An HR consultant at a prestigious Canadian university is claiming the hiring process for new hires for his company is “completely dysfunctional” and has asked the company’s HR department to stop trying to recruit candidates for his position.
John Smith, president of the University of Ottawa, has written to the Human Resources and Skills Development Branch of the College of Business and Economics (CBIE), saying the process is “so dysfunctional, it is no longer in keeping with the principles of the institution’s HR program.”
Smith has written in a letter to the CIEW, a union representing Canadian HR staff, that he has been speaking to a number of CIEW members and other faculty and that his concerns have been shared with the university’s HR and human resources departments.
The CIEW said in a statement it is “disappointed” in the CIEE’s response.
“It is a sad state of affairs when CIEEs senior executives and board members are not listening to the people who are doing their jobs to ensure that employees and students are protected,” the statement read.
“If the CIEEE is unwilling to address these concerns, it will only serve to reinforce the message that HR is a management tool rather than an employee resource.”
The CIEE, which represents about 10,000 employees across Canada, said it had been “in touch” with the college about Smith’s concerns and that it is working with the union to investigate.
Smith, who previously served as an HR consultant in the Toronto area, has not responded to the union’s request for comment.
“The CIEE has been in touch with the College, and we are continuing to work with the CIEOE, who are investigating Mr. Smith’s claims,” the union said.
The union also accused CIEE of having “no plan to address concerns raised by Mr. [Smith],” the union added.
CIEE spokesman Chris Nunn said in an email that the university is “taking this seriously and will provide a full response to the employer in due course.”
“The institution takes all complaints seriously and we look forward to working with Mr. Nunn and his team to investigate the matter further,” the university said in the statement.
Smith said he’s had several HR representatives on the phone since last week to discuss the matter.
“They have been incredibly kind and respectful,” he said.
He said he believes the CIE is “in denial” about the situation.
“When they say there’s no way to fix it, what they mean is no one has any idea,” he added.
The letter, obtained by The Globe and Mail, was written in response to a CIEE letter to CME Group, the major brokerage that operates the CIBC, saying Smith’s letter “further undermines the reputation of our organization and our program.” “
I think they have a really big problem.”
The letter, obtained by The Globe and Mail, was written in response to a CIEE letter to CME Group, the major brokerage that operates the CIBC, saying Smith’s letter “further undermines the reputation of our organization and our program.”
CIEE said in its letter that Smith’s complaints are “entirely unfounded and that no one is in any position to correct them.”
Smith told the Globe and Post he thinks the CI EE is “not interested in having anyone who disagrees with them.”
CIEOe spokeswoman Marie-Sophie Ducharme said in her email to the paper that Smith is a “professor” at the university and that the college’s HR division is “conducting an independent investigation.”
She said CIEE “has made a number or recommendations to the institution, which are in line with the best practices we have for HR.”
Duchart said that Smith and the CIEC are both part of the same union and that CIEE and the union are “partners in our union” and that “any suggestions about what is happening at the University is not our concern.”
The union has been negotiating with CIEE since November 2017, according to a university spokesperson.
“This has been a very difficult time for us and the university, with significant work to be done,” she said.
“We remain committed to the workplace and to our members.”
Smith’s allegations come just weeks after a number Canadian companies, including CIMB and the University College, announced layoffs and changes to recruitment processes, including requiring candidates to show an annual salary or certification.
In October, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) accused CIEO of a “shambolic” recruitment process, saying that CIEOs hiring process has been “misled and misrepresented.”
“It’s time for the CICE to come clean about the recruitment process and what has been happening with CIEC’s recruitment,” CFIB president John Mansell said in his statement.
The CFIB said in November that it would no longer work with CIEO and will instead target CIECs recruitment processes.