Annual Report 2017-18: Transcripts

Message from the Commissioners: Highlights from the report

Commissioner Dan Tucker:

The Annual Report presents an overview of hiring activities in the federal public service and provides valuable information on the overall health of the staffing system. It also provides useful information on some areas where further improvements are needed. We have also made several other improvements to our Annual Report, including the addition of video testimonials and interesting insights on the hiring experience of federal employees. The Report also presents concrete examples of staffing-related innovation and risk management strategies.

Commissioner Susan Cartwright:

Well, I think the PSC over the years, has taken a number of different approaches to influencing the way staffing is conducted in the public service. And this current Commission believes very strongly, firmly in collaborating with the organizations that are actually doing the staffing and exercising the delegated authority from the PSC.

Patrick Borbey, President, PSC:

Well, renewing the public service is certainly one of our biggest challenges right now, across the public service… and it is a partnership… it is work that we need to do. At the PSC of course we have a role to play, but deputy heads, hiring managers… all employees have a role to play in ensuring that we do renew the public service. And it is a balance as well… some of it is going to involve attracting, recruiting new talent, skills that perhaps were in shortage in the public service right now. But it also means developing, retaining and developing our current talent that we have within the public service.

Commissioner Susan Cartwright:

And in addition, we are working to ensure that we recruit from across the country, and from a diversity of communities so that the public service reflects the richness of the Canadian population.

Experimenting with Staffing at Shared Services Canada

Richard Hagarty, Hiring Manager:

I was working for Shared Services Canada last year. We’re trying to put in place a new staffing process based on the “Open House” concept.

The concept was to provide both the candidate and the manager with the opportunity to meet face-to-face and to offer a position based not only on a set of competences but on the ‘”right fit” for the position. We also led much more targeted processes, running a bit against the current trend… using generic pools to attract as many candidates as possible. I personally pushed at the same time, the idea of searching for candidates with a more advanced specialization in a specific area. We brought these people to the table to better understand how the existing procedures and tools could be used to support innovation in our outreach activities, placing more focus on our marketing efforts. We called upon our entire outreach team to increase our external promotional activities. We are talking here about using other recruitment sites outside of the federal government platforms.

Amélie Desjardins, HR Advisor:

The New Staffing Direction, with all the flexibilities it provides, allows for the tailoring of the staffing practices based on the particular context of each organization. For example, at Shared Services Canada, we are participating in many college and university job fairs to support highly targeted recruitment.

Richard Hagarty, hiring manager:

The biggest impact, from my point of view, is this openness to do things differently. As mentioned already, staffing processes were much more formal previously. We now have much more flexibility to try new recruitment approaches.

Amélie Desjardins, HR Advisor:

We also use a lot more social media today, including LinkedIn and Twitter, to keep in touch with the new generation. We also try to come up with new innovative recruitment approaches.  For example, we organized several networking sessions between qualified candidates in our pools and hiring managers. Several conditional offers of employment were presented as a result, which led to many new hires.

Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity (ISEO) Program

Jon-Evan Quoquochi, student, Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity

Kwai! (introduction in his native language) –

Hello! My name is Jon-Evan Quoquochi. I am here in Gatineau to study political sciences next year and I come from the Wemotaci community.

When I applied, I was right at the end of my academic session and did not pay too much attention when I submitted my application. I quickly received a reply by email, only a week after completing my application. What I really liked, was to see that the process seemed to be moving along at a fast pace. And then, maybe a week and a half later, I received a first call from the manager whom I actually work for right now. It took only two or three weeks before I was presented with a letter of offer. Personally I learned a few lessons on how to work as a public servant. I also learned that there are many different mentalities, a large diversity of cultures. I thought it was really nice to see us all working together in the same direction, regardless of our individual backgrounds. This has also helped me accept the difference of opinions in the work place.

Youth Accessibility Summer Employment Opportunity for students (YASEO)

Brianna Jennett-McNeil, YASEO student

My name is Brianna Jennett-McNeil. I am studying psychology with a concentration in forensic, and a minor in women and gender studies. And I am currently working at Treasury Board in the office of the Chief Human Resources officer.

So the process itself was very easy to navigate. With the targeted poster itself, it gave a very informative view of the program itself, and after I applied through the FSWEP process online, and received a notification that my resume was sent to a manager, it was about March, and Francine my manager actually called me, I believe in April. So it was very fast that I got a call back from a manager, and it was very easy to talk with her, she just sent me a personal email, and I went in for an interview, and that was pretty much it.

Francine Séguin, Senior Human Resources Research Analyst

So first of all, I’ve been a manager for 15 years, and I’ve hired many students over the years. What YASEO will bring you is a different perspective to managing. It gives you also… especially now that were talking about diversity, inclusion, accessibility… it really gives you… the conversations I had with my student, and also the other students in the program, when we were organizing events… it makes you rethink how you organize events, meetings, your work practices, and also your management practices. So go for it!

Brianna Jennett-McNeil, YASEO student

For me to be able to give, in a sense, other students the same experience that I had, was very valuable to me, and I always wanted to do work that had a direct impact on people, and for me working on the YASEO program itself was a way to do that.

Looking Forward

Patrick Borbey, President, PSC:

There are pretty exciting opportunities to bring our programs, our services, into the digital era. And that’s a big priority for us here at the Public Service Commission over the coming year.

We will also be reviewing all our programs and services, and launching new pilot projects like the one on Second Language Evaluations, while ensuring that these programs and services meet the needs of all our users in the modern era. So, we still have a lot of work to do, not only at the level of the main recruitment platform but also at the level of the services and programs we provide across the federal public service.

We also have an opportunity with the new accessibility legislation to be able to further enhance our work and our efforts, and go and find the talent anywhere in Canada that we haven’t really been seeking or being accessing.

We also have an opportunity with the new accessibility legislation to be able to further enhance our work and our efforts, and go and find the talent anywhere in Canada that we haven’t really been seeking or being accessing.

When we look at our programs, unfortunately we have lower levels of applicants in areas such as indigenous people, and persons with disability. We’re doing fairly well in terms of the number of applicants for visible minorities, but those other categories, we need to do a better job in terms of attracting people and making them feel that the public service is a career choice for them.

So there’s still a lot of work to be done, and I guess I’m calling on, you know, all of us to go beyond the numbers, and also beyond the traditional definition of what diversity is. And focus also on inclusion. Not just bringing people into the public service from various backgrounds, but also making them feel at home, feeling welcome, and that they are able to contribute to excellence in the future in the public service.

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