Public Service Disaggregated Data for Visible Minorities and Indigenous peoples, Citizenship status

Over the past few months, I have been analyzing the various datasets breaking down public service employment and employee survey data by the individual visible minority and Indigenous groups.

The three articles, What new disaggregated data tells us about federal public service diversity (Policy Options, October 2020), What the Public Service Employee Survey breakdowns of visible minority and other groups tell us about diversity and inclusion (The Hill Times, November 2020) and Diversity and Inclusion: Public Service Hirings, Promotions and Separations (The Hill Times, March 2021) allow for a more comprehensive view of visible minority and Indigenous groups in the federal public service. Moreover, recent Public Service Commission studies analyzing recruitment of employment equity groups add an important element to discussions on public service staffing and recruitment practices.

Much of the debate and discussions have understandably focussed on Blacks in the public service. Yet public service data indicates that their situation is not unique in terms of representation, hirings and promotions and the employee satisfaction, with many commonalities with the other groups. A more granular analysis within each occupational group (i.e., comparing representation at each level by occupational group, as some departments are conducting, may very well provide such evidence).

Key findings are:

  • Overall EE analysis shows considerable variation among the different visible minority and Indigenous groups
  • Visible minorities
    • Correlation between lower educational attainment and representation for most groups save Chinese
    • Overall under-representation common to most groups
    • Blacks, West Asian/Arab small over-representation
    • EX: All groups under-represented save Japanese with Filipino, Latin American and Blacks having the largest gaps
    • Hirings: Hirings of visible minorities have increased for all groups in most occupational groups save for technical and administrative support. Hirings at the EX level have increase for Black, Chinese, South Asian/East Indian and West Asian/Arab, with other groups showing no increase.
    • Promotions: While promotions have increased marginally for virtually all groups at the agregate level, promotions by occupational category provide a mixed picture, with most groups and most occupational categories experiencing a marginal decline in promotions.
  • Indigenous peoples
    • First Nations under-represented, Métis and Inuit over-represented
    • Hirings: While hirings at the EX level have increased slightly, this is less the case for the other occupational categories. Hirings of Métis have increased the most in the operational category, hirings of First Nations the most in the technical category, while hirings of Inuit the most at the EX level.
    • Promotions: A marginal decline across all Indigenous groups and occupational
  • Harassment/Discrimination experiences vary
    • Harassment: Japanese report the most as do First Nations and Métis, Chinese and Filipino least satisfied with resolution as is the case with Métis
    • Discrimination; Blacks report the most, but all groups encounter discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin or colour. Black, Japanese and Latin American least satisfied with resolution. All Indigenous groups report having been discriminated against, mainly based on race or ethnic origin, with Métis also least satisfied with resolution

The recent PSC Audit of Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment provides some interesting data and analysis of the staffing process and how the different employment equity groups, and visible minority largest sub-groups, fare at each of the five stages in the staffing process: job application, automated screening, organizational screening, assessment and appointment (FY 2016-17 data).

The most significant stages were organizational screening and assessment where most filtering took place as shown in the table below:

The next table breaks down visible minorities by the largest groups:

As noted in the audit, Blacks have the largest decrease in representation at all stages save for appointment, with a non-negligible being screened out by automatic screening. Chinese are screened out more by organizational screening whereas West Asian and South Asian are more likely to be screened in as the assessment stage.

The audit provides the following explanation for visible minority groups. Overall, visible minority women have higher success rates than visible minority men at the organizational screening and assessment stages. Visible minorities screened out at the organizational screening stage due to citizenship status (Canadian citizens are given preference over non-citizens) and experience qualifications. Those with public service work experience were more likely to be screened in at this stage but overall “experienced less success than their counterparts regardless of whether or not they had federal public service experience.”

At the assessment stage, visible minorities were less successful when written tests were used, particularly the case for Black candidates.

A separate PSC report addresses the Citizenship of applicants and external appointments. While Canadian citizens have a hiring preference, the share of non-citizen applicants has risen from 9.4 percent in 2015-16 to 14.5 percent in 2018-19, with the share of hires has increased to 2.5 percent from 1.5 percent over the same period

Non-citizen visible minority applicants account for 22.9 percent of all visible minority applicants, for non-visible minorities, the share is only 12.1 percent.

The table below contrasts applicants and appointments by citizenship status for the past four years. For Canadian citizens, the percentage of applicants and appointments are comparable, for Permanent Residents and others, appointments are significantly greater than applicants suggesting that citizenship may be less of a barrier than commonly believed.

Visible minority Canadian citizens represented 17.2 percent of all applicants and 19.5 percent of all hires (2018-19).

Audit of Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment

PDF Version

Significant and useful, in that it breaks down the various steps in staffing and how different groups are affected at the organizational screening and assessment stages.

Like all research, this begs further work to assess the particular factors that resulted in visible minority and Indigenous candidates being rejected at those stages.

Notable that Black candidate respresentation declined more than other visible minority groups, again suggesting the need for some qualitative analysis of the reasons and rationales for them being selected out:

This audit was undertaken as part of the Public Service Commission (PSC)’s oversight mandate to assess the integrity of the public service staffing system. It is part of a series of initiatives that looks at the performance of the staffing system with respect to the representation of employment equity groups.

Achieving priorities related to diversity and inclusion in the federal public service will ensure that Canadians benefit from a public service workforce that is representative of Canada’s diversity. To date, progress towards a representative federal public service is being made. Of the 4 employment equity groups, 3 are represented at or above workforce availability; persons with disabilities are currently underrepresented in the federal government. These results show that more work and a sustained focus on diversity are required.

This audit focused on advertised recruitment processes as one of the key drivers to improving the representation of employment equity groups in the federal public service. The audit had 2 objectives:

  1. to determine whether the 4 employment equity groups remain proportionately represented throughout recruitment processes
  2. to identify factors that may influence employment equity group representation

This audit looked at 15 285 applications to 181 externally advertised appointment processes from 30 departments and agencies.

We examined employment equity group representation at 5 key stages of the external advertised appointment process (Figure 2 in this report provides more detail on each of these stages):

5 key stages of the external advertised appointment process: job application, automated screening, Organizational screening, Assessment, Appointment

Our focus was to explore whether employment equity groups experienced changes in representation at each stage of the appointment process, and to examine these stages for factors that may have influenced their representation.

Main findings

We found that employment equity groups did not remain proportionately represented throughout the recruitment process.

Our audit results showed that:

  • women were the only group to experience an overall increase in representation from job application to the appointment stage
  • Indigenous candidates experienced a reduction in representation at the assessment stage
  • persons with disabilities experienced the largest drop in representation of any of the employment equity groups, with decreases in representation at the assessment and appointment stages
  • visible minority groups experienced reductions in representation at the organizational screening and assessment stages
  • of the visible minority sub-groups examined in our audit, Black candidates experienced a larger drop in representation than other members of visible minorities, both at the organizational screening and assessment stages

Our ability to identify factors that may influence employment equity representation in recruitment was limited to the information available in the staffing files. Some factors were identified to partially explain the drop in representation of members of visible minorities at the organizational screening stage. However, limited information in staffing files did not provide conclusive evidence of other factors that may be associated with lower success rates of employment equity groups at later stages of the recruitment process. More research will be required to determine potential barriers in externally advertised appointment processes and to develop concrete solutions.

This audit report makes 3 recommendations intended to address the lower success experienced by some employment equity groups in external advertised recruitment processes. The development and implementation of concrete corrective measures will require collaboration between multiple stakeholders including deputy heads, the PSC, other central agencies and employment equity groups.

The audit makes clear that despite efforts across departments and agencies to advance diversity, work remains to achieve inclusive hiring processes in the public service. The PSC will need to further support organizations by providing systems, tools and guidance for implementing a barrier-free appointment process. Most importantly, deputy heads are responsible for reviewing their staffing framework and practices to ensure barrier-free appointment processes for all employment equity groups, including visible minority sub-groups.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/publications/audit-of-employment-equity-representation-in-recruitment.html#2_0

Public service hiring up, but report finds manager, employee concerns around feds’ new staffing process

As I am in the process of analyzing the impact on visible minority appointments of the 2016 New Appointment Policy (providing more flexibility for non-advertised staffing processes), found this coverage of the PSC annual report of interest:

Although a recent government report shows fairly substantial growth in the federal public service, as well as an increase in the promotion rate within the service for the sixth year in a row, there are concerns among both managers and employees around a new staffing policy—as well as perceptions of fairness around hiring.

The Public Service Commission tabled its 2018-19 annual report on Feb. 6, which found that hiring was up 4.6 per cent across the public service with close to 60,000 hires in the fiscal year. Slightly more than 8,000 of those hires were from the federal student work experience program, with slightly less than 5,400 from the post-secondary co-op/internship program.

But the report also found that according to a “staffing and non-partisanship” survey (SNPS), 87.9 per cent of managers find a new staffing policy framework “burdensome,” that only 53.8 per cent of employees say people hired in their unit can do their job, and only 46.4 per cent of employees viewed staffing as fair.

“We weren’t surprised that the results were a little bit lower than we would want them to be, said Patrick Borbey, president of the Public Service Commission in an interview with The Hill Times.“There was a lot of change in the system and there was still a fair amount of confusion or adjusting to the new reality, both on the part of employees, as well as on the part of managers.”

The New Direction in Staffing (NDS) was introduced in 2016, which the government called“the most significant change to the staffing system we have seen in over 10 years.”

Designed to promote more variety in the hiring processes, “agile approaches” to staffing and policies, allow for more room for managers to apply their own judgment when staffing, as well as “increase focus on outcomes, including the quality of the person hired, and less on process,” the report highlights how the NDS reduces times to staff, makes it easier for candidates to find public service jobs, as well as modernizing recruitment tools like GC Jobs.

“As you can see in the results, managers continue to think that the staffing system is too complicated, too lengthy,” said Mr. Borbey. “However, when it comes to merit, managers had a very different perspective on the issue than employees, because they felt that by and large, the people that they were hiring did meet the requirements of the position.”

“So it’s a bit in the eye of the beholder,” said Mr. Borbey. “Obviously, if you’re an employee who was hoping for a promotion and didn’t get it, then you might question as to whether the process was fair, transparent and led to merit.”

“But one of the things that we’ve we did a little bit more digging on is to make a link between employees’ perception and managers being comfortable in terms of applying the flexibilities of the new regime and communicating both their intentions as well as the results to employees,” said Mr. Borbey. “And we did see a certain correlation—those departments where managers seem to be more comfortable with the change, and perhaps could speak more completely about their intentions and the justifications behind their results, their departments had higher levels of satisfaction on the part of employees.”

Mr. Borbey said he thinks it’s a question of a transition within the system, as well as providing the right tools to mangers to be able to properly plan and communicate their intentions and decisions around staffing.

“The other thing that we wanted to check, is whether there was, in fact, a change in terms of merit being applied in staffing processes,” said Mr. Borbey, which prompted a system-wide compliance audit following the survey.

“The results that we got were extremely high,” said Mr. Borbey. “[There] was a 95 plus per cent compliance rate, and in those cases where there was not compliance with merit, at the end of the day, we’re down to errors of interpretation on the part of managers, particularly when it came to applying preference for Canadian citizens or for veterans.

“And so we felt that that was a pretty good result that indicated that, notwithstanding the perceptions, merit is being preserved across the system.”

Mr. Borbey said the government will be conducting their next round of surveys in the spring, and said they’ve taken steps to modify the survey to better capture more information that will be valuable for future planning.

Stan Lee, vice-president of oversight and investigations with the public service commission, said one of the things they observed in the previous survey, was that there was an association between organizations that had hiring managers who understood NDS and the perception of fairness.”

“So an organization that has hiring managers that understand the new direction in staffing really well generally have employees who have a higher perception of merit in the staffing system,” said Mr. Lee. “We were interested by this, so we added an additional question to employees, as well as to hiring managers, and one of the questions we want to ask hiring managers, is whether they feel comfortable explaining their staffing decisions to their employees.”

“The reason why we’re adding this, is because hiring managers who have a poor understanding of NDS may have difficulties explaining their staffing decision to employees, and employees walk away unsatisfied or dissatisfied with the answers that they’ve been provided,” said Mr. Lee. “We’re going to be asking employees as well whether or not they believe that job opportunities are well communicated in their organization, and whether they feel they are being kept well-informed by their hiring managers regarding staffing decisions.”

Mr. Borbey also noted that the government uses investigations as a way to provide the commission with a sense of how satisfied or unsatisfied people are with the staffing system.

“Notwithstanding the important changes we made to the system a couple of years ago, we haven’t seen a big bump in terms of the number of cases that are referred to us with allegations that either managers or individuals committed fraud or mistakes or other issues related to the staffing system,” said Mr. Borbey. “We’re monitoring those results as well to make sure that again, we make whatever changes we can if we’re seeing any trends from an investigations perspective.”

Perception of staffing fairness highest in Northern regions

According to the SNPS, managers who indicated that the administrative process to staff positions in their organizations is burdensome was highest in both Quebec (excluding the National Capital Region) and in British Columbia, at 92 per cent each.

However, 62 per cent of managers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in Quebec (excluding the NCR) indicated that the NDS has improved staffing in their organization, with managers in British Columbia coming in at the low end at 43 per cent.

In terms of fairness, employees in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, 58 per cent of employees surveyed indicated that staffing activities are conducted fairly in their work unit, compared to 37 per cent in Ontario (excluding the NCR)—and 46 per cent public service-wide.

According to the commission’s report, as of March 31, 2019, hiring in all regions outside of the National Capital Region combined increased by 6.2 per cent, and the total population (indeterminate, term, casual and student) was up across all regions except Nunavut.

Despite this growth according to the report, the regional population as a percentage of the workforce has been in decline, from 56 per cent five years ago to 53 per cent in 2018-19.

In 2018–19, 69.1 per cent of all external indeterminate and term hires from advertised processes were of applicants from outside the National Capital Region. This share has been steadily decreasing since 2013–14, when it was 79 per cent.

Source: Public service hiring up, but report finds manager, employee concerns around feds’ new staffing process

Employment Equity Promotion Rate Study

Summary from the Public Service Commission’s report on promotion rates of employment equity groups, showing women have greater promotion rates than men, comparable promotion rates of visible minorities compared to not visible minorities, and lower rates among Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

Curious to see if and how the government implements recommendation 2 to breakdown the data into sub-groups such as visible minority without either asking public servants to self-identify or using name recognition technology to approximate the groups:

Part 1: Analysis of recent employment equity promotion rates

Part 1 of the study is based on 172 125 promotions from 230 310 indeterminate employees. Our findings present a mixed picture in terms of promotion rates across employment equity groups. Our public service-wide results indicate that women have a higher promotion rate when compared to men. This contrasts with Indigenous people and with persons with disabilities, who both experienced lower promotion rates than their respective counterparts. We found no appreciable difference between members of visible minorities and their counterparts.

Results also show variations for some employment equity groups across occupational categories. For example, despite having a higher overall promotion rate when compared to men, women have a lower promotion rate in the Scientific and Professional and the Technical categories. These lower promotion rates are offset by higher relative promotion rates for women in the Administrative Support and Administrative and Foreign Service occupational categories.

Part 2: Analysis of promotion rates of employment equity new hires across 2 time periods

Part 2 of the study relied on 74 762 promotions from 112 667 indeterminate employees and 97 856 promotions from 141 836 indeterminate employees for the first and second time periods respectively. Our results on the promotion rates of new hires across time periods (from April 1991 to March 2005 and from April 2005 to March 2018) suggest an improvement over time in the relative promotion rates of women, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities. However, promotion rates for Indigenous people and persons with disabilities remain below those of their counterparts. For members of visible minorities, there are no appreciable differences in promotion rates relative to their counterparts in either of the 2 time periods.

Part 3: Employment equity applicant representation and shares of promotions

Our analysis suggests that women and members of visible minorities apply at a higher rate than their rate of representation in the federal public service. Women’s share of promotions is roughly equivalent to their representation as applicants, while members of visible minorities exhibit a share of promotions that is lower than their representation as applicants.

A different pattern emerges for Indigenous people and persons with disabilities, whose representation as applicants is below their representation rates in the federal public service, while their share of promotions is on par or above their representation as applicants. This may, in part, explain differences in the promotion rates of these 2 employment equity groups as compared to their counterparts.

In response to these findings, we are recommending that, in consultation with stakeholders and employment equity community members:

  • Recommendation 1: further research be conducted to better understand underlying barriers that contribute to lower promotion rates for some employment equity groups
    • for example, the upcoming Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey (Spring 2020) should be leveraged to gain insight into employment equity group views on barriers to career progression
  • Recommendation 2: work be undertaken to break down employment equity category data by sub-groups to allow for a more comprehensive and accurate identification of barriers that are unique to individual sub-groups, including their intersectionality
  • Recommendation 3: further outreach be provided to federal departments and agencies in order to increase awareness of the range of policy, service and program options aimed at supporting a diverse workplace
  • Recommendation 4: public service-wide approaches to career progression be explored including broadening access to existing successful programs and services such as the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative and the Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology Program at Shared Services Canada
  • Recommendation 5: concerted efforts across central agencies be undertaken to explore how we can learn from the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative and extend similarly targeted services and development opportunities to all employment equity groups, including development programs and career support services that are specifically designed with, and for, employment equity groups

We extend our thanks to Professor Marcel Voia and Statistics Canada who have reviewed this study and provided insightful suggestions, comments and feedback.

Non-advertised appointments on the rise in the public service, PSC data show

I have been hearing about the impact of this policy change for some time and PSC was kind enough to send me an incredibly rich and detailed dataset that I will be analyzing the change by occupational group and department over the next few months, along with the impact on the representation of employment equity groups.

One striking initial finding, not covered in this article, is the relatively high number of “unknowns” in the data, compared to advertised and non-advertised positions, about 30 percent compared to 23 percent previously, raising questions regarding the quality and consistency of data entry:

An increased proportion of federal public servants is being appointed directly to positions that have never been advertised as vacant.

Since the launch of a new policy framework for public service staffing in 2016, the use of non-advertised processes for internal appointments has increased, new data show, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.

According to data released by the Public Service Commission, the federal bureaucracy’s staffing watchdog, 34 per cent of internal appointments — promotions and acting appointments longer than four months — were non-advertised in 2015-16. Two years later, in 2017-18, that figure had increased to 47 per cent.

At the executive level, the increase is even steeper. Between 2015-16 and 2017-18, non-advertised processes jumped from being used in 28 per cent of internal appointments, to 55 per cent.

Statistics were not provided on the use — or not — of advertisements for external hiring.

The Public Service Commission readily admits that the uptick in non-advertised appointments can be linked to its New Direction In Staffing, explaining in an emailed statement that it “has noted an increase” since the policy framework’s implementation in April 2016.

Before that time, “a preference for advertised processes was established,” said the PSC, though both were and continue to be allowed under the Public Service Employment Act.

Now, “the PSC no longer sets a preference and leaves deputy heads with the discretion to determine the appropriate balance between advertised and non-advertised processes.”

Billed as “the most significant change to the staffing system in 10 years,” according to the PSC’s 2016-17 annual report, the New Direction in Staffing sought to streamline and simplify staffing policies and offer federal departments and agencies more room to customize staffing approaches to meet their varying needs.

“At its core, the New Direction in Staffing represents a shift away from a focus on rules to a system that encourages managers to exercise their discretion when making staffing decisions, while meeting the simplified policy requirements in ways adapted to their organizations.”

For example, reporting requirements were reduced under the new framework. Departments were to conduct their own ongoing monitoring of staffing, rather than having it prescribed by the PSC. And hiring managers were allowed more room to apply their own judgment.

But public service employee representatives are raising red flags. They expressed concerns last week that the New Direction’s provision for flexibility is leading to opaque and inequitable hiring and promotion practices. And it’s demoralizing for many public servants, they say.

“What I’m hearing from my members and my representatives is the deputy head basically has a free and clear right to make a choice on the process, advertised versus non-advertised, and they don’t have to consider anything other than their convenience and ease of process and getting what they want,” said Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, one of the largest public service unions.

“The result is that you may not actually be getting the best candidate in those positions. You’re just getting the person that that person (directing hiring) likes the best.”

Michel Vermette, chief executive of the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada, said he’s hearing frustration from executives he represents that they’re being sidelined from opportunities for promotion without even being given the chance to throw their hats into the ring.

“I can promote you through a non-advertised process, and not to have to tell anybody that I’ve considered you, or that there was an opportunity here.”

“That’s what’s happening more and more. Those processes are simply publications of appointments,” Vermette said.

“Our community is saying, ‘I never had an opportunity to apply for that.’”

Asked about these concerns, the PSC pointed out that it completed a system-wide staffing audit in 2016, after the New Direction framework came into effect. “Both advertised and non-advertised processes were merit-based and compliant with staffing legislation and policy in the vast majority of cases,” the PSC said.

The Public Service Employment Act requires that all appointments be based on merit. That means the person being appointed must at least meet the essential qualifications of the work they’re to perform, plus any “asset qualifications, operational requirements and/or organizational needs,” when applicable, the audit report explains.

“The PSC recognizes that organizations are adjusting to the new policy framework and we continue to encourage managers to consider their staffing choices and communicate their decisions,” the PSC said, in an emailed statement. “Additionally, we are continuing to monitor the staffing system — both in terms of compliance and perceptions — and are working with organizations to improve both.”

Vermette points to the Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey, commissioned by the PSC for the first time in 2018, to illustrate his belief that concerns about merit, fairness and transparency in public service staffing have become widespread, and are potentially linked to the increased use of non-advertised staffing processes. More than 100,000 employees completed the survey, an overall response rate of almost 48 per cent, and the PSC said results can be generalized to the federal public service population across the vast majority of departments and agencies.

More than half of employee respondents indicated that, in their work units, appointments depend on whom you know. A similar proportion — 54 per cent — said that people hired in their work units are capable of doing the job they were hired to.

Less than half said that in their work units, staffing activities are conducted fairly and carried out in a transparent way.

Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of managers believed that appointees meet the performance expectations of the positions for which they were hired, and that appointees are a good fit within the team.

Asked about these survey results, the PSC said an analysis was conducted to look specifically at the connection between employee perceptions of merit, fairness and transparency and the use of non-advertised appointments in departments and agencies, and found they weren’t linked.

Rather, there appeared to be an association between organizations that had more hiring managers with a good understanding of the New Direction in Staffing, and employees with a higher perception of merit in staffing, “irrespective of percentage of non-advertised appointments,” PSC said.

The analysis pondered whether better understanding of the staffing framework allowed managers to better explain their choice of appointment process and appointment decisions to employees — who would then, presumably, have more faith in the process.

“The PSC will be conducting further research to better understand what is contributing to these perceptions. We will also continue to work with departments to support them in improving their staffing systems,” the watchdog promised.

For his part, Vermette thinks concerns about merit and fairness in staffing go deeper than public servants failing to comprehend hiring policies. He called the PSC’s conclusion, “a bit dismissive.”

“If half the employees who took the time to answer say they’re worried about merit in a professional public service, is there fire under that smoke?”

Daviau, the PIPSC president, also referenced statistics she thinks reflect issues with the new approach to staffing since 2016.

In its 2017-18 annual report, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board noted that the past two years had seen “a significant increase” in the number of complaints about non-advertised staffing processes. Of all staffing complaints received in 2015-16, complaints about non-advertised processes accounted for 24 per cent. That figure rose to 47 per cent the following year, and remained similar at 44 per cent in 2017-18.

“It has been surmised that this surge can be linked to the Public Service Commission’s new appointment policy, introduced in 2016, to modernize, simplify, and streamline the public service staffing process,” the report concludes.

The PSC pointed out that in addition to complaints to the labour relations board, employees who take issue with internal appointment processes can also request a departmental investigation. The PSC said it has the authority to investigate external appointments “when there is alleged errors or improper conduct.”

Staffing is not a new area of focus for the Government of Canada. Last fall, two days of testimony at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates were devoted to looking at the public service hiring process.

PSC president Patrick Borbey pointed out that it takes, on average, 197 days to hire a new employee using an external advertised competitive process and that as a result good candidates are often lost along the way.

“The cumbersome staffing culture that has developed over time will not change overnight, and it is something we are committed to improve in every way,” he said, after referencing the 2016 New Direction in Staffing.

“I’m convinced … that we can modernize and speed up the hiring process while maintaining and, in fact, strengthening merit, transparency, fairness, diversity and regional representation.”

Doing so will also support “efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the public service,” Borbey said.

Daviau, meanwhile, believes non-advertised appointments, while reasonable in some circumstances — positions that require highly-specialized skills for example — typically run counter to all of these public service values.

“The Government of Canada ought to be a leading employer when it comes to things like employment equity, and individual managers can’t possibly have the right perspective to know what the Government of Canada as a whole needs,” she said.

“They’re sort of seeing the world through a very tiny lens, and they know what they need to get Project A done, but that starts to undermine an entire system that’s designed to be fair and transparent and merit-based and with proper oversight.”

Further, Daviau added, “People hire people like themselves. We know this.

“The government needs to be a leader in breaking down those barriers.”

Source: Non-advertised appointments on the rise in the public service, PSC data show

Public service still shrinking, but signs show hiring picking up

PS_Hiring_2013-14Understandably, latest report focus on hiring after recent rounds of downsizing:

In its latest annual report, the Public Service Commission revealed signs the bureaucracy is coming out of a major downsizing and gearing up to hire. More jobs were advertised, more people applied and more were hired, moved and promoted within the bureaucracy than the year before.

“What we are now seeing in the data – and we started to see it turn around last year – is that the demand by departments for new hires is starting to go up. So we do anticipate that we will turn the corner on this and start to hire new graduates into permanent jobs in the coming year,” PSC president Anne-Marie Robinson recently told the Senate finance committee.

In fact, the commission has been active getting the message out that once the downsizing is completed, the government will recruit new talent.

Robinson said the public service is “changing” as it emerges smaller and leaner from the 2012 federal budget cuts, which reduced the number of employees by 10 per cent from March 2011.

But last year also saw the first increase in hiring and staffing, both of which had fallen every year for four years. Overall, hiring and staffing jumped 11.7 per cent over the previous year – a far cry from the hiring spree in the years before the Conservatives froze operating budgets and put the brakes on spending.

Relative little on employment equity, which awaits the more comprehensive Treasury Board report, but the above graph highlights the main trends for visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples.

For visible minorities, applicants are greater than labour market availability (LMA), appointments less. The report, unless I missed it, did not have any up-to-date figures on actual representation within the public service.

Public service still shrinking, but signs show hiring picking up | Ottawa Citizen.