As previously reported in Special Bulletins, Service Canada introduced new national minimum recruitment requirements which apply to all Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications made after January 1, 2009.
The requirements correspond to the skill level of the occupation under Canada's National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. The requirements are:
- For NOC skill level 0 or A occupations (management occupations and occupations usually requiring a university degree), employers must in the 3 months prior to making the LMO application either (a) advertise on the national Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days; or (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the recruiting practices for the occupation.
- For NOC B occupations (occupations usually requiring a college diploma or apprenticeship training), employers must: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days in the 3 months prior to the application; and (b) the advertisement must specifically include the employer's name, business address and the wages being offered.
- For NOC C and D occupations (under the Low-Skill Program), employers must in the 3 months prior to making the application: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for a minimum of 14 calendar days; (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the practice within the occupation; and (c) demonstrate reasonable ongoing recruitment efforts to recruit from communities that traditionally face barriers to employment.
Service Canada's Directives include a narrow list of specific situations where recruiting efforts are not required.
The Directives have been amended from time to time since January, and further amendments are likely.
It remains to be seen how Service Canada will ultimately interpret and apply the new recruiting requirements. An issue is whether Service Canada will insist on recruiting in all situations (except the narrow exemptions listed in the Directives), or if other positive factors (for example, job creation for Canadians) could be used to ground a positive LMO decision without have to show recruitment efforts.
Employers need to be aware of the new requirements, and should take steps to ensure that they meet the recruiting standards prior to seeking an LMO.