How does collective staffing work on the hiring manager’s side of things?
Within the Community and Collaboration Division (CCD), the Community Resourcing and Professional Development (CRPD) team leads and coordinates selected collective staffing process on behalf of the IM/IT community. In this role, the team brings together participating departments, and coordinates the process to ensure that collective staffing projects are managed in an effective and timely fashion.
Since it is not possible for CCD to provide services to the community for every single staffing requirement, and for every department, community needs are assessed on a regular basis, and priorities are established. The Chief Information Officer Council (CIOC) provides direction, and approves each process that is launched, in order to ensure that community needs are targeted in order of priority and urgency.
While the staffing processes are currently focused on the IM/IT community, it is the intention to expand more broadly to all of the communities that are led by CIO Branch (CIOB) within the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Each collective staffing process will follow these steps:
- Needs Assessment & establishment of priorities – Departments are surveyed to determine the overall community requirements for staffing (this survey is distributed to the CIOs), and whether or not the department wishes to be included in a collective effort. The results are analyzed to determine priorities and the volume of positions to be filled, and recommendations are then presented to CIO Council at least once per year. CIOC provides direction and approval to proceed with planned collective staffing processes.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – All departments that wish to participate in the collective staffing effort are required to sign an MOU with the Community and Collaboration Division (CCD). The purpose of the MOU is to outline the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, and to identify cost sharing requirements for the project.
- Establish Steering Committee – A steering committee is established for each process. The steering committee is responsible for all decisions relating to the staffing process (e.g. Statement of Merit Criteria; Choice of Assessment Tools; Process Decisions; Job Fair; Approval of the Project Plan; Risk Mitigation; etc.); and as such, provides direction and guidance to CCD for the project. Steering committee meetings are scheduled on a regular basis, and key project decisions are tabled at each meeting to ensure that the project remains on track. Typically, the steering committee is chaired by one of the participating departments, and is co-chaired by CCD.
- Working Groups - Throughout the project, the steering committee will designate employees from their departments to participate in various working groups that are tasked with fleshing out key parts of the project (e.g. Development of the job advertisement, or poster, and Statement of Merit; Development of Assessment Tools; Questions, Rating Guides; etc.). Final drafts and recommendations will then be tabled at the steering committee for approval.
- Screening & Assessments – Throughout the project, departments are required to assist with all of the assessment phases of the project – e.g. the screening of candidate applications; evaluating written assessment material; conducting interviews and reference checks; etc. The ORO coordinates these events, and works to ensure that efforts are balanced across the participating departments, and seeks to minimize the overall level of effort required by any one department.
- Job Fair – Each process typically concludes with a job fair. At this event, all qualified candidates are invited to meet with the participating departments (who have signed an MOU with CCD, and have participated in the project). This allows each department to assess the candidates for the "right fit" for their positions, and also provides candidates with an opportunity to market themselves. Since the effort of candidate assessments had been shared amongst participating departments, all departments have not had an opportunity to meet with all candidates, therefore the job fair also provides one final opportunity to meet face-to-face.
- Job Offers – Following the job fair, the participating departments (hiring departments) identify to CRPD which candidates they would like to make a job offer (as an "intent to offer"). CRPD extends all "intents to offer" to the candidates. In some cases, candidates may receive more than one "intent to offer", and will select his/her preference. The CRPD team coordinates the matching of candidates with the hiring departments, and ensures that this process is conducted according to a set of established principles and values that promote fair and transparent decision making.
As a candidate, how can I expect the collective staffing process to unfold?
The collective staffing process works very much the same as a single-staffing process.
Each collective staffing process will follow these steps:
- Staffing poster on the Careers in the federal public service site or the Public Service Staffing Advertisements & Notifications site (available to public service employees only) – Candidates apply to the staffing poster which is available either at the Job Alert and Career Watch (available to public service employees only).
- Assessments – A series of assessments will occur. First, all applications received are screened to ensure that candidates meet the Education and Experience requirements on the poster. After screening, the formal assessments begin, consisting of one or more of the following: written tests, interviews, and reference checks. During this time, arrangements are also made for Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests, for those candidates who wish to be considered for bilingual positions.
- Job Fair – Most of our collective staffing processes conclude with a job fair. At this event, all qualified candidates are invited to meet with hiring departments. This allows each department to assess the candidates for the "right fit" for their positions, and also provides candidates with an opportunity to market themselves and to meet face-to-face with the hiring departments.
- Job Offers – Following the job fair, the hiring departments identify to the CRPD Team which candidates they would like to make a job offer (known as an "intent to offer") to. The Team extends all "intents to offer" to the candidates in a series of job-offer rounds. In some cases, candidates may receive more than one "intent to offer", and this allows the candidate to select his/her preference.
- Candidate Pool– Candidates who do not accept job offers for indeterminate positions from Step #4 above are then placed in a pool. This pool of fully assessed candidates is then made available to all Government of Canada departments and agencies who wish to hire candidates from the pool.
I want to be a successful candidate. What can I do to be proactive?
Throughout the staffing process, the CRPD team will need several pieces of information from you; failure to provide these pieces of information in a timely manner could result in your elimination from the process.
Here are some general tips:
- Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) Profile – First and foremost, keep your PSRS profile up-to-date at all times. We rely heavily on the contact information (ie. civic address & email) that you provide in your PSRS account.
- Education credentials – You will be required to provide proof of education during the assessment phase of the staffing process. Now is the time to start looking for your diplomas and/or transcripts. If your diploma does not clearly state the field of study, now is the time to get an official transcript. If you are still in school and expect to graduate by the deadline on the poster, you should make the effort to get a letter from the Registrar’s Office which shows that you are currently enrolled in school. If you studied outside of Canada, you will need to provide proof of your education credentials; the website of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials provides information on how to proceed in getting this documentation.
- Previous test results – if you already have valid Second Language Evaluation (SLE) test results, find them. If you have misplaced them, don’t worry, you can request previous test results from the Public Service Commission. (PSC)
- Accommodations – If you have special needs that require accommodation, now would be the time to get official statements regarding the type of accommodations you require during assessments. Further information can be found on the PSC’s website.
- Canadian citizenship - If you have obtained Canadian citizenship, ensure that your PSRS profile is up-to-date and keep a copy of your proof of citizenship to provide to us as required.
- CS Grandfathering Clause - If you meet the CS Education Grandfathering clause, have your proof ready to submit to us when requested.
- Résumé - Get your résumé up-to-date.
Once you have all of your documentation handy, keep it in a safe place. That way when the email arrives from us asking you for further information you’ll be able to send it to us quickly (instead of asking us for a few weeks grace while you look for your documents).
Do you have tips on how to apply to staffing processes and prepare for written tests and interviews?
You have invested time and effort into getting your diploma, you will also need to invest some time and effort into preparing your job application and résumé. The PSC’s website has a wealth of information on how to apply to a staffing process; this will get you started.
The website also has some information for you on how to prepare for your written tests and interviews.
The keyword is “prepare”. In addition to the information on the PSC’s website, here are some tips:
- Read and understand the Merit Criteria.
- More often than not, technical competencies (i.e. knowledge) will be assessed through written tests and behavioural competencies will be assessed through oral interviews.
- Technical competencies – review notes from courses, think about the work you do, etc…
- Behavioural competencies - PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE – think about times when you demonstrated the behaviours listed on the Statement of Merit Criteria and practice explaining the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How’s of the situations. Be sure that you are able to CLEARLY explain the situation, your role, what YOU did, what you learnt, etc… A couple of hours on the web researching Behaviour Based Interviews will go a long way towards helping you out.
- And finally, when it comes time for your written test and interview, take a deep breath and relax.
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