Audit of Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment


Audit objectives

The audit had 2 objectives:

  • to determine whether the 4 designated employment equity groups remain proportionately represented throughout recruitment processes
  • to identify potential factors that may influence employment equity group representation

The audit looked at 15 285 applications to 181 externally advertised processes from 30 federal departments and agencies.


Definition of designated employment equity groups

Section 3 of the Employment Equity Act defines “designated groups” as women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. In the audit, the term “Indigenous peoples” is used to refer to Aboriginal peoples, in keeping with international usage.

The audit provides 3 recommendations:


  1. Deputy heads should review their staffing framework and practices to ensure barrier-free appointment processes for all employment equity groups, including visible minority sub-groups.
  2. The PSC should work with other central agencies and employment equity groups to identify specific factors that impact the success of employment equity groups and visible minority sub-groups within the hiring process, and to implement solutions.
  3. The PSC should increase its efforts in developing and promoting systems, tools and guidance that support inclusive external recruitment processes, with a focus on the development of barrier-free assessment approaches.

The PSC expects deputy heads to use these results to review their own hiring processes and practices, and to take steps required to improve the success rates of employment equity groups.

The PSC will take immediate action, such as making unconscious bias training a requirement for hiring managers, working to increase diversity on interview boards and providing guidance on barrier-free recruitment methods

The PSC will work with departments and agencies as well as employment equity groups and committees to identify specific factors that impact the success of employment equity groups and visible minority sub-groups. It will then collaborate to develop concrete solutions.

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