Hiring policy

On this page

    Policy Owner: People and Culture
    Approval: Executive Leadership Team
    First Approved: August 2, 2004
    Effective Date: December 13, 2016

    Policy statement

    Toronto Community Housing is committed to fair, equitable, and transparent hiring practices, and to employing qualified, high performing candidates who reflect the diversity of Toronto, our communities, and the organization’s core values.


    This policy applies to all internal and external hiring (full-time, part-time, casual, or seasonal) for Toronto Community Housing positions, including: 

    • vacancies in the management/exempt category;

    • vacancies in the bargaining unit; and

    • paid student placements.

    Where this policy conflicts with the requirements of a collective agreement, the collective agreement will govern.


    Toronto Community Housing is committed to hiring practices from assessment to selection of candidates that:

    • are fair, equitable, consistent, and transparent;

    • meet statutory obligations, including the Ontario Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), and the Municipal Act; 

    • support the unique requirements of each community and business unit;

    • are linked to business and operational needs;

    • hire persons with the qualifications required by Toronto Community Housing for the corresponding job. Qualifications include but are not limited to education, training, skills, experience, and/or ability to perform the work satisfactorily;

    • consider seniority in accordance with the collective agreement, where applicable; and

    • support workforce diversity as per the Toronto Community Housing Diversity Policy.


    Conflict of interest

    All employees involved in the hiring process must abide by the Toronto Community Housing Conflict of Interest Policy. If an employee is in or will be in a conflict of interest during the hiring process or upon hire of a candidate, the employee must immediately declare the conflict of interest. For more information, please see the Toronto Community Housing Conflict of Interest Policy.

    As per the Code of Conduct, information gathered during the hiring process should be kept confidential and only shared with employees who need to know the information for purposes directly associated with their work (i.e. the Hiring Manager, employees who are on the interview panel, Recruiters involved in the hiring process for the particular job, etc.).


    All interview panel members must also maintain the confidentiality of the interview process. This means the identity of the interviewees, interviewee scores, the questions that are asked, the interview answer key, or the results of the interview(s) should be kept confidential and only shared with employees who need to know the information for purposes directly associated with their work (i.e. other panel members or the Hiring Manager).


    Vacancy: a position that has become available at Toronto Community Housing when:

    • a permanent or temporary position becomes available and it is determined by Toronto Community Housing that the vacancy should be filled; or
    • a temporary or permanent position is created and approved.

    Acting assignment: the temporary placement of an existing employee who occupies a base position and who is temporarily placed in an alternate position on a continuous basis for a period of thirty (30) days or more. For more information see the Toronto Community Housing Acting Assignment Policy.

    Advertisement(s): any vacancy that is advertised externally via the external careers pages, websites, and print media such as newspapers, journals, or trade publications.

    Candidate: any individual, whether internal or external, who has applied for a vacancy and/or in response to a posting.

    Collective agreement(s): the most recent collective agreement between Toronto Community Housing and a union(s).

    Conflict of interest: any situation in which an employee’s personal or business interests may compete or appear to compete with their duties as an employee of Toronto Community Housing, or may cause the employee to act contrary or appear to act contrary to the best interests of Toronto Community Housing. A conflict of interest can be an actual conflict, a potential conflict, or an apparent conflict of interest as per the Conflict of Interest policy.

    Divisional lead: the Vice-President (or other member of the Executive Leadership Team) responsible for a specific division within the organization.

    Hiring manager: an employee who has direct or indirect supervisory responsibilities to the new hire or rehire.

    HR connect: an electronic system used to manage the hiring process at Toronto Community Housing.

    New hire(s): all individuals being hired by Toronto Community Housing who are not or have not previously worked at Toronto Community Housing.

    Permanent position: a position where employment is for an indefinite period of time based on the operational needs of the organization.

    Posting: refers to a vacancy that is advertised on Toronto Community Housing’s internet/intranet and/or other external websites.

    Recruiter: A member of Talent Acquisition team in the Human Resources division of Toronto Community Housing.

    Rehire(s): refers to any individuals who previously worked at Toronto Community Housing prior to resigning, retiring, or being terminated.

    Salary, vacation or benefits exception: a situation that falls outside of the standards or past practice for Toronto Community Housing with regards to compensation, vacation, or benefits (this applies to management/exempt employees only).

    Temporary position: a fixed-term temporary position that is not an acting assignment, where employment is for a pre-determined period of time based on the operational needs of the organization.

    Union: refers to employees represented by any of the following: Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79; Toronto Civic Employees Union Local 416; Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 529; United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 46 (Plumbers and Steamfitters); International Brotherhood Electrical Workers Local 353; United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 27. Also referred to in this policy as a “bargaining unit.”

    Policy details

    Pre-posting approval phase

    All vacancies must be entered into HR Connect by the Hiring Manager to create the job requisition, which initiates the hiring process. All necessary approvals must be completed in HR Connect before the hiring process can proceed. Budgeted positions require the approval of the Divisional Lead and unbudgeted positions require additional levels of approvals as outlined in HR Connect. All new permanent positions must first be approved through the annual budgeting process.

    A job description and job information questionnaire must be completed by the Hiring Manager for newly created temporary or permanent positions. The job must be evaluated before a job requisition can be created and before the hiring process can proceed.

    The Recruiter will also work in consultation with the Hiring Manager to determine the appropriate recruitment strategy, which includes timelines for filling the vacancy, appropriate selection and assessment criteria, hiring panel composition, and methods for attracting qualified candidates.

    Notices regarding new job requisitions will be provided to unions as required by the respective collective agreements.

    Job requisitions that have been approved, but have not been actioned within four (4) months will be cancelled. The Recruiter will notify the Hiring Manager in advance of cancelling the hiring process and will work with them to determine the best course of action. If the job was posted, candidates will be notified of the cancellation.

    Posting of positions

    All vacancies must be posted internally on the Toronto Community Housing intranet careers page for a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days. The vacancy may be advertised externally at the same time as the internal posting with no minimum posting requirement. People and Culture is responsible for and must approve all internal and external job postings or other job-related advertisements.

    The People and Culture division will be responsible for costs for job postings or other job-related advertisements at their discretion and as budget permits. The costs of any job advertisement requested by the hiring department that are not covered by People and Culture will be the responsibility of the department at their discretion. Any external advertisements must be approved by People and Culture before posting. Advertisements or postings for similar vacancies may be combined into one advertisement in order to make more efficient use of resources.

    All temporary positions and management/exempt acting assignments will specify the following language in the job posting: “Please note: This temporary position may be extended or become permanent in order to meet business needs. If this occurs, the position may not be reposted”.

    Exceptions to posting requirements

    The Director, Talent Management may make exceptions to the fourteen (14) calendar day posting requirement:

    • when it is required to place a qualified employee who many otherwise be displaced (e.g. due to a restructuring-related job elimination); and/or
    • when the organization is obligated to accommodate an employee in accordance with relevant legislation.

    In addition, exceptions to post positions may be made if the same role was recently filled no more than three (3) months since the time of the interviews for the initial competition, and where there are additional qualified candidates. Approval must be received by the Director, Talent Management. In these cases, the job description for the roles must be the same.

    Application process

    All candidates must create a profile and apply to vacancies through HR Connect. Candidates will be manually added to HR Connect as deemed necessary by the Recruiter and/or to satisfy Toronto Community Housing’s obligations under AODA or Ontario Human Rights Code.

    Late resume submissions and unsolicited applications are not accepted. The Talent Acquisition team reserves the right to add candidates identified by approved recruitment sourcing techniques to the competition (i.e. candidates found through sourcing and networking).


    Former Toronto Community Housing employees may be considered for employment as per the procedures outlined in Re-Hiring Employees After Separation Policy.

    Management and exempt employees cannot start another position until they have completed six (6) months in their current position.

    Employees who are members of CUPE Local 416 who have recently been hired or transferred into a new role at Toronto Community Housing may not apply for another position unless the start date for this position is more than twelve (12) months after their start date.


    Screening must be completed using objective selection criteria related to the minimum skills, experience, and qualifications required for the job as outlined in the applicable job description. The selection criteria must be consistent throughout competition for the position.

    Once a job posting closes, the Recruiter screens all applications and identifies a shortlist of candidates. The screening results are to be documented in HR Connect.

    In order to recognize and retain our top talent, where experience is comparable, qualified internal candidates are given priority consideration over external candidates.


    In compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Toronto Community Housing is committed to conducting interviews that are evaluated on a consistent and objective scale.

    Interview guides, assessments, scoring and hiring panelists are to be approved by the Recruiter. In addition, the Recruiter may choose to participate in the interview process at their discretion (typically in cases where Hiring Managers are new to the organization or interview infrequently). All interview panelists are required to complete interview training offered by People and Culture prior to their participation in any interview.

    Secondary selection methods such as presentations, assignments, practical/written tests, psychometric testing may also be used with the approval of the Recruiter.

    Interview notes are to be restricted to the assessment of the candidates’ qualifications. Completed interview guides must be returned to the Recruiter within five (5) days of scoring and will be retained by People and Culture for two (2) years after the date the successful candidate commences their position.

    Candidate selection and job offer

    Candidate selection is based on an assessment of the candidate’s ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the job as outlined in the applicable job description. In determining suitability for a position, Toronto Community Housing will consider factors such as the candidate’s education, experience, knowledge, abilities and where applicable, seniority or other relevant provisions within a collective agreement. Internal candidate selection for management and exempt positions also takes into consideration the candidates past performance at Toronto Community Housing.

    The Recruiter, in consultation with the Hiring Manager, will approve the selected candidate as well as any offer details, including appropriate compensation, benefits and start date.

    Once the offer details are confirmed, the competition will then proceed to the final stages in accordance with the following guidelines:

    1. Reference checks will be conducted in accordance with the Employment Reference Checking section of this policy. Reference checks must be conducted before any verbal offer is made. In limited cases, and only with the approval of the Director of Talent Management, offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory reference check.

    2. If required, the Hiring Manager must prepare a business rationale for any Salary, Vacation or Benefits Exception requests. Approval must be obtained by both the Divisional Lead and the Director of Talent Management prior to any verbal or written offers being made to the candidate.

    3. Verbal offers will be made by the Recruiter and will highlight the main terms of employment including compensation, benefits, and start date.

    4. After the verbal offer is accepted, a written offer will be sent through HR Connect for e-signature by the successful candidate. Any verbal offers are subject to the final written offer, which will contain all terms and conditions of employment.

    5. If required, Police Background or Criminal Record Checks must be conducted before the start of employment and any verbal or written offers should be conditional until they are completed.

    Upon e-signature by the successful candidate, all other candidates will be notified that they were not the successful candidate in the competition. Internal candidates may request feedback from the Hiring Manager, Recruiter, or as otherwise set out in the collective agreement.

    For successful internal candidates, the Hiring Manager, the employee’s current Manager, and the candidate must arrange a mutually agreed upon transfer date. The Hiring Manager will advise the successful candidate prior to contacting their current manager to discuss the transfer date. The transfer date is to occur no later than six weeks after the employee has accepted the verbal offer, unless otherwise approved by the Director of Talent Management, the Chief People and Culture Officer, or designate. Vacancies created by a transferring employee will, wherever possible, be treated as priority.

    Employment reference checking

    Reference checks are an important and integral component of the hiring process. Toronto Community Housing ensures that the procedure for the collection and disclosure of reference information is practiced confidentially and consistently. 

    All new hires and rehires to Toronto Community Housing are required to have two (2) employment references completed before a verbal or written offer is made. The employment reference checks must meet the following criteria: be former direct supervisors, cover as much of the new hire or re-hire’s last five (5) years of work history as possible, and one reference must be from the candidate’s most recent employer.

    In cases where the individual is a recent graduate and/or has less than one (1) year of work experience, other references or documentation may be accepted (i.e. non-supervisor references, recent performance appraisals, and teacher references). These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and with the approval of the Recruiter.

    Internal candidates may be subject to an internal reference check as part of the hiring process, unless otherwise prohibited by the Collective Agreement. Where an internal reference check is required, the reference checks must be completed with any manager the employee has reported to in the last one (1) year period.

    Consent must be obtained from the candidate (internal or external) prior to any references being conducted. No other references will be contacted under any circumstances.

    Reference checks may be completed by the Hiring Manager and/or the Recruiter. In either case, the Recruiter will review and approve any reference checks.

    Records retention and auditing

    The Recruiter is responsible for ensuring all applicable documentation in the recruitment process is retained onsite in the job requisition and candidate pages in HR Connect during active competition and for a minimum of two (2) years after.

    Audits of the hiring process are completed quarterly to ensure that the requirements of the Hiring Policy, legislation, collective agreements, procedures and guidelines are met.

    A copy of the successful candidates resume, references and police record check (if applicable) will be kept on their personnel file.

    New hire and rehire documentation

    All new hire and rehire documentation must be received from the successful candidate no later than the deadline provided by the Hiring Manager or Recruiter. If there are any delays in receiving the required documentation prior to the employment start date, People and Culture will notify the Hiring Manager and a new start state will be determined.

    Age requirements

    Candidates must be legally entitled to work in Canada. Candidates for entry-level positions in the Active Living Unit and candidates for positions created as part of the work of the Economic Opportunities Unit must be at least 14 years of age.

    Conversion of temporary positions or acting assignments to permanent positions

    If an employee has been placed on an acting assignment or hired externally to fill a non-union position on a temporary basis, the employee will qualify to be placed permanently in the same job classification without further competition. See Acting Assignment Policy for more details.

    Compliance and monitoring

    All hiring files are subject to periodic audits in order to ensure compliance to this policy.

    Complaints on this policy will be addressed by Recruitment through the Recruitment Complaints Process and grievance process, where applicable.

    Governing and applicable legislation

    • Municipal Act;

    • Ontario Human Rights Code;

    • Employment Standards Act;

    • Occupational Health and Safety Act;

    • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act;

    • Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

    Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC)

    Toronto Community Housing is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce in accordance with the Toronto Community Housing Diversity Policy. Toronto Community Housing is also committed to preventing discrimination in its hiring practices based on any prohibited grounds identified by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

    Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)

    Toronto Community Housing is committed to accessible hiring practices in accordance with its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its regulations and the Toronto Community Housing Accessibility Policy. Should an employee require accommodation during the hiring process, they are encouraged to contact accessibility.hr@torontohousing.ca or 416-981-4119.

    To improve accessibility in its hiring practices, Toronto Community Housing will also:

    • include a notification in all job postings about the availability of accommodation in the hiring process for candidates with disabilities;
    • inform candidates who are chosen to participate in an assessment or selection process that accommodations in relation to materials and processes are available upon request;
    • consult with candidates requesting accommodation to determine a suitable accommodation that takes into account his/her accessibility needs;
    • upon hire, inform successful candidates about Toronto Community Housing’s policies for accommodating and supporting employees with disabilities; and
    • comply with all other requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or company policy regarding accessibility.

    For more information see Accessibility PolicyAccessible Customer Service Policy and Human Rights, Harassment and Fair Access Policy.

    Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)

    Toronto Community Housing complies with the ESA as it relates to its hiring practices.

    Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

    Toronto Community Housing is committed to respecting privacy and protecting the personal information of employees and other candidates in accordance with MFIPPA.

    Toronto Community Housing also requests consent for reference information collected during the hiring process.