THE MANAGER'S by yaofenjin

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									THE MANAGER’S

April 2008
            The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook
            Table of Contents
Acknowledgement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
List of Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
The New Context of Modernization and Renewal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
The Need for Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
About Collective Staffing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
When to Consider Collective Staffing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Decision Point No. 1: Plan Human Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Decision Point No. 2: Establish Merit Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Decision Point No. 3: Choose the Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Decision Point No. 4: Assess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Decision Point No. 5: Select from a Pool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Decision Point No. 6: Notify . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Decision Point No. 7: Make the Appointment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                                                        1
Informal Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Practical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Real Life Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Learning and Training Opportunities from the Canada School of Public Service . . . . . .43

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                                                2
The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) express their gratitude to all the members of
the previous Collective Staffing Emerging Practices Working Group for their hard work
and dedication to the elaboration of the first version of the Manager’s Collective Staffing
Handbook. This second and updated version would not have been possible without
their engagement:

•   Jean-Jacques Blais, Service Canada
•   Céline Bourdages, Canada Public Service Agency
•   Joanne Brassard, Public Service Commission
•   Virginie, Carrier, Canada Public Service Agency
•   Jean Daigle, Public Service Commission
•   Monique Dumont, Justice Canada (formely with Canada School of Public Service)
•   Deborah Murray, Canada Public Service Agency (formerly with Canada Border
    Services Agency)
•   Hélène Nadeau, Canadian International Trade Tribunal
•   Julie Neveu, Canada Border Services Agency (formely with Canada School
    of Public Service)
•   Claude Olivier, Canada Public Service Agency
•   Diane Portelance, Canada School of Public Service
•   Suzanne Sarault, Privy Council Office (formely with Social Development Canada)
•   Sophia Sudnikowicz, Public Service Commission

Special thanks also go to the workshop leaders whose presentations at the November 2006
Forum became the backbone to this Guide:

Étienne Laliberté and Robert Martinolich, GT-05 and PM-05 Recruitment Initiative,
Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Nicole Carrière and Hanny Toxopeus, EX Recruitment Initiative from Canada School
of Public Service.

Noémie Desmeules, Louise Jacob and Paulette Panzeri, HR Capacity-Building Initiative
led by the Human Resources Council.

Céline Jean and Véronique Séguin, PC-01 Recruitment Initiative led by the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Special thanks also go to Jennifer Miles from the Public Service Commission for providing
feedback on an ongoing basis to update the first version of the handbook.
Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook          3
         List of Acronyms
CEAA    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
CHRP    Certified Human Resources Professional
CIDA    Canadian International Development Agency
COOP    Cooperative Education
CPSA    Canada Public Service Agency, new applied title of Public Service Human
        Resources Management Agency of Canada as of May 2007
CSPS    Canada School of Public Service
DFO     Department of Fisheries and Oceans
DMHRMAC Deputy Minister Human Resources Management Advisory Committee
EAPC    Environmental Assessment Project Committee
EARDP   Environmental Assessment Recruitment and Development Program
EC      Environment Canada
EE      Employment Equity
EX      Executive (Occupational Group)
FAQ     Frequently Asked Questions
FOCPP   Fishery Officer Career Progression Program
FSWEP   Federal Student Work Experience Program
GT      Technical Services (Occupational Group)
HC      Health Canada
HRCS    Human Resources Community Secretariat
INAC    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
NRCAN   Natural Resources Canada
PCMAF   People Component Management Accountability Framework
PDAP    Professional Development and Apprenticeship Programs
PE      Human Resources Management (Occupational Group)
PM      Program and Administrative Services (Occupational Group)
PS      Public Service
PSC     Public Service Commission
PSE     Postsecondary Education
PSEA    Public Service Employment Act
PSMA    Public Service Modernization Act
PSR     Postsecondary Recruitment Program or Campaign
PSRS    Public Service Resourcing System
PSST    Public Service Staffing Tribunal
TC      Transport Canada
TLN     The Leadership Network
WG      Working Group

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook   4

The New Context of                                           now be integrated, with mandates linked
Modernization and Renewal                                    to positions; and providing flexible means
                                                             for achieving organizational goals. It
The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA)                     requires thinking outside the boundaries
broke new ground in human resources                          of separate workplaces to form partner-
(HR) management. Implemented at the                          ships across interdependent entities.
end of December 2005, the PSEA forever
changed the way staffing and recruitment                     The Need for Leadership
would be done within the public service.
Values and principles are now to be                          As with any significant change, the key
emphasized more than rules and                               to successful implementation is leadership
processes. Fairness, transparency,                           in effecting the required cultural transition.
representativeness, and access are to                        Deputy heads and sub-delegated man-
guide all actions; the need for flexibility,                 agers are the vanguard of this revolution;
affordability and efficiency are to be                       they are the ones who must test the
taken into account in all decisions.                         waters, change mindsets and influence
                                                             new behaviours. Institutional change will
With the new legislation, the Public                         not happen unless supported at the top.
Service Commission has delegated most
appointment-related authorities to deputy                    Naturally, venturing into unknown
heads, who can in turn empower man-                          territory entails some risk. Moving away
agers within their organization to hire,                     from traditional methods and approaches
manage and lead their human resources.                       involves meeting sometimes unforeseen
Some appointment authorities have been                       challenges. Continuing to rely on past
delegated to deputy heads directly by                        practices is tempting, but to do so would
the legislation.                                             defeat the purpose of modernization.

Merit is when a person meets the criteria
established for the job rather than how
a person can be rated in relation to
other candidates.

Efficient interaction between HR experts
and managers is at the heart of the new
system; relationship management,
including that between hiring managers,
unions and employees, has taken on a new
meaning; business and HR plans must

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       5
       The seven “decision points” identi-                          Practical Considerations are
       fied in various documents at the                             offered as guidance for hiring
       early stages of PSMA and PSEA                                managers; they are drawn from the
       implementation form the core                          cases discussed at the Forum and from
around which the information in this hand-                   advice given by the Working Group and
book is organized. Although the decision                     the Central Agencies. It is expected that
points are presented here in a linear form                   organizations will adjust and tailor the
for ease of reference and understanding, it                  advice to fit their needs.
is important to note that they may occur
in a different sequence and that some                             Real Life Examples are captured
may be handled in parallel.                                       in tables that show how the actual
                                                                  initiatives volunteered by DFO,
Each decision point section opens with                       CSPS, EARDP, and the HR Community
a short statement of what is involved,                       approached each decision point.
followed by a few explanatory paragraphs.
                                                                   Links to resources and tools are
                                                                   added to give managers a sense
                                                                   of what their colleagues across the
                                                             Public Service have designed and used
                                                             in managing their own processes.

                                                             Should you wish to help enrich this
                                                             collection of practices by sharing your
                                                             own experience of collective staffing,
                                                             please follow the instructions given at the
                                                             end of the handbook.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                      6
          About Collective

                                                             When to Consider Collective Staffing
    Internal or external advertised processes                Although not exhaustive, this list of trigger
    that establish a pool of candidates from                 points is offered for your consideration:
    which appointments will be made. The
    resulting pool may be used to staff                      When to use collective staffing?
    several positions and/or levels within
    or among one or more organizations.                      The deputy head will determine the
                                                             circumstances under which a collective
                                                             staffing process is used. A collective
The ultimate goal of collective staffing is no
                                                             process can be advantageous when:
different from that of other hiring processes
—namely, to ensure that the right people
                                                             •   there is a high turnover within large
are selected for the right jobs. To that end,
                                                                 numbers of similar positions;
the collective staffing process offers:
                                                             •   historically, there have been employment
•    The possibility to staff several                            opportunities in the same occupational
     positions—across an organization or                         group and level with common merit
     across several departments—in a single                      criteria within the same time frames;
     process, allowing for savings in time and
     effort for managers and HR specialists.                 •   resource pools for these positions have
                                                                 been exhausted before they expire;
•    Opportunities to develop common
     tools and processes that can be used                    •   attrition will require large
     by anyone tasked with running                               staffing actions;
     a staffing process.                                     •   Changes in business activities require
•    Relief from some of the                                     a significant increase in the supply of
     pressures imposed by repetitive                             similar skills and competencies.
     independent processes.                                  •   other regions and/or organizations
•    A project management approach linked                        have similar staffing requirements; and
     to organizational planning. HR advisors                 •   managers are comfortable with
     thereby become members of the                               other managers assessing candidates
     project management team.                                    on their behalf.
•    Improved access to jobs for candidates.
     Participation in one process may place
     them “on the radar” of several
     hiring managers.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       7
The alternatives are an independent                          In Summary
staffing appointment process, appointment
through professional development and                         Collective staffing has to do with
apprenticeship programs (PDAPs—in which
capacity is built in-house), and recruitment                 •   Finding positions that share similar
(the manager uses departmental or central                        essential merit criteria across
recruitment programs to seek employees                           organizations and regions;
from outside the Public Service).
                                                             •   Creating partnerships;
Collective staffing can be combined                          •   Preparing an organization for
with other processes, notably PDAPs                              future hiring.
and recruitment initiatives, as illustrated
by some of the examples in this handbook.

For more information about Collective
Staffing, see the Staffing Toolkit for
Managers and the Collective Staffing
Process: Map Narrative.

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Figure 1: Collective Staffing Diagram

  Internal Collective Staffing Process

      Plan HR                      Establish                     Choose the                          Assess
                                     Merit                        Process
  • Consider business              Criteria                                                   • Choose and
    plan in conjunction                                      • Consider Priorities              apply assessment
    with HR and EE plans                                     • Choose advertised                instruments
                              • Set
                                - Essential qualifications     or non-advertised
                                - Asset qualifications       • Set area of
                                - Operational requirements                            Informal
                                - Organizational needs

      Lessons                     Make the                          Notify                        Select from
      Learned                    Appointment                                                        a Pool
                                                             • Respect waiting period
  • Plan for future                                                                           • Choose “right fit”
  • Report on results                                                                         • Recognize ranking
                                                                                                no longer required

  External Collective Staffing Process

      Plan HR                      Establish                     Choose the                          Assess
                                     Merit                        Process
  • Consider business              Criteria                                                   • Choose and
    plan in conjunction                                      • Consider Priorities              apply assessment
    with HR and EE plans                                     • Choose advertised                instruments
                              • Set
                                                               or non-advertised
                                - Essential qualifications
                                - Asset qualifications       • Set area of selection
                                - Operational requirements
                                - Organizational needs

      Lessons                     Make the                   Inform candidates                    Select from
      Learned                    Appointment                  of their status in                    a Pool
  • Plan for future                                              the process                  • Choose “right fit”
  • Report on results                                                                         • Recognize ranking
                                                                                                no longer required

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                                9
         DECISION POINT No. 1
         Plan Human Resources

                Plan HR                      Establish

  “Plan HR” is where a staffing process is                   •   An overview of the
  considered from start to finish.                               organizational context;
  Integrated planning helps in deciding                      •   A brief description of the job or jobs
  whether a collective process is the best                       that are to be filled;
  strategy for filling your staffing needs.
                                                             •   A connection between business
                                                                 and HR needs.
Decision Point No. 1 sets the context
for the entire process: support from the
                                                             The planning exercise should enable
Executive team, how the duties to be
                                                             you to consider your options, including
performed fit into the organizational
                                                             collective staffing.
mandate, why a particular skill set is
being sought, how the merit criteria are
                                                             There is real value in linking all the steps
to be defined and explained, and why
                                                             and considering how your decisions at any
it is in the best interest of hiring managers
                                                             given point will set the conditions for the
to join efforts.
                                                             next stage. This can be very helpful during
                                                             informal discussions. Establishing systems
All organizations are encouraged to
                                                             for electronically managing the documents
develop an integrated business and
                                                             and information generated throughout
human resource plan that will eventually
                                                             the process can save time, reduce errors,
include a staffing strategy and the types
                                                             and expedite reporting.
of processes that the strategy will support.
This overall plan will therefore reference
                                                             For detailed information about Integrated
collective staffing processes.
                                                             HR and Business Planning, refer to the
                                                             Integrated HR and Business Planning Toolkit.
The comprehensiveness or degree of
                                                             Assistance is also available from the HR
completeness of the integrated plan will
                                                             Planning and Development Directorate
vary from one organization to another,
                                                             at CPSA and from the HR Planning
but typically, it will include:
                                                             Interdepartmental Network.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                      10
         Practical Considerations

Engage the Executive team in an HR                           Ensure that the governance structure
management exercise focused on the                           reflects commitment at the top as well
future of the organization and on                            as the expected partnership between the
the strategic competencies required                          HR specialists, hiring managers, union
to fulfill the vision.                                       representatives, employment equity
                                                             representatives and others as appropriate.
If two or more departments or agencies
are involved, establish common goals                         This governance structure will be
based on an assessment of the market                         responsible for any of the following tasks:
for certain competencies, the needs of a
particular functional community or broader                   •   Confirming merit criteria and methods
priorities such as Public Service renewal.                       of assessment;

                                                             •   Establishing pool parameters (purpose,
Build your business case: provide strong
                                                                 type, access, duration, intake process,
analysis and data to support the collective
                                                                 size, validity and refurbishment period);
approach, make the cost of not
participating clear, and insist on the                       •   Establishing and implementing
importance of collective design.                                 communication protocols;

Set clear priorities, and emphasize                          •   Overseeing pool management,
the benefits of collaboration between                            assessment and improvements;
participating managers.                                      •   Anticipating and meeting resource
                                                                 requirements such as record keeping
Design a critical path that considers the                        and conducting assessments;
process in its entirety, including the
implications of each step, and training                      •   Reviewing reports and records
required for everyone involved. Take it all                      (for example, Staffing Management
the way to the communications strategy                           Accountability Framework indicators).
and the management of documentation.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                      11
         Real Life Examples

Table 1: Integrated Planning – Key Drivers for Each Initiative

  Initiative                                 Key Drivers

  DFO                       Context of low employee trust in staffing actions; desire to give
  (B.C./Yukon)              new PSEA flexibility a chance; one month after PSEA implementation.
                            The process was a learning experience for all concerned.
  GT-05 and
  PM-05                     Connection made between job duties, government agenda, unit
                            objectives and HR needs; qualitative data put together about
                            organizational situations in the Pacific Region as a whole and
                            in each geographic sub-area.

                            HR plan communicated to staff in a simple email as soon
                            as staffing process launched.

  CSPS                      Impact of new demographics on business requirements; link to
                            government learning agenda driving PS renewal.
  EX-01, 02,
  and 03                    The role of the School in the development of modern leadership.

                            Need to review Executive level staffing requirements in support
                            of new learning agenda.

  HR                        Need to replenish the ranks of HR professionals in the Public
  Community                 Service; implications for all departments and agencies highlighted
                            in the comprehensive assessment carried out by the
  PE-01                     Interdepartmental HR Capacity Building Working Group.

                            Evolving needs of functional community; agreement on goals,
                            action and results.

  CEAA                      Market conditions: low supply of skills in high demand from
  (EARDP)                   competing federal institutions; expertise not available within PS.

  PC-01                     Compelling need to work together given onus on all federal
                            departments to do environmental assessments.

                            PSC had been running a post-secondary recruitment campaign
                            reaching out to universities. Lacking an equivalent capacity, CEAA
                            used the PSC infrastructure as the vehicle.

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Table 2: Process Management – Governance Structures and Partnerships


  Initiative                DFO
                            GT-05 and PM-05

  Governance                Light structure suited to single region and department process.

  Partnerships              Six hiring managers; one coordinator; HR specialists; consultation
                            with union representatives.

  How It Worked             The managers were accustomed to working together; their
                            collaboration and their readiness to involve the unions were
                            success factors, so was the time they invested in the front end.

  Initiative                CSPS
                            EX-01, 02, and 03

  Governance                Executive Committee as a whole, with senior management
                            champion named for each level.

  Partnerships              Constant links with HR specialists and consultants; open and
                            frequent exchange of information.

  How It Worked             Senior managers had to be available at each step. All qualified
                            candidates had to be considered before a manager could seek
                            others from outside the pool; a rationale was required each time
                            no ‘right fit’ could be determined.

                            Agreement on ‘rules of engagement’ would have helped to avoid
                            ‘bidding’ situations while recruiting.

                                                                                      continued »

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  Initiative                HR Community

  Governance                Interdepartmental Working Group mandated by HR Council
                            and Deputy Ministers Committee (DMHRMAC) delegated to
                            a sub-group on recruitment.

  Partnerships              HR Council (heads of human resources), plus HR Community
                            Secretariat (logistics and communications support) led initiative
                            with CPSA/The Leadership Network (TLN), who managed
                            the assessment and matching of candidates with jobs, the PSC,
                            and 25 departments and agencies.

  How It Worked             Provided high-level leadership and support. Resulted in overall
                            HR Capacity Strategy approval.

                            Community developed directions and guidelines for departmental
                            representatives to ensure consistency of approach (for example,
                            ‘rules of engagement’).

  Initiative                CEAA

  Governance                Environmental Assessment Project Committee (EAPC).

                            HR sub-committee designed and implemented the process, with
                            support from a Program Coordinator.

  Partnerships              CEAA (lead)
                            TC, EC, INAC, DFO, HC, NRCAN

  How It Worked             HR Sub-committee had final word; or controversial selection issues
                            were brought to the EAPC.

                            The Environmental Assessment Recruitment and Development
                            Program (EARDP) was developed as a running program, managed
                            centrally under CEAA leadership; the six departments and
                            agencies share costs and candidate selection, and provide
                            work assignments, coaching and learning opportunities for
                            24 to 30 months.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook               14
         Tools, Models, References
  For assistance, see part 1 of the Staffing Checklist, learning and training opportunities
  in the Best Practice Manual, and the PSC Appointment Framework.

  A list of process management activities is also proposed in the Best Practice Manual.

  For ideas on how to establish partnerships among hiring managers, see in Best Practice
  Manual the Protocol Agreement developed by several branches at CIDA to manage a
  PM-06 collective process.

  Check the PSC’s online Post Secondary Recruitment Campaign to learn about
  the vehicle used by the CEAA initiative.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook           15
         DECISION POINT No. 2
         Establish Merit Criteria

               Plan HR                      Establish                   Choose the
                                              Merit                      Process

  Essential qualifications must be                           Current and future operational
  established; determination of asset                        requirements are deemed important for
  qualifications, operational requirements                   the operation of the work unit or the
                                                             organization; they pertain to the work,
  and organizational needs is optional.
                                                             not to the person—e.g. shift work. Current
                                                             and future organizational needs are linked
Decision Point No. 2 is when hiring
                                                             to the mandate of the organization; they
managers have the chance to register
                                                             relate to the organization more than to the
their needs. Later, this input will influence
                                                             position—e.g. need to place affected staff.
the choice of assessment instruments
and pool design.
                                                             For detailed information, see the
                                                             Staffing Toolkit for Managers and the
Merit means that a candidate meets the
                                                             Collective Staffing Process: Map Narrative.
criteria for the job, rather than how that
                                                             As well, refer to the People Component
candidate can be rated in relation to other
                                                             of the Management Accountability
candidates. The essential qualifications
                                                             Framework (PCMAF).
are those absolutely required to perform
the work involved—for example,
experience, education, knowledge, skills,
official languages, and so on. Asset
qualifications are those that could benefit
the organization or enhance the work to
be performed—for example, proficiency in
languages other than English and French.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                     16
         Practical Considerations

Link the merit criteria to the combined                      Validate the Statement of Merit Criteria
HR and business plan, showing how                            with stakeholders who are familiar with
the skills and experience required will                      the work environment and the duties
benefit the organization.                                    to be performed.

Be selective in the number and nature                        Provide hiring managers with opportunities
of essential qualifications: the more that                   to discuss their needs. Empower them
are identified, the more that have                           to make the decisions that have a bearing
to be assessed. The capacity to perform                      on their business.
all duties must be assessed by one or
more qualifications.                                         Remember that the Statement of Merit
                                                             Criteria is a communications tool as well
Keep essential qualifications generic to                     as a determining factor in the appointment
make the process accessible to candidates                    process. Once posted, it serves to
with various backgrounds.                                    clarify to potential employees what they
                                                             may be able to contribute to the
                                                             organization if selected.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                     17
         Real Life Examples

Table 3: Type and Number of Merit Criteria for Each Initiative


  Initiative                DFO

  Profile Sought            Field or Branch supervisor competencies; with technical
                            skills and experience.

  Essential                 GT-05: 15
  Qualifications            PM-05: 17
                            Developed with the union before PSEA implementation.

  Asset                     GT-05: 18
  Qualifications            PM-05: 22
                            Defined by hiring managers for these particular processes.

  Operational               Travel Vancouver/Isolated posts
  Requirements              Covert operations assessment
                            Defined by hiring managers.

  Organizational            Equity
  Needs                     Defined by hiring managers.

  Lessons                   The essential qualifications were clear for everyone but their
  Learned                   sheer number made it hard for even good candidates to succeed.
                            A person who scored high overall but who failed on one or more
                            specific criteria could not advance to the next step. As well, the
                            four months spent assessing essential qualifications made it less
                            attractive for individual managers to consider the other criteria.

                                                                                      continued »

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook             18

  Initiative                CSPS

  Profile Sought            Executives versed in policy research or high level
                            program management.

  Essential                 EX-01: 11
  Qualifications            EX-02: 12
                            EX-03: 13

  Asset                     EX-01: 15
  Qualifications            EX-02: 13
                            EX-03: 14

  Operational               None

  Organizational            Equity

  Lessons                   Statement of Merit Criteria developed to meet current
  Learned                   and future needs.


  Initiative                HR

  Profile Sought            PE specialists with problem- solving and client orientation skills.

  Essential                 PE-01/02: 14
  Qualifications            Including a degree in HR-related field.

  Asset                     PE-01/02: 5
  Qualifications            Including additional education and experience.

  Operational               None

  Organizational            Equity – Travel – Overtime

  Lessons                   Extensive consultations through the Interdepartmental
  Learned                   Working Group and the Sub-Working Group on recruitment
                            helped establish better criteria.

                                                                                        continued »

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                 19

    Initiative              CEAA

    Profile Sought          Environmental assessment specialists

    Essential               PC-01: 6

    Asset                   PC-01: 6

    Operational             Mobility
    Requirements            Flexible hours

    Organizational          Equity and HR plan

    Lessons                 Regrouping of major departments made for increased efficiencies.


          Tools, Models, References
    See the Statements of Merit Criteria for the DFO initiative, the CSPS initiative,
    the HR Capacity-Building initiative and the EARDP initiative.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook            20
         DECISION POINT No. 3
         Choose the Process
               Establish                  Choose the                           Assess
                 Merit                     Process

  Building on the organizational diagnostic,                 At this stage, a decision also has to be
  and in light of the merit criteria, after                  made on whether the pool will be fully
  considering priorities, you determine                      assessed, essentially assessed, partially
  whether the process will be advertised                     assessed, or not assessed at all (meaning
                                                             that a simple inventory will be created).
  or non-advertised, internal or external,
                                                             This is also the time to set other
  and what the pool will look like.                          parameters such as pool size and how
                                                             the pool will be implemented, managed
Decision Point No. 3 sets the area                           and monitored.
of selection establishing the eligibility
to apply, the design and use of the pool,                    Regarding any of these issues, it is
the length of time that managers will be                     important that managers check their
able to draw qualified candidates, the size                  organizational policies and discuss
of the pool in relation to the vacancies                     matters with their HR specialists.
to be filled, and the managerial action
required to replenish the collection of                      For general information, refer to the PSC
qualified candidates.                                        Policy on Choice of Appointment Process
                                                             (revised as of March 2007).
Deputy Heads have considerable flexibility
in the way their organizations make use                      You may also want to consult the Staffing
of advertised processes (in which people                     Toolkit for Managers and the Collective
in the area of selection are informed                        Staffing Process: Map Narrative.
of a job opening and are given the
opportunity to apply) and non-advertised
processes (in which applications are not
solicited, but one or more candidates
are considered).

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                    21
         Practical Considerations

Ensure that the planning framework (see                      Remember that pool management can
Decision Point No. 1) makes allowance for                    be shared across units and organizations,
the entire range of possibilities offered by                 if agreement is reached in advance on
a collective process.                                        using this particular advantage inherent
                                                             in the PSEA.

         Real Life Examples

Table 4A: Type of Process and Area of Selection

 Initiative                 Type of Process                   Area of Selection

  DFO                     Internal (DFO)                    Pacific Region
  (B.C./Yukon)            Advertised
                                                            Desire to make process accessible to as
                                                            many applicants from the Conservation
                                                            and Protection Branch as possible.

  CSPS                    Internal (PS-wide)                National PS-wide      CSPS National;
                          Advertised                        for EX-02 and 03      all departments
                                                                                  National Capital
                                                                                  Region for EX-01


  HR Community            External                          Persons residing in Canada or
                          Advertised                        Canadians residing abroad, including
                                                            those who were already employed
                                                            by the Public Service.

  CEAA                    External                          PSE institutions across Canada; advertised
                          Advertised                        through the Post-Secondary Recruitment
                                                            Program (PSR) of the PSC.

                                                            More efficient for participating
                                                            departments to recruit outside together
                                                            than to hold independent processes and
                                                            then steal resources from one another.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                    22
Table 4B: Type of Pool

  Initiative                 Type of Pool                     Validity Period

  DFO                     Essentially qualified             18 months for both GT-05 and PM-05
  (B.C./Yukon)                                              pools. The two were merged eventually
                                                            because the processes were very similar.

  CSPS                    Fully assessed                    18 months for EX-01, 02, 03.
                                                            Their establishment and use were
                                                            given high priority.

 Initiatives with a community-based or government-wide clientele may require more flexibility
 in pool duration.

 HR Community             Fully assessed                    No determined period; based on evolving
                                                            needs of HR community; clear principles
                                                            regarding management of the pools
                                                            made for better decision-making.

 CEAA                     Fully assessed                    No determined period; replenished
                                                            every 2 years or depending on
                          Drew from PSC                     operational need.
                          inventory; adapted
                          evaluation to needs
                          of departments

         Tools, Models, References
  For assistance in choosing the process, see part 3B of the Staffing Checklist.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                    23
         DECISION POINT No. 4
             Choose the                       Assess                    Select from
              Process                                                     a Pool


    This is about identifying assessment tools               Other assessment issues that might be
    and how they will be applied, from the                   addressed include whether various levels
    initial screening all the way to selecting               of achievement under each merit criterion
    from the pool.                                           will be recognized, and how the results of
                                                             assessments will be used to establish the
                                                             pool and make appointments.
Decision Point No. 4 is the direct result of
the planning, definition of merit criteria
                                                             Assessing criteria other than the essential
and choice of process that precede it. It
                                                             qualifications is not always necessary, but
determines who actually joins the pool,
                                                             if a criterion is used for selection purposes,
based on how they are meeting the merit
                                                             then that criterion must be applied in
criteria established by the collective
                                                             the same way to all of the candidates
of managers.
                                                             who have reached the same stage in the
                                                             assessment process. However, the Duty
The method that will be used to assess
                                                             to Accommodate policy allows for the
candidates against the merit criteria
                                                             use of different assessment materials
should be planned and confirmed at
                                                             or administration for persons
the very beginning of the collective
                                                             with disabilities.
staffing process. It must be fair and
understandable to all parties.
                                                             Merit criteria may be applied in any
                                                             order. For example, determining which
Possible assessment methods or instruments
                                                             candidates meet an organizational
could include these, among others:
                                                             need or operational requirement before
                                                             assessing essential qualifications is
•    Conducting interviews
                                                             permitted. Similarly, you could choose
•    Examining samples of previous work                      that only those having a certain asset
                                                             criteria will be further assessed.
•    Conducting simulations

•    Administering written exams, including                  The PSEA requires that appointments be
     standardized PSC tests                                  made on the basis of merit and free from
                                                             political influence; there is no requirement
•    Checking references and reviewing                       in the PSEA to demonstrate that the
     performance appraisals                                  chosen candidate is the most qualified.
                                                             This means that it may not be necessary

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       24
to assess all candidates either at the outset                Note: Application of the assessment
of the process or after subsequent                           instruments can trigger an informal
applications of particular merit criteria.                   discussion; anyone screened out of an
If candidates are to be screened out                         internal process is entitled to an informal
from further assessment as different                         discussion with the manager or managers.
merit criteria are applied, this information                 (Please see the section on informal
should be clearly indicated at the start                     discussions later in the Handbook).
of the process. The rules of the game
should be clear and respectful of the                        For more information about the
staffing values. For example, if a large                     assessment of candidates, see the Staffing
number of qualified applicants are                           Toolkit for Managers and the Collective
anticipated and random selection will                        Staffing Process: Map Narrative.
be used, the candidates must be so
informed when the job opportunity
is initially advertised.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                     25
         Practical Considerations

Get help from the applicants:                                Put the timetable upfront and centre:

•   Ask applicants to specify not only                       •   Indicating the anticipated dates of
    how they meet the essential criteria,                        interviews and exams on posters
    but also how they meet the other merit                       creates an obligation to remain on track;
    criteria. Later in the process, these                        it also puts the onus on candidates to
    self-assessments will make it easier                         make themselves available. As a result,
    to identify the candidates that meet                         the whole process is expedited.
    particular organizational needs. To help
    with volume management, provide                          Clarify expectations for exams
    a template for candidates to complete.                   and interviews:
    Ensure that all applications are
    properly submitted.                                      •   Develop a marking template before
                                                                 administering tests or holding interviews.
Make screening easier:                                           Discuss it with Assessment board
                                                                 members and managers to ensure that
•   Use the application template or                              everyone understands the demands
    develop a screening template that                            being made on applicants and will
    clearly sets out the rules. For example,                     assess them in the same way, except
    if “external influence” is listed in the                     for accommodations for persons
    essential qualifications, be sure to                         with disabilities. The clearer the
    clarify its meaning.                                         elements of response being sought,
                                                                 the easier the assessment and any
•   Meet with all screeners to ensure                            justification afterwards.
    that they have reached a common
    understanding before they begin                          •   Find ways to document the assessment
    their task. Identify a process for                           decisions to facilitate any informal
    handling grey areas. Planning ensures                        discussions that may have to be
    transparency, fairness and consistency;                      conducted in an internal process.
    it also helps prepare for informal
    discussions, if any.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       26
         Real Life Examples

Table 5: Assessment Tools and Screening Results for Each Initiative


  Initiative                DFO

                            Assessment Tools                                   Screening Results
                                                                               (N. of applicants)
                            Applications                                       129*
                            Written tests                                      16 GT-05 / 5 PM-05
                            Interviews and reference checks                    12 GT-05 / 4 PM-05
  Approach Taken            Applicants were asked to sign a sheet that committed them not
                            to discuss the content of the test with anyone scheduled to write
                            it at a later date.

                            The information used to evaluate asset qualifications, operational
                            requirements and organizational needs was assembled by the
                            staffing coordinator, but was assessed by managers based on
                            their own circumstances.

                            In anticipation of informal discussions, Board members were
                            invited to include in their interview notes potential feedback,
                            identifying candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, and suggesting
                            areas for improvement.

                            The hiring team viewed the process from the candidates’
                            perspective (see text following this table).

  * 90 individual candidates, some applied for both GT and PM positions                             continued »

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                           27

  Initiative                CSPS

                            Assessment Tools                                   Screening Results
                                                                               (N. of applicants)
                            Applications                                       341 EX-01, 84 EX-02
                                                                               and 49 EX-03
                            Screening and knowledge exam                       94 EX-01, 28 EX-02
                                                                               and 10 EX-03
                            Interviews                                         38 EX-01, 19 EX-02
                                                                               and 5 EX-03

  Approach Taken            Meetings held between those marking the tests and those who
                            are on the assessment board helped to define the expectations
                            of managers and to answer some questions that the markers had.
                            It is not always possible for exactly the same team to do both.
                            All assessment tools were developed in-house.

  Initiative                HR Community

                            Assessment Tools                                   Screening Results
                                                                               (N. of applicants)
                            Applications                                       2718
                            Personnel Psychology Center test                   1449
                            Top down approach
                            Simulations                                        351
                            Job Fair                                           159
  Approach Taken            More precise and targeted electronic prescreening allowed
                            for more efficiency.

                            Extensive consultations were held to determine the
                            assessment process.

                                                                                                    continued »

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                           28

    Initiative              CEAA
                            Assessment Tools                                   Screening Results
                                                                               (No. of applicants)

                            Applications                                       900
                            Screening                                          70
                            Preliminary interview                              50
                            Interview and written exam                         30
    Approach Taken          Senior managers were involved in on-campus visits and
                            in the interview process.


By viewing the process from the candidates’                  •   Organized training sessions for all
perspective, the DFO hiring team never                           potential candidates on how to do
left anyone guessing. The candidates were                        an in-basket.
always able to perform at their best.
                                                             •   Provided information as it became
For example, the team
                                                                 available, acknowledging errors if they
                                                                 arose and correcting them as soon as
•    Described the assessment process
                                                                 they were discovered.
     during an all-staff retreat.
                                                             •   Provided regular updates, attempting
•    Sought additional information from
                                                                 to anticipate and answer questions.
     applicants at the screening stage,
                                                                 The concerns raised with HR personnel
     because some who were known to meet
                                                                 were used to design a “Frequently
     basic criteria had failed to provide
                                                                 Asked Questions” summary that was
     suitable evidence. (Managers felt that
                                                                 widely distributed.
     a proactive approach would avoid the
     informal discussions likely to result in                •   Informed applicants in advance of the
     reintegration in the staffing process.)                     assessment tools that would be used.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                         29
         Tools, Models, References
  Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Best Practice Manual.

  An example based on the EARDP template is shown in the Best Practice Manual.
  EARDP obtains candidate information using a program-specific questionnaire set up
  by the PSC. The Best Practice Manual also provides a list of considerations in the
  assessment of education and experience.

  For assistance with assessment, see Part 4 of the Staffing Checklist.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook      30
         DECISION POINT No. 5
         Select from a Pool

                 Notify                    Select from
                                             a Pool

  The time has come to pick from among                       Note: In an internal appointment process,
  all qualified candidates the person that                   an informal discussion can be triggered by
  best fits the profile of the job you have                  application of the assessment instruments;
                                                             any applicant is entitled to an informal
  to offer in your organization.
                                                             discussion with the manager or managers
                                                             making the screening or selection decision.
Decision Point No. 5 offers individual
                                                             (Please see the section on informal
managers the opportunity to tailor the merit
                                                             discussions later in the Handbook).
criteria to the requirements of the particular
job being filled. Direct connections are
                                                             For more information about selection,
made to the actual work environment and
                                                             please refer to the policies and guidelines
to the immediate duties to be performed.
                                                             in the PSC’s Appointment Policy.
The same methodology should be used
for all candidates, right down to the most
detailed level of assessment, except
when accommodations are being made
for persons with disabilities.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                     31
         Practical Considerations

Determine from the merit criteria those                      Working with the HR Advisor, continue
most relevant to the position to be staffed                  with more specific factors. If the number
(over and above those used to determine                      of candidates remaining in the pool is still
inclusion in the pool).                                      more than are required, narrow the focus
                                                             further with another combination of
•   Review the Statement of Merit Criteria                   factors. For example:
    again, in light of the particular vacancy
    to be filled. Also address the importance                •   Identify the importance or strength of
    of any set of qualifications compared                        any single merit criterion (e.g. pick the
    to others (essential, asset, operational                     top three in writing skills).
    requirements, organizational needs).
                                                             •   Combine merit criteria (e.g. top three
Working with the HR Advisor, review                              when you mix essential qualification
the pool and narrow the focus to a                               number 2, knowledge number 4 and
few candidates.                                                  asset number 2 are emphasized).

                                                             •   Review education or experience
•   All candidates in the pool have met                          for relevance of alignment with job
    the essential qualifications. For any                        requirements (e.g. a degree from
    given merit criteria, it may be                              a recognized university in Business
    appropriate to set a higher level of                         Administration, combined with studies
    competence to reflect the strength                           in a particular area, or experience
    appropriate to the job.                                      in negotiation in the public sector,
•   By applying asset qualifications,                            with the private sector, or with a
    organizational needs or operational                          provincial government).
    requirements, managers can target
                                                             Prepare the justification. Rationales should
    candidates with experience, education,
                                                             be well documented throughout the
    knowledge, competencies, abilities,
                                                             selection process. Briefly outline the merit
    and so on, that will add value to
                                                             criteria and their role or application in the
    the task or the organization.
                                                             selection of candidates for appointment.
•   Organizational needs criteria might                      Once this statement is complete, the
    include items such as representation                     notifications in an internal appointment
    of Employment Equity designated                          process and appointment can proceed.
    groups or renewal of the
    Public Service.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       32
A job fair is sometimes the best way                         •   Departments set kiosks the day before;
for fully-assessed candidates and hiring                         any candidate not identified for an
managers to meet. All energy is focused                          interview has a chance to visit these
on finding the right fit between candidates                      and possibly get an interview.
and organizational needs. This method
                                                             •   Departments schedule their own
saves time for employers who have
                                                                 interviews for Day 2.
to meet candidates within a very short
period. It also presents applicants with                     •   After the fair, the event coordinator:
the opportunity to make their pitch
to potential hiring managers. It is a hiring                     -   Receives the first, second,
blitz designed to expedite a process in                              and third choices of each
which several departments are involved.                              participating department;

                                                                 -   Informs the first-choice candidates
Here is how a job fair can unfold:                                   and gives them a time frame within
                                                                     which to accept or refuse an offer;
•   Managers review in advance the
    assessments and CVs of assessed                              -   Repeats the routine for the
    candidates and identify the ones that                            candidates listed as second
    they want to meet on the first day.                              and third choices.

•   The event coordinator prepares                           •   The remaining fully assessed candidates
    interview schedules for Day 1 and                            are referred to departments or
    makes them available before the fair.                        agencies for the duration of the pool.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       33
         Real Life Examples

Table 6: Finding the Right Fit per Initiative


  Initiative                DFO

  In Pool After             GT-05: 12
  Assessments               PM-05: 4

  Vacancies                 23 GT-05
  to be Filled              9 PM-05

  Vacancies Filled          5 GT-05
                            4 PM-051

  Pairing                   Candidates asked to express interest in specific vacancies.
  Process Used
                            Instant match if one candidate interested in any one job.

                            If more, candidates filled template on why they felt they met the
                            asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational
                            needs; managers used template to make informed decisions.

  Initiative                CSPS

  In Pool After             EX-01: 38 / EX-02: 19 / EX-03: 5

  Vacancies                 12 EX-01 / 8 EX-02 / 9 EX-03
  to be Filled

  Vacancies Filled          14 EX-012 / 6 EX-02 / 2 EX-03

  Pairing                   Up to members of the Executive team to consider CV of
  Process Used              candidates who matched the qualifications of their positions
                            and set up interviews with them; had to justify rigorously a
                            decision not to select from the pool.

  1. Rest of the vacancies will be filled through another collective staffing process.         continued »
  2. The number of appointments is greater than the number of vacancies due to the reorganization
     of the School, resulting in an increased need for EX-01 positions. The number on the poster specified
     an ‘anticipated’ number of positions.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       34

  Initiative                HR Community

  In Pool After             159

  Vacancies                 Over 185
  to be Filled

  Vacancies Filled          104 offers made
                            (40 candidates stayed in the pool until the next job fair).

  Pairing                   All candidates in the pool invited to a job fair where
  Process Used              departments that had made a commitment to hire were invited
                            to meet potential recruits. Managers agreed in advance on the
                            rules that would govern their dealings with candidates to prevent
                            overbidding and ensure fairness.

  Initiative                CEAA

  In Pool After             30

  Vacancies                 10
  to be Filled

  Vacancies Filled          None

  Pairing                   —
  Process Used

         Tools, Models, References
  Refer to the description of a Pool Management Worksheet (PMW) developed by the
  HR Innovation Team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in the Best Practice Manual.
  You can also access the Pool Management Worksheet online (click on ‘Pool
  Management Tool’) A template on ‘rules of engagement’ to organize a job fair
  is presented in the Best Practice Manual.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook              35
         DECISION POINT No. 6

             Make the                         Notify                    Select from
            Appointment                                                   a Pool

  When it has been determined that one                       Notification must be in accordance with
  or more persons will be considered,                        the PSC’s Notification Policy and your
  notifications for each appointment in                      organization’s staffing policy, the pool
                                                             management plan and other arrangements
  an internal process are issued to all
                                                             as may be deemed appropriate. As in
  participants in the area of selection.
                                                             most staffing process, priority entitlements
                                                             must be considered. Notifications do not
Notification is a two-step procedure that                    have to be provided individually: options
applies to all internal processes, advertised                include posting on Publiservice, sending to
and non-advertised (chosen at decision                       an electronic mailing list and with a blind
point 3), except acting appointments.                        copy feature if preferred, or posting on a
Notification goes to those in the area                       limited access website.
of selection who participated in the
advertised process.                                          For detailed information, please refer to
                                                             the PSC Policy on Notification and Guide
Everyone in the area of selection is                         to Implementing the Notification Policy.
notified by the manager that one
or a number of them will be selected.                        First Notification
In external processes, there is no
requirement to notify.                                       The purpose of the first notification is
                                                             to provide the opportunity to informally
                                                             discuss and resolve any concerns before
                                                             the final decision has been made. A first
                                                             notification names the candidate or
                                                             candidates being considered for
                                                             appointment. It triggers a waiting period
                                                             during which an appointment cannot
                                                             be made or even proposed. At this point,
                                                             the decision is not final. A manager still
                                                             has time to correct mistakes or to choose
                                                             another candidate. As well, the first

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                     36
notification offers a last chance to initiate                Second Notification
an informal discussion. (Please see the
                                                             Once the waiting period is over, a
section on informal discussions later
                                                             second notification provides the name
in the Handbook).
                                                             of the candidate or candidates proposed
                                                             for appointment or appointed.
PSC policy states that the length of the
waiting period between notifications
                                                             In internal processes, the second
1 and 2 must be at least 5 calendar
                                                             notification is when notice is given of
days; however, it can be longer, depending
                                                             the right to file a complaint with the Public
on your organization’s policy, the size
                                                             Service Staffing Tribunal (PSST), how and
of the area of selection, the geographic
                                                             when to make a filing, and the possible
distribution of candidates, access to
                                                             grounds of complaint.
computers and e-mail messages, and so on.
                                                             For further information regarding the
                                                             complaint process, visit the Public Service
                                                             Staffing Tribunal website at:
                                                    and view the
                                                             Electronic Guidebook.

         Practical Considerations

Constant communication with candidates                       The result is well worth the time you
should be the guiding principle. The idea                    spent getting the information right,
is to link this step with the planning                       providing a long enough waiting period
stage, when the communications strategy                      and documenting your rationale.
was determined. To manage large pools
from which appointments are frequent,
identifying one day a month when
notifications will be sent can cut down
on having to repeat this as decisions
are made.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                      37
         Real Life Examples

Table 7: Notification Methods used for Each Initiative

  Initiative                 First Notification               Second Notification

  DFO                     Letter to all staff               Letter to all staff

  CSPS                    Email and Publiservice            Email and Publiservice


  HR Community            Notification not required but candidates were informed
                          of their status in the process

         Tools, Models, References
  For assistance with notifications, see part 6 of the Staffing Checklist.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook         38
         DECISION POINT No. 7
         Make the Appointment
               Lessons                     Make the                            Notify
               Learned                    Appointment


  An offer is now made to the person                         and transparently with candidates
  selected from the pool. The appointment                    no longer being considered for one
  is effective once the candidate has                        or a number of similar positions.
  accepted formally and in writing.
                                                             At this final decision point, the hiring
                                                             manager must be able to demonstrate
For all types of appointment processes,
                                                             that the merit criteria defined for any
the PSEA offers increased flexibility
                                                             one position being filled from the pool
in terms of finding the right fit between
                                                             are consistent with those identified at the
employment opportunities and available
                                                             beginning of the collective staffing process.
candidates. Hiring managers are
encouraged to run processes that are
accessible to the maximum number
of people that circumstances permit
and throughout, they must deal fairly

         Practical Considerations

The actual appointment must be made in
writing by the person delegated to do so.
Formal acceptance of an offer remains the
culmination of a staffing process, whether
collective or not.

         Real Life Examples

The four initiatives discussed at the
November 8, 2006, Forum on Collective
Staffing did not provide details of the
specific appointment procedures.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                      39
         Informal Discussion

              Informal                     Notify

                                         Informal                  Select from            Assess
                                        Discussion                   a Pool

  In internal appointment processes,                         The discussion itself focuses on the
  the informal discussion is an opportunity                  assessment of the candidate who has been
  for the hiring manager to explain the                      eliminated, not on a comparison of that
  decision to eliminate a candidate from                     person with the selected candidate.
  consideration. It allows the manager
                                                             The information shared includes how
  to correct any errors or omissions or                      the process was conducted, what
  misconceptions and to resolve internally                   assessment criteria were used and
  before a complaint goes to the PSST.                       how those criteria were applied.

This new mechanism under the PSEA                            For additional information, please consult
allows a candidate who is no longer being                    the PSC Policy on Informal Discussion
considered in a process to find out what                     and the PSC Guide to Implementing the
went wrong and why, before the decision                      Informal Discussion Policy. This policy is
becomes final. A candidate can request an                    being reviewed in the context of collective
informal discussion at any point in the                      staffing to consider parameters such as
process where the candidate has been                         providing timeframes within which informal
eliminated from consideration.                               discussion can be requested, frequency
                                                             of requests, and formats for providing
                                                             general information.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       40
         Practical Considerations

Prepare. Build the informal discussion into                  Several managers recommend that informal
the process from the beginning:                              discussions be conducted so as to provide
                                                             candidates with information that will assist
•   Anticipate the questions that candidates                 them in managing their careers.
    are likely to have.
                                                             •   Make use of the notes taken by
•   When developing the assessment                               members of the Assessment Board,
    process and the communication strategy,                      identifying strengths and weaknesses,
    consider potential explanations and                          and suggesting areas for improvement.
    feedback to candidates.
                                                             •   Aim for professional development—
•   Be transparent about the assessment                          acquisition of training and experience—
    of tests and the minimum qualification                       as well as for improved performance
    level. There will be less to explain.                        in future exams or interviews.
•   If the concerns of most candidates are
    addressed in advance, then handling the                  The expectation is that candidates will
    specific concerns of the few people who                  be informed of the reasons for their
    request an informal discussion will be far               elimination from consideration. When
    simpler later on.                                        managers use the discussion as a chance
                                                             to talk about professional development
•   Decide in advance who will be                            and career management, action regarding
    conducting the informal discussion.                      upcoming vacancies must be neither
    Dedicated well-trained and clearly                       promised nor implied unless absolute
    identified resources are needed.                         certainty exists.

Communicate information about the                            The informal discussion has the potential
informal discussion early in the process:                    to be a learning opportunity for the
                                                             organization as well as for the candidates.
•   How can a candidate prepare for it?                      Managers and HR specialists have the
                                                             opportunity to correct potential mistakes
•   What is the purpose of this talk?
                                                             before the process is spoiled.
•   What can the candidate expect?

•   Who conducts the informal discussion?

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       41
Records of the informal discussion                           •   Feedback received on ways to improve
are not a requirement, but should be                             the process, from the candidate’s
retained for any future complaints to PSST                       perspective. This information can
or the PSC Investigations Branch.                                be aggregated, shared and applied
                                                                 to future processes.
Consider documenting
                                                             Given that many applications for external
•   Who conducted the informal discussion,                   processes come from within the Public
    the candidate’s name, the rationale                      Service, it may be wise to advise or inform
    for the decision to eliminate; the issues                such candidates of the reasons why they
    raised during the informal discussion,                   were not successful in these processes,
    and any follow-up action taken.                          even though informal discussion is not
                                                             a formal requirement.

         Real Life Examples

Managers said that the eventuality of an                     of passing levels. Candidates were
informal discussion had a bearing on                         encouraged to view the training video about
how they launched the process, how they                      informal discussion developed by CSPS.
communicated with employees and
candidates every time an assessment                          During informal discussions at DFO, the
decision was made, how they informed                         hiring coordinator referred to the Board’s
applicants of results, and how they prepared                 comments and complemented explanations
to explain their decisions.                                  with advice on how to approach appointment
                                                             processes in future. For example, suggestions
When the EX process was launched, CSPS                       were made about acquiring experience in
sent e-mail messages to all employees,                       managing a project from beginning to end
providing an electronic link to the poster                   and about improving answers that were
and a contact name.                                          conceptually good but that lacked concrete
                                                             examples drawn from experience. Care was
Similarly, DFO provided affected staff                       taken at the outset to clarify that informal
with an electronic link to the poster and                    discussion is not meant to challenge the
guidelines on how to apply. At all times                     selection of assessment tools, the use
during the process, the hiring coordinator                   of those tools or the correction of the tests.
ensured that communication between                           However, the informal discussion offered
management, HR specialists and employees                     a chance to rectify any mistakes that may
or candidates was open and transparent.                      have occurred.
Updates were provided every two or three
weeks by e-mail or all-staff teleconferences.                At CSPS, the responsible manager also
                                                             dealt positively with areas of weakness.
DFO disseminated instructions on how to                      If the candidate’s goal was to reach the level
request an informal discussion at the same                   EX-01, then emphasis was placed on future
time that it communicated in great detail                    readiness. Proper feedback was considered
the test correction procedure and the choice                 to be highly important.

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook                       42
         Learning and Training Opportunities from the
         Canada School of Public Service
For a list of learning and training opportunities with the Canada School of Public Service,
please refer to the 2007/2008 Catalogue available through this link: http://www.myschool-

The Catalogue presents an inventory of courses on wide-ranging themes and topics,
some of which are related to human resources, integrated HR and business planning,

Canada School of Public Service • The Manager’s Collective Staffing Handbook         43

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