Wanting to secure a job in Canada or your relocation already in progress? If yes, then you might want to learn more about what to expect in a Canadian job screening.

The screening process in Canada is objectively assessing each application against the essential and desirable criteria set out in the job profile and job posting and determines which applicants will be considered for further assessment.

As for the hiring companies and managers in Canada, taking the time to screen thoroughly and systematically will ensure they get the best selection of applicants lining up to be employed.  

As a rule to the hiring companies and managers, it has been ruled that no screening must involve any discriminatory practices.

This is so important because if it is done systematically there should be little chance of bias.

The Work Of Hiring Managers For A Job Screening Task

Canadian Job Screening

The Hiring Managers are responsible for clearly identifying the required qualifications in the job profile and job posting.

During the screening process the hiring managers will need to make sure that all applicants meet the eligibility requirements.

After that the next phase of the screening exercise will be to screen for education and experience, and shortlist potential applicants.

From there on, shortlisted applicants will be assessed based on the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies required to perform the job.

At the same time, as for applicants, they are responsible for clearly outlining how they meet the required qualifications.

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6 Major Factors Considered When Screening For A Job In Canada

Canadian Job Screening

The following are the top-most factors wherefore applicants are assessed.

#1. Previous Experience

Previous Experience is probably the most useful screening criteria available – relevant experience having been defined in the job profile and/or job posting.

Consider also the quality of the experience.

#2. Educational Requirements

Educational Requirements must be necessary for effective performance of the job, and then only those applicants who have the qualification stated in the job profile and/or job posting should be shortlisted.

When screening on educational requirements, hiring managers are admonished to consider foreign degrees that have been granted Canadian equivalency.

#3.  Equivalencies

Equivalencies or equivalent combinations of education and experience are often used in screening.

Equivalencies must be clearly outlined in the job requirements. For example, a “two-year diploma with four years related experience” may be considered equivalent to a “degree with two years related experience.”

In some cases where a certain level of education is required, there is no provision/flexibility for equivalency e.g. engineers.

#4. Occupational Certifications

Occupational Certifications can be used only if possession or eligibility for such credential is a bonafide occupational requirement.

#5. Professional Designations

Some positions have a requirement for a particular professional designation. This is usually because of legislative or policy requirements for licensing.

#6.  Licenses

Drivers or Other Licenses must be absolutely necessary in order to work in the position.

Top 3 Job Screening Methods in Canada

In Canada, screening is being done in the most efficient, job related, fair, reasonable and consistent manner possible.

With that being said the following are the most frequently-used methods for Canadian Job screen process.

#1. Resume and Cover Letter Review

This involves reading the resumes and cover letters (if requested) to confirm that applicants (you) possess the essential and desirable qualifications.

If the hiring mangers/companies request that applicants submit a cover letter, it’s important to note that they consider information provided in the cover letter when making screening decisions.

What to do?

Know how to draft out an approved Canadian Cover Letter and Resume

#2 Online Self-Screening Questionnaire

An online self-screening questionnaire usually consists of multiple choice questions or questions that can be answered by “yes” or “no”.

As an applicants you select the choices that best reflect their qualifications and self-screen against the selection criteria.

Typically automatic knock-out answers are used to eliminate applicants that don’t meet the essential qualifications.

Be it as it may, a self-screening questionnaire is effective only when the selection criteria are clear, specific and accurately reflected in the questionnaire.

 Also, a self-screening questionnaire is recommended for entry level positions and high volume hiring.’


The Use of a self-screening questionnaire does not replace the manual review of applicant resumes. And as such, it is highly recommended that additional manual screening is done for all applicants who pass the questionnaire to ensure the information provided in the resume supports applicant answers to the online questionnaire.

Observation:  Applicants that fail the self-screening questionnaire may be removed from consideration

#3. Online Text Form Questionnaire

An online text form questionnaire can be used to get more detailed information about how applicants meet the job requirements.

This involves applicants clearly outlining how they meet the job qualifications by providing free form answers to the qualifications questions.

The information obtained from the online text form questionnaire, resume and cover letter (if applicable) is then used to complete the screening.

NOTE: Combination of self-screening questions and text form questions may also be used.

Don’t miss:

The No-Nonsense Guide To Writing An Approved Canadian Cover Letter Template 


Key Considerations in a Canadian Job Screening Exercise

Canadian Job Screening

#1 Selection Criteria

Only the stated selection criteria is used by hiring managers/companies. The reason is that new criteria cannot be introduced when screening.

#2. Doc Review

Every submitted resume, cover letter (optional) and online questionnaire (optional) will be reviewed against the essential (minimum) selection criteria stated in the job posting or job profile.

#3. Equivalent Combinations

Equivalencies or equivalent combinations of education and experience will be applied/compared consistently for all applicants.

#4. Desirable Selection Criteria

Desirable (preferred) selection criteria are used when a large number of applicants meet the essential (minimum) selection criteria.

Desirable selection criteria are useful to further reduce the number of applicants to a smaller number.

With desirable criteria being used as a factor, a consistently application of the criteria to all applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be used.

#5.  Facts or Assumptions

Facts against factual criteria are being checked. This is crucial to avoid assumptions and stereotyping.

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See how to Get Canadian Type-A “Resume & Cover Letter” 💡 


For sure, when it has to do with a job screening process, mostly in Canada it can be daunting with respect to who to choose and not to.

Or in a related way, we can say that the screening process can be completed by the hiring manager or jointly by the interview panel members.

Why is this?

Because all of the applications must be considered and weighed against the essential and desirable criteria

For instance, if considering confidentiality,

In here we know that hiring companies will be holding documents containing individuals’ personal details. Therefore they must take care in the handling of these documents and must also take care to store the documents in a safe place when not using them during the hiring process.

And lastly, the Feedback process.

In Canada, following the job screening process, unsuccessful applicants will be advised that they have not been shortlisted. If unqualified note that reasons will be put across as feedback at this stage is based on the content of the screening form/process.

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