Making your hiring decision and employment offer

Evaluate final candidates against each other after you have rated them against the criteria to identify the best candidate based on skills, competencies, and organizational fit. Review all your notes and write up your decision.

  • Make sure your decision is non-discriminatory, complies with provincial and federal laws, and your hiring policies and is based on sound judgment.
  • Take notes during the interview process and maintain copies of tests to help justify your decision, if needed.
  • Discuss the decision with colleagues or others who took part in the interviews and/or other stages of the hiring process.
  • Keep all your recruitment and selection materials on file for at least six months up to at least two years (based on your jurisdiction).

Call the candidate to make an offer. When making the verbal offer of employment be sure to include (as applicable):

  • Start date and end date (if a contract)
  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Pension
  • Vacation entitlement
  • Probationary period

Preparing an employment agreement

The employment agreement will outline all the terms and conditions of employment. The following sections should be included:

  • Term of employment: either permanent/indefinite or fixed term with an end date
  • Position title and the position the employee will report to
  • Probation period: typically three to six months
  • Compensation: annual salary or hourly rate
  • Benefits: group health benefits eligibility date
  • Pension: Pension type (defined or contribution) and eligibility date
  • Vacation: how many weeks entitlement per year
  • Confidentiality: preventing employees from disclosing organizational information
  • Non-solicitation: defined period following termination of employment during which the employee cannot solicit business from their former customers/clients
  • Independent legal advice
  • Resignation notice: typically two weeks and up to six weeks for more senior roles
  • Termination by employer (sets out employee’s entitlements if they are terminated by the employer).

Termination

Employers must include a termination clause within the employment agreement. This clause creates contractual (agreed upon) terms that would otherwise be implied by law, such as the amount of reasonable notice, the employee’s entitlement to payment of benefits during the notice period, and the definition of how variable pay will be addressed, such as bonuses and incentive pay).

A termination clause protects the employer from liabilities under common law (except within Quebec), which could increase termination costs significantly. It also provides certainty to employees. Both parties can refer to it later in the event of a dispute.

Quebec’s legal system uses Civil Law rather than Common Law. In Quebec, an employer needs to have ‘good and sufficient cause’ to terminate an employee with two or more years of uninterrupted employment. If the employee has less than two years of service, an employer can terminate an employee with working notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Please refer to the Quebec Labour Standardsopens in new tab for additional information on terminations.

Recommendation

When determining the notice period and amount of severance pay, employees in Canada (excluding Quebec) who do not have a termination agreement in place are entitled to common law rights. Employers, therefore, need to consider the implications of case law when determining a ‘reasonable’ amount ‘rather than solely providing the minimum employment standards.

For example, an employee’s age, length of service, nature and seniority of the position, extent of education, and/or the transferability of their skill set will affect the employee’s ease of re-employment and will therefore need to be considered when determining the amount of notice and severance pay.

Legal advice should be sought during terminations to ensure compliance with employment standards and common law or civil law.

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