Successful Strategies to Effectively…


In August 2017, a group of employers and staff in the non-profit sector met to discuss strategies to effectively recruit, on-board, manage and retain newcomers in the workplace.

Here are some tips to consider:


Job Posting

  • Use clear and simple language in preparing a job posting – do not require that a job seeker “reads between the lines” in order to decipher the needs of your organization
  • List “essential” and “asset” qualifications separately
  • Clearly identify qualification equivalencies accepted, as well as language requirements


  • Use panel-based interviews – having the perpective of different interviewers  will reduce any individual bias, and offer different perpectives on a candidate’s competencies
  • Remove open-ended questions (eg “tell me about yourself”) and questions that could not be answered by someone from a “modest” culture (eg “tell me about a time that you demonstrated initiative”; ask  how a candidate overcame an obstacle or achieved results in previous jobs, instead of asking for strenghts or accomplishments
  • Remove telephone-based screening, if communication over the phone is not a required competency of the job – if you MUST utilize this tool, consider providing the questions in advance


  • Assign new staff a Mentor/Buddy from within the team – this person should not replace the suprvisor, but rather offer more day-to-day support to the new hire (in terms of orientation to the workplace culture, etc)
  • Offer individualized onboarding: ask about career goals and learning needs (this will also help to identify if any issues that arise are cultural or individual)
  • Offer regular, informal “check-ins” with skilled newcomers – ask: “what are you proud of in your work?”, “How can I let you know that your contribution is valued here?”
  • Performance and development conversations should be employee-centred – focus on behaviour and performance demonstrated (not personaly or style)
  • Request feedback and participation – allow the voices of skilled newcomers to be heard in workplace committees, strategic planning sessions, program evaluations, etc.


  • Design a peer support network within your team – social committees, intranet, or private Fcebook page are all great ways for team members to connect and learn from each other
  • Offer opportunities to job shadow more senior roles – this will help skilled newcomers to plan for career progression
  • Have an open policy for accessing professional development funding – the policy shopuld be open to allow for training within current role, as well as training that would assist a skilled newcomer to move into a more senior role
  • Offer flexible work schedule, if possible (allow for job sharing, remote work, flex time, etc.)
  • Ensure accommodation for, and recognition of, religious holidays that are not part of Canada’s current calendar – offer flexible personal days, and distribute information about religious holidays or upcoming community-based special events and festivals
  • Offer a designated space for prayer and/or meditation within the workplace
  • Utilize cultural informants (from local institutions, cultural groups or community centres) to advise on needds in order to support reasonable accommodation in the workplace

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