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Canada Recruiting & Hiring

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Expanding your company and hiring new employees in Canada is an exciting time. However, you could face costly fines or other sanctions if you do not follow Canada’s employment and recruiting compliance laws closely.

Recruiting in Canada

When you’re recruiting Canadian employees, you need to understand the country’s culture, which can vary by province. Overall, the country emphasizes a work-life balance, with many employees working under 40 hours a week. Other common cultural norms during the hiring process follow.

1. Respect Personal Space

In the workplace, Canadians appreciate personal space. Most people will stay about 2 feet or an arm’s length of space away when talking face to face. Make sure you don’t stand too close to your potential candidates, but don’t stand too far away either, as doing so can indicate that you’re not interested in the conversation.

2. Make Small Talk

Canadian workplaces are friendly, so you can make small talk with candidates at the beginning of a meeting or interview. Questions about how they are or how their weekend was aren’t considered prying. Instead, they’re a polite way to show interest.

3. Remember That Morals Vary by Culture

Each province in Canada has its own morals, which may or may not be religious. We recommend researching the area where you’re hiring or watching and listening closely to make sure you understand what potential candidates feel is acceptable.

4. Speak the Local Language

In Quebec, for example, workers are entitled to conduct business in French, and you cannot refuse to hire an employee who doesn’t speak English. If you don’t speak French, you may want to learn a few phrases and hire an interpreter. Keep in mind that a province-wide charter dictates that every person has a right to be served in French. This charter may inform your hiring decisions as you’ll want a bilingual workforce.

5. Know That Ranking Matters

While gender doesn’t matter in the workforce, rank does. You can expect candidates to address you as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. unless you instruct them otherwise. You can expect this treatment even if you are decades younger than the person you are interviewing. If you’re hiring for an important and high-ranking position, treat candidates with respect instead of over-the-top friendliness.

The Recruitment Process in Canada

The most common Canadian recruiting source is job boards. Many professionals will look up an advertisement on a popular job board, then also check the company’s recruitment website. However, uploading CVs into a database is becoming a more popular option, so you may want to search for the right candidates on a well-respected resume database.

Just as the culture shifts among provinces, so do the recruiting laws. Each province has the authority to create its own regulations while following the Canadian government’s overarching staffing and recruiting laws. For example, Ontario has the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), which applies to job advertisements. To stay within the law, your advertisement cannot contain any statements, qualifications, or references that could be seen as discriminatory.

In Quebec, you must phrase all interview questions in a non-discriminatory manner. You could break the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms if you directly or indirectly ask a candidate about personal characteristics such as their age, ethnic origin, or disability.

Canada’s Discrimination Laws

Canada’s human rights legislation protects employees from discrimination. These laws vary by province but commonly protect against discrimination related to race, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, and religion.

Some jurisdictions in the country have adopted privacy legislation that will protect your employees’ or potential employees’ sensitive data. When you’re staffing your Canadian business, you can collect personal information only for a rational purpose, and you’ll have limited distribution methods. For example, if you must transfer an employee’s information to another country, you’ll need to notify the employee and take steps to ensure that the data won’t be used for any other purposes.

How to Hire Employees in Canada

You can choose to hire employees yourself or work with a global PEO to help you find talent.

Hiring your employees on your own requires a significant time commitment and the willingness to travel to Canada multiple times. You will need to make sure your company’s key players have time to spare so you can hire abroad.

You may also choose to work with a global PEO such as Globalization Partners. While setting up a subsidiary is a months-long process to finish before you can even hire an employee, we can act as the Employer of Record and hire employees on your behalf to get you up and running in days.

Canada Employment Compliance

Canada has extensive employment laws at both the federal and provincial level, which can make Canada employment compliance bewildering for businesses new to the country. Every province has its own withholding, social services, and notice periods. About 80% of Canadian employees are protected by provincial employment laws, while the rest is covered by federal law.

Most provinces limit the number of hours your employees can work in a week, although some jurisdictions have exceptions for the maximum hours for specific industries. Employees also have the right to an annual paid vacation — although this also varies by province.

Canadian employment contracts often include a probationary period of three months. However, employers are required to provide reasonable notice of termination.

Onboarding Canadian Employees

Before you officially hire Canada employees, you’ll need to examine each new employee’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) and record it. If the number begins with nine, the worker is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and can only work for a particular employer with authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

You’ll also need to ask employees to fill out required forms such as Form TD1 before their first day.

Benefits of Canada Hiring Outsourcing

Because Canada has extensive employment laws, you’ll need to stay well-versed on both federal regulations and those in the particular province where you are hiring. Canada hiring outsourcing with a global PEO is a great way to stay compliant and save you time and money.

Globalization Partners can hire employees on your behalf to get you started without setting up a subsidiary. As the Employer of Record, we handle all Canada employment compliance and take the liability off your shoulders. Contact us today for more information.

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