University recruitment: Frequently asked questions

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Below are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Department of Finance Canada's University Recruitment Campaign.

More information is also available on the Recruitment Process page.

If you have questions that are not addressed below or elsewhere on our website, please send us an e-mail.

 

What are the different university recruitment streams?

Department of Finance Canada hires university recruits through three streams:

Job posters for each of these streams can be found in the links above.

What is the Economics and Social Science Services Development Program?

This is a competency-based career development and progression program designed for the Economics and Social Science Services (EC) community in Department of Finance Canada's six policy branches, in all three work streams: economist and policy analyst stream, doctoral stream and legislative stream.

The program aims to develop high-calibre individuals, starting at junior levels across the three EC work streams, to the target level of their respective work streams within three to five years.

Progression through successive EC levels up to the target level is based on a combination of performance evaluation and merit assessment within established program guidelines.

  • Economist and Policy Analyst stream employees enter the program at the EC-3* level and the target level of progression is EC-6.
  • Doctoral stream employees enter the program normally at the EC-5 level and the target level of progression is EC-6.
  • Legislative stream employees normally enter the program at the EC-5 level and the target level of progression is EC-7.
Does the Department of Finance Canada hire summer students?

The department does not generally hire summer students as policy analysts or economists.

What do you mean by "preference will be given to Canadian citizens?"

Candidates who are not Canadian citizens may apply, but Canadian citizens will be given priority.

In past years, the department has been able to meet its recruitment needs through applicants who were Canadian citizens.

What if I graduated outside of Canada?

If you graduated outside of Canada, it may take a few weeks to obtain an assessment of your foreign degree. However, an assessment is not required for you to apply. If you are selected for an interview you will be required to bring your Canadian equivalency with you.

The Public Service of Canada will accept any foreign educational credentials as long as they are deemed comparable to Canadian standards through a recognized credential assessment service.

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials can assist you in obtaining an assessment of your educational, professional, and occupational credentials through referral to an appropriate organization. Please refer to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials for more information.


How do I apply? What is this year's application deadline?

Please refer to the closing date on the job poster for each stream:

What are essential qualifications?

Essential qualifications are the minimum requirements needed to be considered for a position. They are listed in the Essential Qualifications section on each job poster.

I am graduating from a program that is not specified among the four specific target disciplines (economics, public policy/administration, international relations/studies, and finance). Am I eligible to apply for the Economist and Policy Analyst stream?

It is important that you meet the educational requirements for the position. You are also required to meet the essential qualifications for the position in order for your application to be considered.

However, we are willing to consider applicants from programs that are similar to our target areas. For example, we may consider your application if you are graduating with a degree in international economics or economic policy, as the title of degrees can vary for one university to another. We reserve the right to make this decision.

What is required to achieve an "acceptable specialization in economics" for the Economist and Policy Analyst stream?

The Department of Finance Canada requires applicants to have the equivalent of three full-year economics courses (e.g., six half-year courses, or two full-year courses and two half-year courses). Applicants who are pursuing a graduate degree in finance will require three or more half-year courses in economics to be considered. We will accept economics courses at either the graduate or undergraduate university level. We do not accept courses at the college or CEGEP levels.

However, we will accept courses that are offered outside of a school's economics department, as long as they are grounded solidly in economics. We reserve the right to make this decision. Your transcripts will be used to validate the number of courses completed.

What is the purpose of the Economist and Policy Analyst written assignment?

The written assignment is intended to evaluate your ability to communicate effectively in writing, analyze and synthesize information, understand issues, and identify their economic, social and/or financial implications.

The written assignment will be administered to the candidates who meet the initial screening criteria.

What is the purpose of the Economist and Policy Analyst phone interviews?

The phone interview is intended to evaluate your ability to communicate effectively orally, analyze and synthesize information, understand issues, and identify their economic, social and/or financial implications.

Only candidates who meet the initial screening criteria and pass the written assignment will be invited for a phone interview.

How do I know if my experience is relevant to Finance (Doctoral Researcher stream)?

Economists hired through the Doctoral Researcher stream usually work in a Division with a broad mandate to conduct in-depth policy-relevant economic research to provide strategic advice to the Minister on issues that are of medium- and long-term significance.

The Division conducts policy research on a number of economic issues, including economic growth, sources of productivity growth, population aging, public finance, trade, natural resource economics, pension systems and human capital.

How do I choose which research document (Doctoral Researcher stream) to submit? Can I send multiple research documents?

The research document submitted should be whichever best demonstrates your abilities as a research economist who might work at the Department of Finance Canada. This does not necessarily have to be part of your dissertation. However, the document will be used to assess your written communication, as well as your ability to conduct high quality research in a relevant field of economics.

Only one paper will be read per candidate, it is incumbent on the candidate to select what they feel is the best example of their research.

Candidates are encouraged to highlight any other research documents by attaching abstracts to their CV. The research document you submit will be a central topic of discussion during the initial interview.

How are candidates for the Economist and Policy Analyst stream selected for Ottawa interviews?

Applicants who pass the phone interview will be advised by e-mail that they have been placed in a pool of candidates that hiring managers can draw on.

Not all candidates in this pool will be invited to an Ottawa interview. Our staffing process allows each hiring manager to identify specific qualifications that are relevant to the position they are looking to fill. The qualifications may differ from one position to another. Only candidates who meet the required qualifications for our current/upcoming vacancies will be interviewed in January.

However, in previous years, hiring managers within the Department of Finance Canada have interviewed and hired candidates throughout the year.


How will I learn whether I have been invited to an Ottawa interview? How will I be contacted?

Candidates are selected for Ottawa interviews based on their qualifications, written assignment (Economist and policy analyst stream), short phone interview (Economist and policy analyst stream) and their research documents (doctoral research stream. Other criteria include one or more of the asset qualifications as well as citizenship, official languages and organizational needs.

Invitations to attend an interview are sent by e-mail

Applicants who did not meet the required qualifications during the online application process will not be contacted.

More information is available on the Recruitment Process page

When and where do the interviews take place?

For the Economist and Policy Analyst stream, short phone interviews will take place in November. Candidates that pass the phone interviews could be invited for interviews in Ottawa. These will take place over two days in January.

For the Doctoral Research Steam, initial interviews will take place at the Canadian Economics Employment Exchange in Toronto on December 6 and 7. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews in Ottawa in January or February.

The Department of Finance Canada may provide for transportation as well as accommodation for the duration of the interview process. Candidates residing outside of Canada may be required to fund their own travel arrangements. Additional information will be provided to candidates being interviewed. Alternative interview approaches such as videoconferencing (via WebEx) or phone interviews may be considered.

More information is available on the Recruitment Process page

What is the focus and format of the interviews?

The purpose of the interview process is to evaluate whether a candidate possesses the competencies necessary to work at The Department of Finance Canada as laid out in the Statement of Merit Criteria.

The interviews also offer you the opportunity to learn about the different areas of the Department, and to determine which area best matches your interests.

More information is available on the Recruitment Process page

How many applicants do you get each year? How many do you plan on hiring this year?

The Department of Finance will usually get approximately 500 applications each year.  In 2018-2019, the Department of Finance Canada has hired 23 economists and policy analysts and in 2019-2020 has hired 17 to date.

When are job offers made?

Managers may begin to make offers of employment soon after the completion of the interviewing process. These offers are conditional on obtaining a secret security clearance.

When do most recruits start?

Start dates are determined based on the availability of the recruit and his or her new manager's operational requirements.

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