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City of Vaughan wins 2023 Canadian HR Award for Most Effective Recruitment Strategy!
Oct. 20, 2023

The City of Vaughan's greatest resource is its staff - and the City employs best practices to attract and retain high-quality talent. And our efforts are being noticed! Recently, the City won a 2023 Canadian HR Award in the Most Effective Recruitment Strategy category. This achievement was celebrated at the Tuesday, Oct. 17 Committee of the Whole (2) meeting by Mayor Steven Del Duca and Members of Council during a special ceremonial presentation. 

The annual Canadian HR Awards were presented at a ceremony on Sept. 20. The awards recognize teams, leaders and employers for achievements in the HR profession. The Most Effective Recruitment Strategy award recognizes excellence and innovation in recruiting and staffing initiatives. These can include one-off projects, annual campaigns or new programs and policies. 

As an equal-opportunity employer and a forward-looking municipality, the City remains committed to fostering a dynamic workplace and fully supporting its staff. Hiring and retaining a highly skilled workforce is a priority. To do so, the City fosters initiatives and provides ample opportunities that focus on staff development, engagement, leadership and growth. Vaughan also offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive, family-focused benefits package emphasizing work-life balance. Exciting learning opportunities, employee assistance and recognition, health and wellness programs and flexible work arrangements add to an extensive list of benefits.

Here are a few highlights of our recruitment efforts:
The Attraction and Retention Strategy 
To ensure public services continue to meet the needs of the Vaughan community and position the City as an employer of choice, the City's Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer is developing an integrated Attraction and Retention Strategy. The project includes:

Project SEARCH 
Project SEARCH is an internationally successful transition-to-work program for high school students with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Vaughan is the first municipality in York Region to host the program, in partnership with the York Catholic District School Board and Community Living York South. The program began in September 2022 with internship placements in seven City departments. The pilot ended with a graduation ceremony in June 2023. 

The Student Recruitment Governance Program
In 2023, the City implemented a Student Recruitment Governance Program and hiring guide. The program was developed to help facilitate student hiring across the organization. This guide includes a step-by-step recruitment process, timelines, orientation and onboarding, a campus ambassador program to encourage on-site campus recruiting, a recruitment calendar and various interactive tools and templates. 

Video interviewing 
The City introduced a cloud-based video interviewing solution that allows departments that are hiring to conduct one-way video interviews with selected candidates. This tool is being used as an additional screening tool, which provides greater flexibility to both candidates and hiring managers. 

The Alternative Work Arrangement Policy
In 2023, the City launched an updated Alternative Work Arrangement Policy. The policy supports a flexible work environment without compromising operational requirements. It offers:

The City is committed to balancing employees' diverse needs with the organization's needs, and recognizes the positive outcomes that flexible work arrangements can have on both. The policy is also woven into the recruitment process - it's discussed during interviews and incorporated in job postings.

In addition to receiving the 2023 Most Effective Recruitment Strategy Award, the City received recognition as an Awardee Finalist in the Excellence in Financial, Physical and Mental Wellness award category. This award recognizes organizations that excel in the provision of overall employee well-being - proof points include reductions in absence levels, improvements in staff engagement and performance, and more.

These recognitions reflect the innovative and leading best practices the City employs to foster a dynamic workplace with excellence in HR practices and a strong focus on employee wellness.

"I want to congratulate the team in the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer on another well-deserved award and recognition. Being accredited with Canadian HR's 2023 Most Effective Recruitment Strategy - and named as an Awardee Finalist in the Excellence in Financial, Physical and Mental Wellness category - prove Vaughan's excellence and innovation in attracting and retaining high quality talent, and employing staffing initiatives, wellness projects and career-advancement opportunities that entice people to have long-lasting careers at the City. We are proud of our efforts toward building a dynamic workplace that is diverse, inclusive and welcoming, and recognize that our staff are our most vital resource. Thank you for all that you do to make the City of Vaughan an employer of choice!"
- Mayor Steven Del Duca 

"Winning and receiving this recognition from the 2023 Canadian HR Awards further positions the City of Vaughan as an employer of choice. As an equal-opportunity employer, we are committed to fostering a welcoming, positive and attractive work environment. The municipality also upholds a progressive mandate as one of the fast-growing cities in York Region. And it is our staff who co-ordinate, plan and execute Council's commitments to Vaughan's residents. This is why Vaughan employs a highly skilled group of professionals and continues to look for innovative ways to attract and retain our talent pool. I applaud the team within the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer for receiving this award and recognition."
- City Manager, Nick Spensieri

"On behalf of everyone in the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, we are honoured to be named the 2023 Canadian HR Award winner for of the Most Effective Recruitment Strategy. We are also proud to be recognized in the Excellence in Financial, Physical and Mental Wellness award category. These awards reflect the innovative and industry-leading strategies the City employs to foster a dynamic workplace with excellence in HR practices and a strong focus on employee wellness. I would like to thank the team for their hard work as these awards further validate our efforts. Congratulations!"
- Deputy City Manager, City Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Coroneos