Priority entitlements toolkit for managers and human resources specialists

Overview
Go to the Life event section
Go to the Priority entitlement is registered section
Go to the Ongoing home organization support section
Go to the Person with a priority entitlement looks for a new job section
Go to the Organizations use the priority talent pool and hire a qualified person with a priority entitlement section

1. Life event

As an employer, you help your employees learn and grow. Throughout an individual’s career, many life events occur, sometimes leading to a priority entitlement. For example:

 

When certain conditions are met, a priority entitlement is triggered. As an employer, you need to recognize situations that can lead to an entitlement and promptly inform your employees.

2. Priority entitlement is registered

Individuals, unions, managers and HR professionals work together to ensure that as soon as the priority entitlement is triggered, with the consent of the person with a priority entitlement, they are registered in the Priority Information Management System.

The start dates and length of the various priority entitlements are set by the Public Service Employment Act and the Public Service Employment Regulations, and cannot be altered by organizations or by the Public Service Commission.

To register a person in the system and to ensure that all parties are well informed, persons with a priority entitlement, managers and HR professionals need to know:

  • the type of priority entitlement 
  • the documentation required to register the priority entitlement
  • the start and end date of the priority entitlement period
  • if the person is currently available to be considered for job opportunities
  • whether the person would be interested in term positions while looking for a permanent position
  • the plan to address existing learning and development gaps and concerns while the person is actively looking for work
  • current contact information for the person, the manager and the HR professional in the home organization

As well, if the priority entitlement is related to a workforce adjustment exercise, you’ll need to ensure that the person with a priority entitlement has employer-related guidance and resources.

3. Ongoing home organization support

Persons with a priority entitlement will benefit from your active support before, during and at the end of their priority entitlement. As they search for a new position, they will be representing your organization.

At the beginning of the priority entitlement

a) Ensure that the person with a priority entitlement has:

  • access to view government job opportunities (GC Jobs) and knows how to set up email alerts
  • contact information for the person who can support them for all their priority entitlement-related questions or concerns
  • a good understanding of résumé writing, cover letters and interview skills; if they need support, know what you or the organization can do to help, and the resources they can access
  • valid and up-to-date second language evaluation results

b) Ensure that the person with a priority entitlement knows:

  • that most communication will be by email and the importance of maintaining up-to-date contact information
  • the different tools and systems to help identify jobs (Priority Information Management System, Priority Portal, GC Jobs, GCconnex, networking)
  • the importance of updating their availability for job opportunity notifications; if they are not currently available, they are to confirm a future date, if known, and indicate that they are unavailable until then
  • that they can update their availability to receive job opportunity notifications at any time through the priority portal
  • that if they meet the essential qualifications and conditions of employment for the position, they have a right to be appointed ahead of regular candidates
  • that the priority entitlement does not guarantee them a position; they will be assessed to determine if they meet the essential qualifications and conditions for the position
  • that assessments may include screening questions, résumé, cover letter, exam, interview, reference check, security check and medical examination
  • that they can ask for accommodation measures in assessments, if needed
  • how much information they need to share about any functional limitations
  • that their priority status may be affected if they refuse a reasonable job offer
  • that any leave taken and accommodation requirements need to be discussed with their home organization

c) Encourage the person with a priority entitlement to:

Support persons with a priority entitlement throughout the process

Once the priority entitlement is activated, it is important to continue to support the person with a priority entitlement and to check in with them regularly. Whether they are your employee or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces or the RCMP, or a surviving spouse, they fall within your organization’s priority entitlement responsibilities. They receive a lot of information at the beginning of their entitlement, and may need your support to put everything into practice. 

Tips for supporting persons with a priority entitlement

  • Keep an eye out for opportunities within the organization, including temporary ones that can provide useful and new experiences
  • Inform them when an organizational contact is changing and providing them the new contact information
  • If they request new leave, confirm the new priority entitlement end date, if applicable
  • Ask them to discuss any plans to resign or retire; explain any impacts the plans could have on their priority entitlement
  • Ask them to keep you informed of any challenges they may have in their assessment, so you can help them or direct them to available resources, for example, preparing their résumés or cover letters, or for exams and interviews etc.
  • Advise them if their position is going to be permanently backfilled and explain what that means for them
  • Encourage them to widen their job search by looking at a variety of groups, levels and locations, and to self-refer to term and indeterminate opportunities, including promotions
  • Let them know that, before they sign a letter of offer, they can contact their home organization to discuss potential impacts to their priority entitlement

Near the end of the priority entitlement (at least 3 months before the end)

  • Check in to see if they have any questions
  • Remind them about the end date of their entitlement
  • Discuss any leave extension options or backfill plans
  • Discuss any retirement or resignation plans
  • Ask about any possible job offers
  • Remind them of any impacts regarding the end of the entitlement (including any effect on their employment status)

4. Person with a priority entitlement looks for a new job

Once the person with a priority entitlement has been registered and their entitlement is activated in the Priority Information Management System, they will be identified for jobs that fit their priority profile. Hiring organizations will appoint them in priority to others, if they meet the essential qualifications and conditions of employment.

Home organizations should continue to provide active support during this time to their own persons with a priority entitlement so that they are prepared, which may increase the likelihood that will be found qualified. Home organizations can:

  • remind them to promptly show interest when job opportunities are available
  • take initiative and present themselves to hiring managers (self-refer) for jobs that they may be interested in, so that they can be considered
  • provide them guidance and share resources for cover letter and résumé writing for federal government jobs, to improve their job searches and applications
  • ensure they are aware of the roles and responsibilities of both the home and hiring organization personnel; the Priority Administration Directive is a useful resource  
  • ensure that they know their roles and responsibilities as detailed in the Maximizing my priority entitlement guide

 

5. Organizations use the priority talent pool and hire a qualified person with a priority entitlement

When organizations have job openings, the priority talent pool should be their first stop.

Tapping into the priority talent pool will not only save time, it will also fulfill the corporate and social responsibilities we have, as public servants, to hire people who have served our country or had a life event that forced them to look for a new job. 

Reasons for hiring persons with a priority entitlement

Many persons with a priority entitlement are public servants who bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, skills, new ideas and fresh perspectives. Medically released Canadian Armed Forces members and those discharged for medical reasons from the RCMP have transferable skills, and they can be a tremendous asset to your immediate team and your organization as a whole.

Hiring a person with a priority entitlement can be a quick hiring solution; they only need to meet the essential qualifications and conditions of employment for the position. Many also have valid second language evaluation results and valid security clearances.

Unlike internal appointments, a priority appointment does not need a notification of consideration, a notification of appointment or a proposed appointment. Considering and hiring persons with a priority entitlement supports timely staffing of vacant positions.

Hire a qualified person with a priority entitlement and enrich your team today!

Priority talent pool
Download PDF version: Did you know?

Did you know?

The priority talent pool can help you fill a position quickly.

The individuals in the priority talent pool:

  • have a wealth of experience, skills and abilities
  • range from entry level to the executive group
  • often have valid language results and security clearances
  • have often self-declared as members of one or many designated employment equity groups
  • are looking for work

No need to advertise your job! The priority talent pool is the quick solution to your hiring needs.

It’s simple: Contact your human resources team today for access to persons with a priority entitlement, including the option of targeting those members of one or more designated employment equity groups.

For more information on the Priority Entitlements Program, visit Canada.ca/priority-entitlements.

Persons with a priority entitlement

Hear from persons with a priority entitlement!

Transcript

Unexpected life changes can impact our personal and work lives. They can affect us, our loved ones, our friends and our co-workers. When life changes lead to job loss, priority entitlements are there to help us find new work.

Meet some of the people in the priority talent pool:

Hi, I’m Angela. I have had a priority status 3 times. I was declared surplus twice during my time at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) due to budget cuts. It was stressful trying to find a new job so I could continue my career in the public service. The third time, my husband retired as an RCMP officer and we decided to move.

Each time I was placed in the priority talent pool, hiring managers considered the experience and skills I gained in over 20 years of service as a public servant. With my relocation of spouse priority status, I found a new challenge at National Defence.”

I have over 15 years of experience in strategic policy with the federal public service in Ottawa. I took a leave of absence from my job in the public service to work abroad for a non-profit international development organization. But I suddenly had to come back to Canada to be near my family in Edmonton for personal reasons.
When I was able to return to work, I activated my priority entitlement for a position in Edmonton. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada recognized my vast experience and hired me as a person with a priority entitlement. I am now working as a consultation analyst. I am thankful I was given an opportunity to continue my career in the federal public service.

As you can see, anyone can be in this situation. The priority talent pool is made up of our former co-workers, our friends and veterans who have served our country. They are qualified individuals looking forward to their next challenge.

Stefania

Angela, surplus employee

“Hi, I’m Angela. I have had a priority status 3 times. I was declared surplus twice during my time at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) due to budget cuts. It was stressful trying to find a new job so I could continue my career in the public service. The third time, my husband retired as an RCMP officer and we decided to move.

Each time I was placed in the priority talent pool, hiring managers considered the experience and skills I gained in over 20 years of service as a public servant. With my relocation of spouse priority status, I found a new challenge at National Defence.”

Daniel

Daniel, Canadian Armed Forces member released for medical reasons (related to service)

“After 25 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, I had to have knee replacement surgery, which led to my release for medical reasons.

My varied experiences in the Forces and the management training that I’ve taken have made me an excellent team coach and a great motivator, with outstanding leadership skills. Add to that my experience in public relations, and I’d be an asset to any government organization.”

Maryse

Maryse, relocation of spouse or common-law partner

“My spouse works for Global Affairs, and our family agreed to be relocated twice to serve Canada abroad. My position in Canada was given to someone else. I am thankful that I was given priority entitlement, because it allowed me to find a new job in the public service quickly.”

 Megan

Ashifa, leave of absence

“I have over 15 years of experience in strategic policy with the federal public service in Ottawa. I took a leave of absence from my job in the public service to work abroad for a non-profit international development organization. But I suddenly had to come back to Canada to be near my family in Edmonton for personal reasons.

When I was able to return to work, I activated my priority entitlement for a position in Edmonton. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada recognized my vast experience and hired me as a person with a priority entitlement. I am now working as a consultation analyst. I am thankful I was given an opportunity to continue my career in the federal public service.”

Stefania

Stefania, surplus employee

“…I was made surplus. I accepted a lower level position to help my family make ends meet, but was able to stay on the priority list to help me find a job at my substantive level. I found what I was looking for: a position where I now can showcase my strengths and truly contribute to the mandate of the organization.”

 Megan

Megan, Canadian Armed Forces member released for medical reasons (not due to service)

“Hi, I’m Megan and I was medically released from the Canadian Forces after falling ill during training. I had been prepared for a long, fulfilling career, but was forced to change my plans. While I was actively looking for a job, I went back to university to complete my MBA.

After working in the private sector for a few years, I’ve come full circle. My first professional job, as an undergrad, was with the public service through the Aboriginal Training and Internship Program, designed to give First Nations students a fulfilling experience. As a seasoned professional, nearly 2 decades later, I’m now back serving the people of Canada, working with a supportive team and focusing on a completely different mission.”

 Megan

Majda, Relocation of spouse or common-law partner

“Hello, my name is Majda. After 18 months living away from my partner, I requested a leave for relocation of spouse. A few months after starting my priority entitlement, I qualified and accepted a lower level term position in change management and continued my search to find a permanent position at my former level.

During my job search, a former colleague shared an opportunity with me. I contacted the manager to discuss employment possibilities within the organization and was offered a job that could benefit from my experience and skills. I am now an employee of Employment and Social Development Canada. Due to COVID-19, my department went through an accelerated digital transformation and my change management skills allowed me to play a key role in this initiative.”

Tools
Registering priority entitlements: Checklists of supporting documents
Options for Hiring a Person with a Priority Entitlement

Page details

Date modified: