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Impact Hiring 101

Updated: Jan 27

In the summer of 2020 Thrive pivoted to training and recruiting young talent for impact driven businesses. Since then we have had the opportunity to talk with 231 impact business leaders based mainly in Toronto and Montreal. From those 21 have shared their hiring experiences during calls and 35 have completed a survey. So far we have learned that these are their top hiring concerns:

  1. Difficulty in finding and hiring quality candidates (57%)

  2. Challenging to offer competitive salaries due to tight budgets (33%)

  3. Lacking time for the hiring process and reviewing candidates (28%)

  4. Struggling to onboard and train new hires (19%)

  5. Using an ineffective internship program (19%)


The following hiring guide provides some tips to consider the next time you need to fill a role.

Write a Quality Job Posting One of the most effective ways to get better talent is to write a job description and posting that attracts the right applicants. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the job market currently favors job seekers, which means it’s absolutely vital to sell your company. A quality job description should include:

  • Start with a job title commonly searched for on web browsers and job boards

  • Contain a well thought out blurb about the company's mission and culture

  • Provide the salary range, benefits offered, and opportunities for growth

  • Keep the role requirements brief and focused on the most crucial 5 to 8 points


Effective Hiring Process

There are many ways to approach a talent search depending on the role you’re looking to fill. One key detail to remember is that the best candidates tend to have multiple job offers. To avoid them accepting another offer, keep the hiring process quick and simple. Consider the following when making your hiring process:

  • Clearly explain the hiring steps to candidates at the start

  • Keep the hiring process between 1 to 2 weeks whenever possible

  • Try to have a maximum of two interviews, because they are poor at assessing skills

  • Instead use an application, sample work, tests, and other ways to assess candidates


Onboarding and Training

When hiring it's important to consider what base skills and experiences a new hire needs to have and which can be learned. Regardless of the role it's important to offer adequate onboarding and training, even for startups. These steps will allow new employees to feel accepted by the team, ensure they do the work effectively, promote employee growth, and increase employee retention. Also did you know that the opportunity for growth is often among the top motivators for employees beyond salary? Here are some points to consider:

  • Provide social opportunities for new hires to get to know their teammates

  • Ensure new employees get between 1 to 2 weeks of onboarding and training

  • Give ongoing constructive and detailed feedback to help them improve

  • Remember it can take new hires around 6 months to become effective workers



The Value of Internship/Co-op Programs

One common mistake employers make is having the wrong expectations from the interns and/or co-op students they hire. These programs mainly exist to support students and young professionals develop their skills and gain work experience. The main benefit for employers is it gives them a chance to vet potential long-term employees. Some points to consider:

  • Keep expectations realistic and treat them with respect

  • Interns have limited experience and thus need training and guidance

  • Avoid overburdening them with a list of overly easy and dull tasks

  • Instead provide a mix of projects, tasks, and chances for them to try their ideas


Canadian Employment Funding

Small businesses have always struggled to compete with big corporations. However, there are many wage grants available mainly made possible by the Canadian government. These are a few to consider:

  • EcoCanada (link)

  • Project Learning Tree - Green Jobs (link)

  • Canadian Jobs and Projects Programs (link)

  • Canadian Wage Subsidies (link)

  • Canada Job Grant (link)


If you own or work for an impact driven business and need further support finding talent for any entry- to mid-level roles, Thrive can help! These are a few options you can consider:


  • Share your hiring experience so we can make more resources for you (link)

  • Request a free 30-minute consultation session (link)

  • Follow us on social media (LinkedIn and Twitter)

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