Canadian HR Reporter

May 4, 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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CANADIAN HR REPORTER May 4, 2015 NEWS 21 Prepare Your Leaders to Meet Today's Leadership Challenges • Leadership Development Program Building Leadership Essentials Speaking as a Leader® Communication for the Senior Leader® Taking the Stage® Secure Seats Today Quote HRrep16 Phone: 1-800-663-7305 E-mail: Summer Programs unfortunately, I think sometimes the driving business goals are 'Let's just get it done.'" Part of that advance work can include getting the team involved as few roles are truly independent positions, said Griffin. So a lot of companies are sitting down with the team to find out who would be the next person who's right to join because the ability to keep the entire team intact is what's going to increase productivity in terms of morale and effectiveness. Tools Employers also conduct panel interviews to gain more than one person's perspective or use psy- chometric testing, said Griffin. "e most effective (tests) tend to be ones that are somehow mod- elled by previous successful em- ployees of that specific company or firm. So if it's something that's customized, that's almost more effective," she said. "We've moved from behavioural interviewing just about technical background to behavioural-based interview questions that definitely raise to the surface ideal fit, environment fit, team contribution, those things as well." ere are nifty tools that are geared at quantifying how well an individual is likely to fit in a role, and predicting how the relation- ship with the manager or even the team will go, said van der Hoop. "e reality is anybody who's using those analytics as gospel, as a straight pass/fail, is missing the point entirely. Used correctly, the science can get you to the right shortlist, and you still have to be able to rely on your intuition and your attention in the interview process. If you're using the right analytics, then you're going to get better information to have better interviews with. And you're more likely to ask the questions that are really going to matter." It's about having the science do the heavy lifting first, said van der Hoop. "If you've invested in some sci- ence to help you get under the hood and understand how (a per- son is) wired and what the ideal candidate for the job looks like, so you've got the contrast, then you can ask much better questions about where they're likely to fit and where they're likely going to need." But when it comes to testing, it's a grey area and there can be a bit of a dangerous line, said Kouri. Somebody who's introverted, for example, could be a fantastic sales- person but, judging by test results, might not look like a good fit. "Some of that analysis helps you understand what a person prefers and understanding those prefer- ences means they'll be probably be happier if those preferences align with your company," she said. "ere's a place for it but again it's using it as an enhance- ment, not as a definitive because these tests don't define a person, who they are, always — there is a spectrum." And while some experts will provide a list of must-have inter- view questions to determine fit, these don't always make sense. In any given job, the markers of fit are going to be very different, said van der Hoop, comparing for example a machinist and a salesperson. "So the platitude 'Here are the five questions you need to ask' aren't terribly helpful unless you've got some insight into what drives success in any given role," he said. Testing insightful FIT < pg. 8 standards, said Eric Tucker, pro- fessor at Osgoode Hall at York University in Toronto. "The question the (Workers Action Centre) report is raising is whether the ESA protections should be extended to cover peo- ple who are legally independent contractors." If employment standards pro- tections were extended to work- ers who currently fall through the cracks, it could make a big differ- ence when it comes to access to equal pay, job-protected leaves, emergency leaves and paid sick days, said Ladd. "Some of our recommenda- tions are really about restoring the floor of standards. And then a whole bunch of other recom- mendations are about, regardless of how you're hired or how many hours you work, you're not being differentially paid," she said. Fair scheduling, particularly in the service and retail sectors, is also an issue. "For instance, many workers we spoke to get their schedules on a Friday about whether or not they're working for the next week — which starts the next day. So with less than 24 hours' notice, you're finding out (your sched- ule), although you're expected to be fully available to work," she said. "Workers are not able to find another job because they're expected to be fully available." Enforcement issues Even for workers who are covered by employment standards, there are challenges around enforce- ment, said Tucker. "e act primarily depends on workers making complaints about violations, and indeed there's even a provision that normally before a worker can complain to the min- istry about a violation, they first have to have attempted to resolve their complaint directly with their employer. at creates a situation that's very difficult for many if not most workers who are dependent on the Employment Standards Act," he said. "In fact, the evidence shows over many years that employ- ees very rarely make complaints about violations by their current employer. And the reasons for that are fairly obvious — work- ers are very concerned that if they complain about the Employment Standards Act violations, then they will suffer some employ- ment-related consequence." Of course, it's against the law for an employer to retaliate against a worker for seeking to enforce his employment standards rights — but it can be very difficult to prove that retaliation is at play, he said. "For example, if you have a part- time worker who has shifts, they may not get fired but they may find that the shifts they're being offered are worse shifts than they were getting before, that they're getting fewer shifts, things like that which can be quite difficult to establish that the reason for the (change) is that the employee had sought to enforce their rights," he said. "So workers, understandably, and particularly vulnerable work- ers… really don't want to rock the boat. And that's why a very large majority of employment stan- dards complaints are filed after a person has lost their job. It's only then that the worker has nothing to lose by filing the complaint." e report and other studies recommend the Ministry of La- bour engage in more proactive enforcement activities. ey al- ready do, to some extent, when it comes to enforcement blitzes — but those proactive efforts should be extended, said Tucker. Recommendations ere are a number of recom- mendations put forward in the report, including broadening the scope of ESA protections to cover more workers. Fair scheduling and equal pay for equal work are also two areas considered, said Ladd. "We're looking at just basic pro- visions such as two weeks' notice to get your schedule in advance," she said. "Some of the other gaps that we're looking at is making sure that no matter who is hired, that employers are held responsi- ble if they are misclassifying work- ers as independent contractors." The onus should be on the employer to prove the worker is not an employee, instead of the current situation where a worker often has to prove she is a worker, she said. "e other area is, of course, enforcement because no matter how many changes you make to the law, if it's not enforced… a lot of employers have said, 'I'm trying to do the right thing, I'm trying to follow the law, but the employer down the street is not follow- ing the law and not being held responsible.' "Having a regulated and en- forced floor of protection means that employers who are following the law are respected, and those that are undercutting them by breaking the law are held account- able," she said. "In some ways, it creates more stability for employers in not feel- ing like they have to compete in this race to the bottom." Proactive enforcement needed ESA GAPS < pg. 9 "A large majority of complaints are filed after a person has lost their job. It's only then that the worker has nothing to lose."

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