Last updated on February 24th, 2020

Last Updated on February 24, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

(This post is a follow-up to my previous post on this topic here (2016) and here (2017).)

Employers wishing to apply for Labour Market Impact Assessments are required to first conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The Ministry of Economic and Social Development (“ESDC” or “Service Canada“) is very stringent in its recruitment requirements, some of which are not publicly available.  I would like to thank Jacobus Kriek, an immigration consultant with Matrixvisa Inc., for providing me copies of the internal Service Canada directives and e-mails that he has obtained.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice by ESDC or Service Canada.  The reproduction of the material below has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada. As well, given the nature of relying on internal documents, some of the information may be out of date.

The Publicly Available Information

Before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, in order to meet the minimum advertising requirements, employers must generally:

  • advertise the position on the national Job Bank; and
  • conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation. One of the methods must be national in scope.

The advertisements must:

  • have occurred in the three months prior to submitting the LMIA application; and
  • run for a minimum of four consecutive weeks within the three months prior to submitting an LMIA application.

Acceptable methods of recruitment for a job advertisement include:

  • general employment websites;
  • online classified websites;
  • specialized websites which are dedicated to specific occupational profiles (for example, accounting, marketing, biotechnology, education, engineering);
  • local, regional and national newspapers or newsletters;
  • local stores, places of worship, and community resource centres;
  • local, regional and provincial or territorial employment centres;
  • magazines and journals (for example, national journals or magazines, professional associations magazines, specialized journals);
  • participation at job fairs;
  • partnering with training institutions or offering internships;
  • professional recruitment agencies;
  • consultations with unions for available labour;
  • advertising through professional associations;
  • recruitment within the company (for example, considering internal candidates for the position). A Human Resources Plan may outline the training opportunities for existing employees, and include:
    • a list of competencies for employees
    • workshops or programs for professional development and career management
    • specific programs to target specific employees for advancement

If the two additional methods of recruitment are online, they must each have unique value and reach different audiences.

The required job advertisement information includes:

  • company operating name;
  • business address;
  • title of the position;
  • job duties (for each position, if advertising is for more than one vacancy);
  • terms of employment (for example, project based, permanent position);
  • language of work;
  • wage (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses);
  • a wage range can be used for the purposes of complying with the advertisements; however the minimum wage in the range must meet prevailing wage;
  • benefits package offered (if applicable);
  • location(s) of work (local area, city or town);
  • contact information, including telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address; and
  • skills requirements (includes education and work experience).

Employers must provide proof of advertisement and the results of their efforts to recruit Canadian citizens and permanent residents (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised)

As well, employers of low-wage positions must target underrepresented groups that face barriers to employment, including recent immigrants, youth, the disabled and indigenous people.

Finally, employers must use the Government of Canada’s Job Match service for recruitment purposes when advertising on Job Bank.  The Job Match service allows employers to see anonymous profiles of registered job seekers which correspond to the skills and requirements outlined in a job posting. Each match is rated using a star system of one to five stars. The more stars received by the match, the greater the compatibility between the advertised position and the anonymous job seeker.

When seeking to fill a high-wage position, employers are required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of the job advertisement to apply for the position if they are rated four stars or more. For low-wage positions, employers are required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of the job advertisement to apply for the position if they are rated two stars or more.

It is important to note that in Marcom Resources Ltd. v. Canada (Employment, Workforce Development and Labour), the Federal Court ruled that the failure of an employer to use Job Match where it was their first LMIA application could not by itself lead to an LMIA refusal.  The Court also ruled that the requirement that a wage range start at prevailing is unreasonable, as is not accepting that the ESDC website wage requirements need to be flexible when presented with evidence to the contrary.

Information from Internal Directives

While the ESDC website provides broad requirements, it does not contemplate specific scenarios or the complexities of modern day recruiting.  As such, ESDC also has internal policy directives, which I have reproduced below.

ESDC Recruitment