Principles & Policies for Managing Human Resources


2.2.6  Difficult to Recruit Guideline

Difficult to recruit positions are based on a combination of factors including: competition history, availability of internal candidates, retention or other job market factors.



This guideline offers a method to ensure the identification of difficult to recruit positions are undertaken in a consistent and transparent manner based on a set of common criterion.
When identifying a position as difficult to recruit, evidence of the following criteria needs to be provided.

  1. Competition history – In the past two years, competitions for the same or similar position(s) have been repeated with limited or no success (example: no applications that meet minimum requirements, offers rejected by candidates whom have taken opportunities with other competing organizations).
  2. Available internal candidates – Assessment of internal candidates for underfill opportunities has been undertaken with no success (example: no suitable internal candidates for acting, underfill, and/or secondment opportunities). 
  3. Retention factors – In the past two years, a high rate of voluntary turnover in similar positions can be demonstrated.  A high rate would be defined as anything higher than 5%.
  4. Other job market factors – Other key factors that affect the ability to recruit candidates with the competencies required for the position. (example: highly specialized skill set, job location, compensation/remuneration packages, competition in the job market, etc.)



There are a number of practices that may be used when evidence confirms that a position is difficult to recruit.  These practices are not limited to, but may include:

  1. Outreach Recruitment Methods – Outreach recruitment methods should be used as outlined in 2.2.2 Outreach Recruitment Guideline.
  2. Consulting - Human resource practitioners may consult with the Difficult to Recruit Advisor to review the specific details of a position (s) and to explore ideas and potentially untapped resources for recruitment.
  3. Advertising - Placing a single display ad in a major publication, and/or extending geographic outreach may be a consideration.Refer to Media request process for additional information.
  4. Private recruitment agency – Using a private recruitment agency to source candidates may be used in rare situations.  Human resource practitioners may submit a request for the use of a private recruitment agency to the Service Centre Director.  The request should provide a compelling rationale for how a private recruitment agency will source candidates most effectively.  A Manitoba government selection board will make a selection decision according to the Civil Service Commission staffing principles and processes.
  5. Identifying positions for potential special adjustment - Human resource practitioners in partnership with departments may recommend positions for consideration through the collective bargaining process. This information should be submitted to the Service Centre Director.
  6. Temporary Foreign Worker Recruitment - Human resource practitioners in partnership with departments may consider recruiting temporary foreign workers who are considered eligible to work in Canada. See Eligibility to work in Canada Policy 2.3.3.



Civil Service Commission

  • Monitor application of the guidelines/practice through the staffing audit process.
  • Apply the criteria to identify difficult to recruit positions.



Effective Date: September 22, 2009

Revised: June 9, 2014


Civil Service Commission

Additional Information:

Civil Service Commission
Phone: 204-945-2332
TDD/TTY: 204-945-1437

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