Canadian HR Reporter

February 9, 2015

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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Page 14 of 15

Canadian HR RepoRteR February 9, 2015 INsIght 15 Mini interviews help with recruitment Pilot project at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital leads to reduced interview times, greater effi ciencies and satisfaction Lydia Hanson GUEST COMMENTARY recruiting for fi t can be a chal- lenge in the health-care field when it comes to assessing in- terpersonal skills while keeping the costs and time requirements of recruitment low. but holland bloorview Kids rehabilitation hospital has piloted a recruit- ment process that has led to dra- matically improved effi ciencies in the hiring process, better fi t for hire and increased employee satisfaction. e Toronto-based hospital has made use of the Interview Simu- lation Cycle (ISC) to hire 10 sea- sonal employees for its on-site summer arts program for kids with and without disabilities. ISC builds on the work of the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) process from McMaster Universi- ty's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton. This process aims to give an authentic representation of a candidate's suitability for admission to aca- demic programs in medicine and other health professions. Holland Bloorview adapted this process as a recruitment tool. "It can be challenging to fi nd employees who are equipped with the interpersonal skills to successfully interact with children with disabilities," said C.J. Curran, hiring manager for the integrated summer arts program, called Spi- ral Garden. "We needed a process that could more accurately help us identify fi t for hire." Kathryn Parker, senior director of academic aff airs and the hospi- tal's Teaching and Learning Insti- tute, introduced the idea to adapt the MMI model for the 2013 hiring process. She collaborated with Curran's team and human resources to create mini interview stations to evaluate candidates' skills, including critical think- ing, behaviour management and decision-making. Role-play simulation was also embedded into two interview sta- tions: interpersonal communica- tion and confl ict resolution, and patient-centred care. e role play helps interviewers better evalu- ate candidates by watching them demonstrate their skills in action. The simulation scenarios were based on actual experiences from the program in previous years. e group developed eight sta- tions and each mini-interview lasted fi ve minutes, with two rest stations for candidates to collect their thoughts and prepare for the next stations. Clients and families were full partners in the process, acting as interviewers and raters, role playing and making decisions about who to hire. e results Through the pilot process, 18 candidates were interviewed in three hours, resulting in an 83 per cent reduction in direct inter- view time compared to traditional interview processes and a 30 per cent increase in effi ciency related to pre- and post-interview activi- ties. In total, 10 people were hired through this process, fi lling 100 per cent of the vacancies. Ninety-four per cent of candi- dates who participated in the ISC process reported that overall they felt the process was very good or excellent. Former candidate Kaeleigh Burtch says that while she was initially nervous about the new interview process, the interviewers put her at ease be- cause they were relaxed and the questions were straightforward. Burtch is one of seven people hired through the ISC process who is returning for a second year. "We all worked really well as a team," she says. To track the success of the ISC, Holland Bloorview surveyed the 2013 employees about their ex- perience working in Spiral Gar- den and compared it to feedback from the 2012 employees, who were hired using more traditional methods. ere was a substantial increase in employee satisfac- tion across the survey categories. Ninety-two per cent of 2013 Spi- ral Garden employees felt there was an environment of partner- ship, shared decision-making and collaboration in the program, compared to only 63 per cent in 2012. Similarly, 97 per cent of 2013 employees reported that the team delivered exemplary service to the clients and showed concern for fellow employees, versus only 73 per cent in 2012. Expanding use of the tool With the success of the ISC model for the summer arts program, it wasn't long before other depart- ments within Holland Bloorview expressed interest in using the process. In 2014, the Volunteer Resourc- es department piloted the ISC to recruit 30 volunteers for the March break program. at cam- paign was so successful, Volunteer Resources also used ISC to recruit about 100 volunteers for its 2014 summer placements. The ISC saved a substantial amount of time for Volunteer Resources. e department had been using traditional one-on- one interview methods, spending 45 minutes with each candidate. e ISC enabled the department to interview 15 candidates within that same timeframe. " e great thing about the new process is that the interviewers get a sense of all the candidates. With one-on-one interviews, you don't get to see the full spectrum of who is applying," says Heather McCann, administrator in Vol- unteer Resources, adding that an- other benefi t of the ISC was the opportunity to engage current volunteers in the process. Carolyn Henry, a former Hol- land Bloorview client and long- time volunteer, participated in the simulation scenario for Volunteer Resources' summer program recruitment. Henry uses an assistive com- munication device and in the sce- nario candidates had to role play how they would communicate with Carolyn to help understand her needs and wants. Henry enjoyed participating in the simulation and appreciated being part of the process. "It was good to get experience helping out in that way," she says. Next steps " e ISC process could be widely used for recruiting in health care, and beyond," says Joanne Azulay, senior consultant in human re- sources and administrative lead for the Spiral Garden hire. She adds that Holland Bloor- view is actively exploring ways to expand the use of the Inter- view Simulation Cycle by help- ing other hospitals and organiza- tions adopt the process, including through the broad dissemination of a user guide developed in part- nership with the Ontario Hospital Association. Lydia Hanson is a senior communica- tions associate at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilation Hospital in To- ronto. For more information, contact Joanne Azulay, senior consultant in human resources at jazulay@holland- Lorenzo Lisi tOUGHEST HR QUESTION Checking a job applicant's online presence How far can – and should – an employer go when it comes to social media? Question: can an employer use a job appli- cant's social media activity as a factor in determining whether to hire her? does the employer need permission from the applicant to look at social media? Answer: With social media and online networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, it is easier than ever for employers and recruiters to review job can- didates' online presence when making hiring decisions. But this raises new concerns, especially as the use of social media to conduct background checks can provide a potential employer with a range of information previously unavail- able during the hiring process. When recruiting and hiring employees in Ontario, for ex- ample, employers must comply with the Human Rights Code. e code prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, re- cord of off ences, marital status, family status and disability. While not prohibited, the use of social media when making hiring deci- sions raises a number of risks for employers, especially in relation to the accuracy and collection of information from online net- working sites. For example, from the review of a profi le picture on Facebook, the potential employer can gain information relating to a candidate's age, family status, sex- ual orientation, disability or race that is unavailable from a typical resumé or job application. If an employment decision is made based on information gleaned from social media, an employer can face allegations of discrimination if a candidate al- leges she was screened out of the hiring process based on her online presence. To protect against such claims of discrimination, potential employers should standardize recruitment processes. is in- cludes determining the specifi c information requested from can- didates and how such information is received. If employers do choose to use social media, it is best to review candidates' online profi les after a face-to-face meeting. Further, where possible, the decision-mak- er with respect to any particular candidate should not be review- ing a fi le that sets out the results of social media background checks. Separating these allows the deci- sion to be made without reference to information found online. ere have been media reports in both Canada and the United States about employers asking job candidates for their Facebook passwords in order to review their online posts. While a potential employer does not need permis- sion to review public online pro- fi les, both Facebook and the On- tario Human Rights Commission have released statements stating that asking for such passwords violates potential employees' privacy. Lorenzo Lisi practises employment and labour law at Aird & Berlis in Toronto. Aird & Berlis can be reached at (416) 863-1500 or www.airdberlis. com. The use of social media when making hiring decisions raises a number of risks. Through the pilot process, 18 candidates were interviewed in three hours, resulting in an 83 per cent reduction in direct interview time. "Once upon a time, there was something called religious freedom, where you didn't have to worry about things like this. What if I'm offended by an Orthodox Jewish paper in Israel that photoshops women out of news photos? Or by Muslim countries that dictate what women wear or do? There's no recourse there, so why does France have to cow-tow to others?" — Anonymous, commenting on Todd Humber's blog "Odds are we're gonna be alright" Join the conversation online. Comment freely on any blog on reader CommeNtS

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