People are your Division’s strongest asset. Investing in a solid recruitment process will set you up for success in hiring the right person for the position and your Division.
The recruitment process includes the following key steps. You will find tools for each individual step:
- Prepare for recruitment (includes various job description templates) >
- Review applications to short-list (includes scoring matrices for specific positions) >
- Interview (includes sample interview questions for specific positions) >
- Finalize the hire (includes reference check questions and sample letter of employment) >
1. Prepare for recruitment
Identify a hiring lead to take responsibility for the recruitment process.
- Tip: Depending on the position, the hiring lead may be a senior staff person, project lead, HR Committee Chair, Board Chair, etc.
Create or update a Job Description.
Accurately state roles and responsibilities as well as essential and desirable criteria (skills, aptitudes, knowledge, and experience). The job descriptions provided in the tools section below are intended for employee (as opposed to consultant/independent contractor) positions.
- Tip: Consider surveying existing employees, supervisors, and subject matter experts to determine critical knowledge, skills, and attributes for successful performance.
Decide whether the position should be filled by an independent contractor or an employee.
Independent contractors may be more suitable for short-term or project-specific work where specific expertise is needed. Employees may be more suitable when organizational stability, business and relationship continuity, and long-term strategy implementation are priorities. When determining the type of worker best suited to meet the needs of a division, you must also ensure compliance with the Canada Revenue Agency criteria. See the Employee or Independent Contractor tool.
- If you decide the position is best filled by an independent contractor, please consult your Engagement Partner for contractor resources.
- If you wish to transition a contractor to an employee, please see the Navigating Transition section.
Are you hiring an Executive Director?
If the vacancy is for an Executive Director, consider whether an Interim Executive Director will serve your transitional needs. See the Navigating Transition section.
Establish a timeline.
Beginning with the ideal start date, determine a realistic reverse timeline that provides adequate time for each step.
Determine your advertising strategy.
Based on your target pool of candidates, consider posting on your Division website, Charity Village, local community newspapers, and/or consult your Engagement Partner for suggestions. Place ad(s), stating that only electronic applications will be considered, as appropriate.
Ensure regulation compliance.
Confirm that your Division has made the necessary registrations to establish itself as an employer (e.g., with Canada Revenue Agency and WorkSafeBC) and adopted policies and practices to comply with federal and provincial regulation and legislation (e.g., occupational health and safety, human rights, vacation leave).
- Employee or Independent Contractor >
- Vantage Point Podcast: Walking the Tight-rope: Employee vs. Independent Contractors >
- Job Description: Executive Director >
- Job Description: Project Manager >
- Job Description: Administrative Assistant >
- Job Description: Bookkeeper >
- Establish the Division as an Employer >
2. Review Applications to Shortlist
Send a courtesy email to all candidates advising that you have received their application and will contact them only if they are selected for an interview.
Review all applications, eliminating applicants who do not meet the basic criteria or qualifications.
- Tip: Upon initial review of cover letters and resumes, consider separating applicants into an A, B, or C pool. If you have a strong A pool, take only these applicants to the next step.
Use a transparent and objective scoring matrix (based on the job description) to shortlist appropriate applicants to approximately 5-6 applicants for telephone interviews.
- Applicant Scoring Matrix for Executive Director*
- Applicant Scoring Matrix for Project Manager*
- Applicant Scoring Matrix for Admin Assistant*
- Applicant Scoring Matrix for Bookkeeper*
Analyze job description to determine most relevant questions to ask at each stage (telephone and in-person interviews)
- Tip: Interview questions and structure should be consistently applied to all candidates.
Conduct telephone interviews and identify to 3-4 candidates for in-person interviews. These short interviews save time by quickly screening out applicants who are inappropriate for the position. Suggestions when conducting the telephone interviews:
- Be curious: After a candidate answers a question, follow up with WHAT, HOW, and/or TELL ME MORE responses. Keep using this approach until you are clear about what the person is saying. If you are still unclear after in-depth probing, question their suitability.
- Use the same set of questions for every candidate and try not to deviate. This commonality fosters consistency and accelerates your ability to discern differences between candidates.
- Ensure that their career goals align with those of the position. If they do not, question their suitability.
- Keep prospective candidates focused on answering the questions that you ask them. Politely interrupt and bring them back to the original question if they get off topic or offer information that is not relevant.
- Be very judicious when assessing the quality and relevance of answers to your questions. If you get a red flag, rule them out.
- When all telephone interviews are completed, and before subtleties of phone conversations are lost, decide which candidates to invite to a first in-person interview. Make decisions based on each candidate’s resume, score from matrix and telephone screen.
- Determine who on the team conducts first and second (sometimes third) round of interviews. Provide the list of interview questions to interviewer
- Tip: Consider involving your Engagement Partner for senior positions.
Conduct the first round in-person interviews, ideally with a minimum of two people.
Record salient interview points for reference when assessing and making final decisions.
Notify unsuccessful candidates. Make a courtesy call / send an email to all candidates who participated in a telephone or in-person interview.
- Telephone Interview Questions*
- Bookkeeper Interview Questions*
- Admin Assistant Interview Questions*
- Project Manager Interview Questions*
- Executive Director Interview Questions – First Round*
- Executive Director Interview Questions – Second Round*
4. Finalize the hire
Collect references. For the top 1-2 candidates, ask for at least three references from previous employers, including their current or most recent employer.
Conduct reference checks before any indication of an offer is made, including a verbal offer.
Produce a Letter of Employment, outlining salary and benefits, after making the hiring decision. Ensure all required approvals are secured.
Send the Letter of Employment by email to the candidate, with copy of the job description and relevant handbooks/policies referenced in the Letter of Employment.
Inform team members and/or board about the new hire, including relevant information about the successful candidate.
- Reference Check Questions – Management >
- Reference Check Questions – Non-Management >
- Letter of Employment - Executive Directors*
- Letter of Employment - Non-ED Positions*
* To access this tool, please connect with your Engagement Partner.