Best Practices for Recruitment and Selection in Canada

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Having the right recruitment and selection practices helps an organization to attract a large pool of applicants, from where it can choose the best candidates (Rainer, Cegielski, Splettstoesser-Hogeterp, & Sanchez-Rodriguez, 2013). Organizations should have well-established practices that can enable them to solve their human resource needs. Recruitment practices could vary from giving priority to internal recruitment to having a well-laid plan of how to recruit externally. It is essential to note that many organizations are dealing with the pressure to adopt more cost-effective recruitment strategies. Therefore, many organizations are recruiting a significant percentage of their workers through web-based technologies such as social media and their official websites. Employers have realized that they have to go where their potential employees are, instead of waiting for them to come looking for job opportunities at their organizations. Best recruitment and selection practices require employers to be proactive in their approaches (Rainer et al., 2013). This is important especially at a time when there has been a shortage of skilled workers across the country (HRPA West Toronto, 2014). It is essential to note that what may be perceived as the best practice may vary from one company to another (Catano, Wiesner, Hackett, & Methot, 2009). Generally, best recruitment practices should offer equal opportunities to all applicants and attract the highest number of candidates possible. Therefore, in some cases where companies want fresh graduates, conducting campus recruitment may be the best practice as it can attract a high number of applicants. At the same time, organizations should have well-established internal recruitment practices since they provide them with employees who are ready to work without spending a lot of time in induction (Rainer et al., 2013). This paper will review the available literature on the best practices for recruitment and selection in Canada.

Critical Analysis (Literature Review)       

Many organizations in Canada face a challenge when it comes to recruiting the right talent to fill their vacant positions. Identifying the best practice for an organization is not an easy task since what may be perceived as the best practice for one company may vary when viewed from the perspective of another organization (Kreissl, 2013). As employee shortage continues to increase, companies are beginning to focus on recruitment practices that are likely to get them the talents they need at the lowest cost possible. In a survey conducted in 2013 involving 500 Canadian businesses, the respondents ranked the shortage of skilled employees as the top challenge they were facing (HRPA West Toronto, 2014). Moreover, a high percentage of the respondents indicated that it was difficult for them to fill vacant positions with the right talent. The major reason that 64 percent of the respondents gave was that their organizations found it hard to find candidates with the right skill set (HRPA West Toronto, 2014). When asked how they dealt with this challenge, most of the respondents provided recruitment practices that their companies had used to ensure they attracted the right the right talent. Top on the list was recruiting through social media, which accounted for 50 percent of all recruitments for that period. Other recruitment methods included offering training opportunities to junior employees to enable them to occupy higher positions when they become vacant, outsourcing recruitment function to other external firms, and relying on employee referrals (HRPA West Toronto, 2014). In most cases, organizations that failed to attract the right talent resorted to hiring employees who did not possess the right skill set to fill vacant positions. About 62 percent of the respondent in this particular survey indicated that their organizations had decided to hire employees with soft skills provided they were a good fit to fill positions that required technically skilled workers. Only a small percentage of about 26 percent of the respondents indicated that their organizations were determined to leave the positions vacant until they found the right candidate for them (HRPA West Toronto, 2014).

            A significant number of companies rely on internal recruitment sources to fill some of their vacancies. Existing employees are given a first opportunity to apply for positions that fall vacant. Doing so has the advantage of reducing the amount of time wasted during employee induction (Rainer et al., 2013). Such employees are already aware of the operations of the company and as such, would not need much time learning about the institution. One of the companies that rely on internal recruitment is Walmart Canada, which targets its trainees and current employees to fill its vacant positions. Even though most of its employees start their careers as hourly sales employees, a significant portion of them ends up becoming managers. According to Thomson (2017), more than 70 percent of its managers have risen through the ranks to their present positions. Individuals who get an opportunity to work as trainees end up being absorbed after completing their training at the firm. This is in line with the findings of HRPA West Toronto (2014) which found out that 58 percent of all employees in Canadian organizations had risen from junior positions to occupy more senior positions. Moreover, HRPA West Toronto (2014) found out that only 19 percent of new employees occupying senior positions had joined their companies through external recruitment channels.

            Finding the right talent is a challenge that organizations should deal with for them to be successful. According to Silva-Cusi (2017), a study involving 270 Canadian chief finance officers indicated that over 50 percent of them pointed out that their companies were experiencing challenges recruiting professional talents. It would be expected that some professional sites such as LinkedIn would be good avenues for targeting talented employees in various fields (Silva-Cusi, 2017). However, sometimes this is not the case. An interview conducted with Ambrosia Vertesi, vice-president in charge of people and culture at Duo Security, showed that it was difficult to find cybersecurity professionals on LinkedIn (Silva-Cusi, 2017). As such, Vertesi hinted that Duo Security was ready to go to places where it was likely to find cybersecurity experts. This kind of flexibility is important for companies that wish to attract the right talents. Such companies should be flexible enough to recruit their employees from various platforms where their target employees are likely to be (Silva-Cusi, 2017). For example, if a company wants to recruit fresh graduates as accounting clerks, it should consider going to universities to recruit from there or advertise its recruitment process through online platforms whose membership is mainly composed of accounting and finance students. A good case study would be Walmart Canada, which considers campus recruitment as one of its major external recruitment sources (Thomson, 2017). As a result, Walmart has partnered with various learning institutions to enable it to reach a large population of students who might be interested in working with it after graduation.

            At the same time, most companies in Canada post job advertisements on their respective websites. This has proven to be one of the most effective recruitment methods. Walmart Canada considers responses to job advertisements to be its largest source of external recruitment (Thomson, 2017). The company posts any job openings on its official website. Interested individuals can access its human resource portal and apply for the available positions. This way, the company recruits its employees using a more cost-effective method compared to other recruitment methods (Rainer et al., 2013).

            Recruiting employees through social media enables hiring organizations to reach a larger population. Many people nowadays spend a significant amount of their time online (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). Unlike earlier generations, the current generation of employees is on social media where people spend much time trying to catch up with their friends and follow up on what is happening in the world. Moreover, a high percentage of adult Canadians have access to the Web. In one of the surveys conducted in 2015, the findings showed that 90 percent of Canadian households could access the Web (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). Furthermore, about 59 percent of all Canadians had a Facebook account. The established trend in 2015 indicated that increasingly more people were using social media in Canada. Based on these findings, it is essential for all employers in Canada to understand the potential of using social media for recruitment purposes (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). Topolovec-Vranic and Natarajan (2016) carried out a research to find out whether using social media was the best recruitment method. Their research focused on findings of other 30 studies that had studied this issue by comparing social media with traditional recruitment methods. Their research findings indicated that 40% of the sampled studies asserted that social media was indeed the best recruitment method (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). These findings were in line with the researchers’ expectations since recruitment methods are perceived to be effective if they can catch the attention of a high number of the targeted audience. The ability to reach the targeted population is very essential as it lowers the recruitment costs (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016).

             Although some employers in Canada rely on social media to recruit their employees, a significant percentage of employers are skeptical about using social media. Many of them have given various reasons that make them prefer traditional recruitment options to social media (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). One of the many reasons given is that the information contained in social media may not be authentic. Some recruiters may feel that potential employees tend to project their best side when they post on social media, especially if they are aware that potential employers are likely to be looking for suitable candidates through social media. However, this argument should not be used to discredit social media as a recruitment platform since potential employers are expected to subject candidates to additional screening (Topolovec-Vranic & Natarajan, 2016). The additional screening should be good enough to isolate individuals who might have been recruited as a result of misleading information on social media. Another argument is than using social media to recruit workers may prove to be a costly undertaking. This is because human resource officers in charge of the recruitment and selection process would have to spend much time analyzing potential employees based on the information collected from their social media pages. However, Topolovec-Vranic and Natarajan (2016) noted that there were many studies offering contradicting information on this issue. Some of the studies asserted that using social media to attract potential employees was indeed cheaper that using traditional methods while others rejected this view. Therefore, Topolovec-Vranic and Natarajan (2016) concluded that recruitment cost was highly variable depending on the interactions between target populations and recruitment sites.

            In spite of the above challenges, many organizations continue to use social media both for recruitment and branding themselves to enable them to attract the best talent. It is worth noting that the image of an organization determines the way potential employees perceive it (Din et al., 2015). As such, many organizations have invested towards making themselves attractive to social media users. One of the studies found out that 50 percent of the hotels in Canada used social media for recruitment and other-related human resource activities. Furthermore, many human resource professionals indicated that social media offered them better opportunities to interact with their targeted audiences during recruitment drives (Din et al., 2015). This argument is in line with the findings of King, O’Rourke, and DeLongis (2014), who noted that Facebook offered one of the best and cheapest recruitment platforms.

            Just like social media and other web-based platforms are playing an increasingly important role in the recruitment practices, research shows they have a significant role to play in the selection process (McCarthy et al., 2017). However, unlike for the recruitment process where they play a larger role, the role of these technologies in the selection process is highly limited. Research shows that both employers and applicants prefer traditional selection practices to web-based practices (McCarthy et al., 2017). Traditional selection practices include conducting background checks on the applicants to determine if they are a good fit for a particular position. In this case, organizations conduct both academic and criminal background checks. They also conduct face-to-face interviews to assess a candidate’s communication and interpersonal skills. Such assessments are important since they assess a candidate’s ability to interact with other stakeholders who may include customers and fellow staff members (McCarthy et al., 2017). Moreover, such interviews give both candidates and recruiters an opportunity to learn the expectations of each party with regard to a particular position. Alternatives to this kind of face-to-face interview have been web-based video conferencing, Google Hangouts, and Skype. However, research shows that many applicants prefer traditional interviews to web-based interviews (McCarthy et al., 2017). 

            Besides reaching a large target population, McCarthy et al. (2017) pointed out that organizations could use social media to form opinions about candidates’ personalities. This is essential for the recruitment and selection of the right candidates. With regard to this, organizations can use technology to access applicant’s digital footprints. Accessing such information would include conducting a search on an applicant’s non-professional-oriented profiles such as Twitter and Facebook. Other ways of accessing a candidate’s digital footprint include performing internet searches on them as well as reviewing their blogs and personal websites (McCarthy et al., 2017). At the same time, organizations can use web-based technologies to conduct personality and situational tests. This is a prominent recruitment practice among organizations that seek to attract candidates to fill human resource, accounting, finance, and other managerial positions. The tests are essential in judging how a candidate is likely to respond to various situations. They also assist in determining a candidate’s problem-solving and analytical skills (McCarthy et al., 2017).


Organizations should be guided by their specific needs when choosing the best recruitment and selection practices. A good practice requires organizations to give the first priority to their internal employees whenever a management position falls vacant. Doing so gives current employees an opportunity to advance their careers, which could make them continue working for a particular firm for long. In addition, some of their firms that target to recruit fresh graduates every year should consider using appropriate methods such as conducting recruitment drives in various campuses. Moreover, such firms can opt to offer attachment positions to ongoing students or graduates who need training. In some of the cases, like in Walmart, these trainees are eventually absorbed by the company. Additionally, human resource professionals should be proactive in order to deal with the challenge of skills shortage. Finding the right talent has become increasingly difficult over the last several years. Therefore, human resource professionals should capitalize on web-based technologies to recruit the right talent. Organizations should advertise job vacancies through their websites and social media to reach as many potential employees as possible. Lastly, organizations should be cautious when using social media for recruitment and selection. In particular, social media should only play a limited role in the selection of candidates. It is recommendable to use traditional selection practices such as carrying out educational and criminal background checks as well as conducting face-to-face interviews to assess the suitability of a candidate. Online channels should only be used to form an opinion of a candidate’s personality.


Catano, V. M., Wiesner, W. H., Hackett, R. D., & Methot, L. L. (2009). Recruitment and      selection in Canada. Ontario: Nelson Education.

Din, S. Z., Anuar, R. H., Omar, N., Omar, H., & Dahlan, J. M. (2015). Discovering the use of online recruitment via social media of student internship. Economics and Finance,          31(2015), 856-860.

HRPA West Toronto. (2014). Make or buy? How you are acquiring the talent you need.

Retrieved from

King, D. B., O’Rourke, & DeLongis, A. (2014). Social media recruitment and online data     collection: A beginner’s guide and best practices for accessing low-prevalence and hard-         to-reach populations. Canadian Psychology, 55(4), 240-249.

Kreissl, B. (2013). What exactly are HR best practices? Canadian HR Reporter. Retrieved from     exactly-are-hr-best-practices/

McCarthy, J. M., Bauer, T. N., Truxillo, D. M., Anderson, N. R., Costa, A. C., & Ahmed, A. M.             (2017). Applicant perspectives during selection: A review addressing ‘so what?’, ‘what’s           new?’, and ‘where to next?’ Journal of Management, 43(6), 1693-1725.

Rainer, R. K., Cegielski, C. G., Splettstoesser-Hogeterp, I., & Sanchez-Rodriguez, C. (2013).            Introduction to information systems. Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.

Silva-Cusi, V. (2017). Strategies to recruit for the hottest jobs in Canada. Human Resource

Director Canada.­ Retrieved from

Thomson, A. (2017). Walmart’s HRM: Recruitment, selection, employee retention. Retrieved


Topolovec-Vranic, J., & Natarajan, K. (2016). The use of social media in recruitment for medical      research studies: A scoping review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(11), e286.          Retrieved from

October 24, 2023


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