Determine whether the assessment questions or situation requires culture-specific knowledge or puts some cultural groups at a disadvantage. For example, subtle word meanings, idioms, colloquialisms or jokes may hold alternate or little meaning for skilled immigrants, leading to an unfair assessment of their skills.
  • Use a variety of assessment tools to ensure candidates have the chance to showcase their competencies in different ways. Plus, ensure the demands of the assessment tool don’t surpass the requirements of the position

Checking References

You should check references, regardless of where the candidate is from.

While a skilled immigrant’s reference may pose some time-zone challenges, this can be easily overcome by building in time in your recruitment process for time-zone differences when checking international references. Also build in time, and budget for language translation, if necessary. To save costs, check references by email.

If you sourced a candidate through a non-profit employment agency serving immigrants, it may help you check overseas references. You could also consider using an international reference checking service.

This guide to checking references has more tips on how to check a skilled immigrant’s references. This reference and criminal checks policy and this Reference Check Form can be adapted to suit your organization’s needs and use this form

If the Decision is No

Give clear, valid reasons to candidates wishing to learn why they were not hired. It’s alright to tell skilled immigrants concrete reasons why you did not hire them, whether poor communication skills, insufficient credentials or other reasons. This gives them an opportunity to fill these gaps.

You may be tempted to turn down a skilled immigrant who is over-qualified for the position. While these candidates often lack the Canadian experience to secure a position matching their level of experience, they may be highly motivated and could be considered for internal fast-tracking or leadership development programs.

Also, turning down a skilled immigrant for being over-qualified can be risky. One over-qualified immigrant, who was rejected for an entry-level position in his field, filed a petition with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Listen to the discussion on the ruling’s impact on HR practices.

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