Unemployment Rate: In any economy and with any job industry, the unemployment rate can have a strong impact on the recruitment process. In an economy with high unemployment rates, there will be more applicants for a single position. However, the opposite is true for an economy where there are low unemployment rates. An update on September 7th, 2018 showed that the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.0% in August, which was an increase from the previous month of July. The labour force participation rate decreased to 65.3%, and there was an employment rate of 61.4%. In a list of 45 countries and with 45th place being the highest unemployment rate, Canada ranks in 18th place on the list, indicating that the unemployment rate is not considered to be high, but more on the average side. Therefore, with a low/average unemployment rate, there is a lower number of applicants for a single job application.
Competition: The higher the competition in a given area, the more difficult it becomes to find candidates in that area. Because the shortage of teachers is London, Ontario wide, the competition is high as the shortage is not limited to just one school within the school boards, but all the schools in the London, Ontario area, including the Catholic school boards. In order to tackle the problem of competition, recruitment strategies and policies will have to be fine-tuned in order to gain that competitive edge.
Labour Laws: It is believed that there is a strong link between the strength of labor laws and the employment of teachers. For example, weak labor laws, such as “the right to work and lack of collective bargaining rights lead to lower salaries, ultimately resulting in strikes.” (Delgadillo, 2018). A recruitment program of any organization must comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including eliminating discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds, as outlined in the Human Rights Code.
Demand: Supply and Demand doesn’t only apply to economics, but it is also true in the case of talent acquisition. If a specific skill is “absent” from the talent pool, not only does the worth of that talent increase, but so does the difficulty in finding that talent. Organizations are then forced to either train candidates to acquire that skill, or work even harder to find the right talent. With the shortage of teachers in London, Ontario, demand is high, but the supply of the skills and talent is low.
HR Policies: Recruitment and selection falls under the category of human resources, and the human resources policies of that organization. These policies main objective is to acquire the best talent from a given talent pool. Defining the recruitment process, its specific objectives, and process of implementation are all dependent on the organizations HR policies.
Budget: Just like training requires a decent size budget to cover training costs, recruitment also requires a reasonable budget in order to cover costs. The cost of recruitment is especially important for organizations who would be looking to determine their return on investment (ROI) of said recruitment. Therefore, a recruitment plan should not be considered complete unless it also includes a budget for recruitment. Calculating an average of cost per hire (CPH) can be an effective way to plan your budget the right way for general planning purposes.
CPH = (Internal Recruiting Costs + External Recruiting Costs)
Total Number of Hires
Size of the Firm / Complexity of Recruitment Processes: If a recruitment and selection plan is going to be successful, it must align with the organizations business plan. This business plan includes the organizations missions, values, and identification of its weaknesses and strengths. In the London, Ontario area, there are two school boards at play: The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), and the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB). Snapshots of their business plans can be found below. Organizational policies will also determine the complexity of recruitment processes. The wider the organization, the more complex the recruitment process becomes. For example, some organizations policy may require that preference be given to internal candidates, whereas others may require preference given to external candidates in order to drive in new, innovative ideas.
Business Plan Component TVDSB LDCSB
Mission and Vision Statements Mission: We build each students’ tomorrow, every day. (tvdsb.ca)
Vision: The Thames Valley learning community inspires innovation, embraces diversity, and celebrates achievement – a strong foundation for all students.
Mission: To Serve our students through excellence in Catholic education. (ldcsb.ca)
Vision: Inspired by Christ. Learning together. Serving together. (ldcsb.ca)
Values Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Trust, Co-operation, Empathy, Integrity, Courtesy
Weaknesses Technology, Academic Equity, Social-Emotional Needs of students, budget and financial restraints
Strengths Academic Achievement, Quality of curriculum, high expectations of excellence, diversity, parent and community support
The mission, goals and business strategy must be kept in mind when developing recruitment strategies and plans. Even though the two different school boards within the London, Ontario district are facing the same challenge, they both still have different business strategies, even if their mission and goals are similar. In simple terms: different goals mean different strategies. The goals of each school board are outlined below:
Improve educator pedagogy Promote student engagement and innovation through technology
Increase social and professional capital of educators Responsible stewardship of resources
Increase use of school-based data in decision making Identify strategies, or best practices for student transitions from grade 8 to grade 9
The value for both school boards can be considered the same: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Trust, Co-operation, Empathy, Integrity, and Courtesy.
Both school boards aim to provide an equitable and inclusive environment, not just for its students, but for the teachers and staff with the school boards as well. This is an especially important quality and target for each school board to maintain as individuals may tend to succeed more if they feel “included” and valued – in any environment that they are in.
Job Analysis/Job Description
Job Description “To teach and educate students according to the educational needs, and abilities” (Job Description, Teacher).
Key Activities Plan, prepare and deliver lessons
Assign work, correct and mark
Assess, record and report on development
Requirements (Competencies) Leadership skills, Interpersonal, Communication, Collaboration
Qualifications and Professional Development Bachelor’s Degree
Basic writing and math skills
Special Conditions Teachers College
Proof of competence in areas of expertise
Although internal recruitment is much more cost-effective and less time consuming for an organization, in the case of the shortages within the TVDSB and LDCSB boards, hiring internally would be like digging one hole to fill another. For example, promoting a teacher to principal would leave an even bigger shortage of teachers. Internal recruitment would also result in a workforce that is less diversified in respect to minorities in the workforce. The problem with the TVDSB and LDCSB is simply put: shortage of teaching talent. This means that new talent is needed.
The impacts of internal recruitment have both its pros and its cons. Some of these advantages and disadvantages these school boards face is outlined below:
Advantages – Reduces time to hire
Applicants are already screened, with track records easily
– Applicants already know and understand the organizational
culture. Strengthens employee engagement
– Cost less
No need to pay for background checks, post externally, etc.
– If an applicant is unsuccessful, they may become less motivated
and consider transferring, or looking elsewhere
Disadvantages – Create resentment among employees or superiors
– Leaves a gap in workforce
Taking an employee to fill an open position leaves their
previous position vacant
– Limits the pool of applicants
– Results in inflexible culture
One of the major components of the school boards internal recruitment strategy should be to upgrade supply staff to a full-time position, or at least the ones that are willing to, or would accept such a promotion. A key aspect of this teacher retention should be to look at motivational factors: why do the supply staff not want to be promoted? Is there a factor that could change their mind? If hours are the problem, is it because of family obligations? If so, perhaps the organization can accommodate where reasonable and effective for both parties. Or, if it is because of pay discrepancies, perhaps equal pay for equal work policies?
Internal job postings should be done by posting notices in buildings (head office, school office bulletin boards, etc.), but also posting on social media and maintaining an up to date “careers” section on internal websites. Circulating these job ads can also be done via email and word of mouth by announcing at meetings. Some of the internal recruitment methods, aside from promotions are:
• Transfers: an alternative to promotions that involves a shift from one job to another without change in position. For example: interchanging the job duties of teachers in the physical education department to another under-staffed department.
• Employee referrals and nominations
These recruitment methods would be the most beneficial for the school boards because they are cost effective and can facilitate succession planning. These internal recruitment methods can improve teacher retention and promote a diverse workforce, but also improve productivity. If teachers see there is room for growth, they are more likely to perform better or be willing to take on additional responsibilities. In order to address diversity with these recruitment methods, referrals should be used from current diversity employees, therefore targeting minority and diversity groups. Building relationships with cultural groups or organizations that work with diverse communities will also help to address the issue of promoting a diverse workforce. Even applicants not currently considering working for the organization may change their mind if the organizations visibility is increased (example: networking events and job fairs). (Catano, Recruitment and Selection in Canada, 7th edition). Therefore, promoting the organization as a desirable place to work will attract a more diverse workforce.
It is important that both school boards have clearly thought out, well written job descriptions that will attract the best possible applicants. All current openings with a clear job description should be posted on the organization’s website; however, this should not be the only means for recruitment.
Recruiting at educational institutions such as teachers’ colleges and universities and colleges can be expensive, and is time consuming; however, it can be a great way to source target applicants, especially where certain entry level positions are vacant and need to be filled. Using job agencies such as the job bank or private employment agencies can also aid in the search for targeted applicants. With the use of employment agencies, it can allow for greater flexibility and fill positions more quickly. This also means that exceptional employees can also be hired full-time and become a long-term/permanent employee.
The internet and social media have become very popular in the technology era where almost everyone owns a smartphone, but not everyone may visit a job board. Social media pages are incredibly easy to set up, and most of the time are free, or there is a very low membership fee. The search for applicants can also be done via social media, with websites like LinkedIn for example, where most users typically feature their resume as their profile. Most HR professionals can therefore eliminate the need for search firms, and the costs associated. These types of tools will allow the school boards to effectively engage with target applicants’ pools and can identify if applicants are a good cultural fit (vetting an applicant). Social media and its power should also not be underestimated as it can be a great tool for referrals and spread information quickly, therefore allowing a single job posting to reach more potential applicants quicker. Costs are minimal and social media recruiting can result in loyal, well qualified applicants that perform better on the job.
With any recruitment method, whether internal or external, discrimination can occur, also resulting in a less diverse workforce. The following is how the school boards can ensure a fair recruitment process:
• Conduct a thorough job analysis – determine the specific KSAO’s and job-related selection criteria. Anything that is not job related should be excluded.
• Valid and justifiable assessments
o Content validity
o Criterion validity
o Construct validity
o Face validity
In addition, job postings should ensure that they don’t include images that may exclude potential applicants. Implementing a pipeline of diverse employees will include:
• Utilizing general neutral language in job descriptions
• State commitment to building a diverse, inclusive, desirable culture
• Focus on being results based, not qualifications based (example: what is an applicant expected to achieve).
• Go above and beyond the obvious applicant sources.
o Use blind screening to minimize biases
• When using referrals for recruitment, explicitly ask employees to “think outside the box,” and not just their close friend or family member.
Attracting Job Applicants
Attracting job applicants to apply for vacant positions will be an important task for both school boards. Financial motivation and pay is a strong factor in whether an applicant is attracted to a certain position or not; however, there are also many non-financial factors that the school boards should be aware of. Both school boards should ensure that their work environment and work culture is attractive enough that applicants would want to be apart of it. For example:
• A high functional workplace with a strong, united team
o Comfortable, orderly, welcoming culture
• Effective management with a vision for the future
• Opportunities for professional growth and development
• Rewards and recognition
o Public recognition, certifications of achievement, etc.
Many recruiters often ask, “why should we hire you?”; however, applicants can also ask the same question “why would I want to work for you?” Therefore, value propositions offered to either internal or external candidates will aid in answering these questions for applicants. Both internal and external applicants should be provided with the following value propositions:
• Rewards: Compensation, benefits and vacation
• Work life balance
• Development opportunities and growth
• Dynamic company culture
• Positioning or aiming to be an industry leader ? example: the best school board to work for.
For their time and effort invested into the workforce performance, applicants and employees want to know what’s in it for them; therefore, employee value propositions are vital for attracting and retaining the right talent. For example: a potential applicant who has a thorough understanding of what the position entails, both good and bad can then make an informed discovery to whether they would be a good fit or not.
Improving accuracy of perceptions and encouraging effective communication throughout the recruitment process is essential for hiring applicants that fit the position and the organization. Of course, an applicant should be able to perform well on the job as is the case with person-job fit; however, the ideal candidate should also fit with the organization.
Creating accurate expectations should include accurately describing job contexts that include both positive and negative information. Information should be broad as to give applicants a wide range of expectations; however, it should also be specific. Many sources of communication media should also be used to increase overall effectiveness of communication. Providing applicants with a realistic job preview will aid in determining a fit between an applicant and the school boards; therefore, allowing applicants who believe they are not a fit to self-select out. Providing job previews can easily be done by having current employees discuss or briefly outline what a typical day looks like for them. This will not only proving the potential applicant with a glimpse into a typical day, but it will allow the potential applicant to determine the possibility of self-selecting out. The school boards should also:
• Utilize competencies related to core values
• Avoiding biases
• Utilizing behavioral based questions
Evaluation of the Recruitment Strategic Plan
Behavioral, attitudinal, and performance measures should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of this recruitment strategy. An outline of each measure it provided below:
Behavioral Attitudinal Performance
Turnover rates (6-month increments) Job Involvement and satisfaction Performance potential and ratings
Recruitment Cost Commitment Quality of work/hire
Time to fill positions Perceived accuracy
Attention should also be given to employment equity to determine if there is an increased presence of any of the protected groups or minorities after recruitment.