Frequently Asked Questions: Finance Canada's University Recruitment Campaign
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding our university recruitment campaign. If you have questions that are not addressed below or elsewhere on our website, please send us an e-mail.
What Are the Different Recruitment Streams?
Finance Canada hires university recruits through three streams. Most recruits are hired through the Economist and Policy Analyst stream, which is open to recent graduates at the Master's level in our four target disciplines:
- Public policy/administration.
- International relations/studies.
The two other streams are more specialized. The Tax Legislation stream is open to those with training in law, taxation or accounting and who wish to pursue a career as a specialist in income or sales tax. The Doctoral Research stream is aimed at Ph.D. graduates who wish to conduct theoretical and empirical research. Information about the application process for these two streams, can be found in application overview section.
The ECDP is a competency-based career development and progression program designed for the EC community in Finance's six policy branches. The ECDP aims to develop high-calibre individuals, starting at junior levels across the three EC work streams, to the target level of their respective work streams within three to five years.
The development takes place through challenging work assignments, job coaching and a combination of formal and informal training, which sharpens the knowledge, skills and competencies of individuals in order for them to move to higher working level positions and be capable of conducting the full spectrum of work-related activities required within the department’s policy branches.
Progression through successive EC levels up to the target level is based on a combination of performance evaluation and merit assessment within established program guidelines. In addition to supplying well-qualified ECs at the target level, the ECDP plays an important role in both retention and talent management, and integrates the department’s business and human resources planning to ensure that its future challenges and responsibilities are met through its human capital.
For the Economist and Policy Analyst stream, employees enter the program at the EC-2 level and the target level of progression is EC-6. As for the Doctoral stream, employees enter the program normally at the EC-5 level and the target level of progression is EC-6. For the Legislative stream, employees normally enter the program at the EC-5 level and the target level of progression is EC-7.
The Department is strongly committed to the recruitment, development and retention of its employees.
What Is the Current Progression Guidelines for Employees in the ECDP?
|Annual Performance Rating||EC-2 to EC-3||EC-3 to EC-4||EC-4 to EC-5||EC-5 to EC-6||EC-6 to EC-7
(Tax Legislation Stream only)
|Surpassed||6 months||6 months||12 months||18 months||18 months|
|Succeeded +||9 months||9 months||18 months||24 months||24 months|
Does Finance Canada Hire Summer Students?
Finance Canada does not generally hire summer students as policy analysts or economists. Occasionally, some managers hire students temporarily to work on specific projects during the year. These assignments are not part of the university recruitment campaign.
What Do You Mean by "Preference Will Be Given to Canadian Citizens"?
Candidates who are not Canadian citizens may apply but Canadian citizens will be given priority. Non-Canadians will be interviewed only if we are unable to meet our recruitment needs from the pool of Canadian applicants. In past years, the department has been able to meet its recruitment needs through applicants who were Canadian citizens.
What If I Graduated Outside of Canada?
If you graduated outside of Canada it may take a few weeks to obtain an assessment of your foreign degree, but an assessment is not required for you to apply. However, if you are selected for an interview you will be required to bring your Canadian equivalency with you.
The public service will accept any foreign educational credentials as long as they are deemed comparable to Canadian standards, through a recognized credential assessment service.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) can assist you in obtaining an assessment of your educational, professional, and occupational credentials through referral to an appropriate organization. Please refer to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
Online Application and Eligibility
How Do I Apply? What Is This Year's Application Deadline?
Applications for the Economist and Policy Analyst stream must be submitted online through Finance Canada's website. For the 2015-2016 campaign, applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on October 23, 2015. Applications submitted by other means (e.g., mail, fax) and those submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
If you are unable to apply online or are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact us at
1-877-921-0707 or by e-mail. Hours of operation are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time from September 21, 2015 to October 23, 2015. Your message will be returned by two business days. If possible, we recommend that you communicate with us by e-mail as we might not be able to reach you by phone.
What Are the Essential Qualifications?
To be eligible, you must:
- Be allowed to work in Canada. Applications from persons who are not Canadian citizens will be accepted, but preference will be given to Canadian citizens.
- Have completed or be working on a Master's degree from a recognized university in economics, public policy or public administration, international relations or international studies, or finance. Candidates must be in a position to complete their Master's degree by December 2016.
- Demonstrate an acceptable specialization in economics (the equivalent of three full-year courses). Candidates who have a concentration in finance at the Master's level and three or more half-year post-secondary courses in economics will be considered.
- Have a grade of 75% or equivalent in your last completed degree.
- Meet the needed writing requirements, and have the ability to analyze and synthesize information.
What Is Required to Achieve An "Acceptable Specialization in Economics"?
Finance Canada's economists and analysts contribute to a range of important and interesting policy issues, many of which do not require expertise in economics. However, as we advise the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister on issues from an economic perspective, we require all analysts to have a good grasp of economic principles.
Finance Canada requires applicants to have the equivalent of three full-year economics courses (e.g., six half-year courses, or two full-year courses and two half-year courses). Applicants who are pursuing a graduate degree in finance will require three or more half-year courses in economics to be considered. We will accept economics courses at either the graduate or undergraduate university level. We do not accept courses at the college or CEGEP levels.
However, we will accept courses that are offered outside of a school's economics department, as long as they are grounded solidly in economics. We reserve the right to make this decision. Your transcripts will be used to validate the number of courses completed.
Finance Canada Lists Four Specific Target Disciplines (Economics, Public Policy/Administration, International Relations/Studies, and Finance). I Am Graduating from a Program That Is Not Specified Among These Four. Am I Eligible To Apply?
It is important that you ensure you meet the educational requirements for the position. You are required to meet the essential qualifications in order for your application to be considered.
However, we are willing to consider applicants from programs that are similar to our target areas. For example, we may consider your application if you are graduating with a degree in "international economics" or "economic policy" as the title of the degree can vary for one university to another. We reserve the right to make this decision.
What Is the Purpose of the Written Assignment?
The written assignment is intended to evaluate your written communication skills and abilities. The written assignment will be administered following the online application to the candidates who meet the screening criteria. Based on the job poster, the written assignment will assess your ability to communicate effectively in writing, analyze and synthesize information, understand issues, and identify their economic, social and/or financial implications. We may proceed with a second assignment which will assess other abilities and will be conducted as part of the interview process.
If I Meet the Essential Qualifications, Will I Be Invited To An Interview?
Not necessarily. Hiring managers will conduct a more thorough screening of applications. Our staffing process allows each hiring manager to identify specific qualifications that are relevant to the position they are looking to fill. The qualifications may differ from one position to another. Only candidates who meet the required qualifications for our current/upcoming vacancies will be interviewed in January.
However, in previous years, hiring managers within the Department of Finance have interviewed and hired candidates throughout the year. Candidates identified in our screening process who meet the essential qualifications will be included in a pool of partially assessed candidates, which hiring managers from the Department of Finance and other federal government organizations may draw on until December 2016.
How Are Candidates Selected for Interviews?
Candidates are selected for interviews based on their qualifications (e.g. Master's degree, grade point average, writing ability) and their online application. Also, one or more of the asset qualifications (i.e. relevant experience, professional designation) may be used as well as other criteria such as citizenship, official languages and organizational needs.
Economist and Policy Analyst Stream: Interviews and Job Offers
When and Where do the Interviews Take Place?
The interviews take place over two days in January in Ottawa. Finance Canada may provide for transportation to and from Ottawa as well as accommodation for the duration of the interview process. Candidates residing outside of Canada may be required to fund their own travel arrangements. Additional information will be provided to candidates being interviewed. Alternative interview approaches such as videoconferencing (via WebEx) or phone interviews may be considered.
Occasionally, individuals choose not to attend the interviews. Should this occur, we may invite other applicants.
When Will I Learn Whether I Have Been Invited to an Interview? How Will I Be Contacted?
By December, only applicants who meet the essential qualifications will be advised by e-mail that they have been placed in the pool of partially assessed candidates. Invitations for interviews will also be sent by December. Applicants who did not meet the essential qualifications during the online application process will not be contacted.
What Is the Focus and Format of the Interviews?
The Ottawa interviews provide candidates with the opportunity to discuss their qualifications with one or more hiring managers from Finance Canada. As part of the interview, candidates may also be required to complete a written assignment.
The purpose of the interview process is to evaluate whether a candidate possesses the competencies necessary to work at Finance Canada. Hiring managers may discuss and validate your experience based on your online application and/or assess additional qualifications.
The interviews also offer you the opportunity to learn about the different areas of the Department, and to determine which area best matches your interests.The interview will take place in the official language of your choice.
How Many Applicants Do You Get Each Year? How Many Do You Plan on Hiring This Year?
In 2014-2015, there were 194 partially qualified applicants, 66 of which were invited to an interview.
Last year, Finance Canada hired 18 economists and policy analysts.
When Are Job Offers Made?
Managers begin to make offers of employment 2 weeks after the Ottawa interviews. These offers are conditional on obtaining your secret security clearance and completing your required coursework.
When Do Most Recruits Start?Your start date is based on your availability and your new manager's operational requirements. While some recruits start right away, many choose to begin over the summer or in the early fall.
Online Application and Eligibility
How Can I Apply? What Is This Year's Application Deadline?
Applications for the Doctoral Research stream are submitted online through Finance Canada's website. For the 2014-2015 campaign, applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on December 10, 2014. Applications submitted by other means (e.g., mail, fax) and those submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
If you are unable to apply online or are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact us at 1-877-921-0707 or by e-mail.
Who Meets the Essential Qualifications?
To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Be entitled to work in Canada. Applications from Permanent Residents and those with work permits will be accepted, but preference will be given to Canadian citizens.
- Have completed, or be scheduled to complete by December 2015, a Doctoral degree in economics from a recognized university.
- Recent (acquired within the last 3 years) research experience at the Ph.D. level in one or more areas relevant for current research at the Department of Finance. The policy research currently being done at the Department of Finance includes a number of economic issues, including economic growth, sources of productivity growth, population aging, public finance, trade, natural resource economics, pension systems and human capital.
- Completed doctoral or post-doctoral research in one of the following specialization fields: macroeconomics/macroeconometrics, public finance, labour economics, or economics of innovation, research and development.
- Meet the minimum requirements for the ability criteria.
How Do I Know If My Experience Is Relevant To Finance?
Economists hired through the Doctoral Research stream usually work in a Division with a broad mandate to conduct in-depth policy-relevant economic research to provide strategic advice to the Minister on issues that are of medium- and long-term significance. The Division conducts policy research on a number of economic issues, including economic growth, sources of productivity growth, population aging, public finance, trade, natural resource economics, pension systems and human capital.
How Do I Choose Which Research Document To Submit? Can I Send Multiple Research Documents?
The research document submitted should be whichever best demonstrates your abilities as a research economist who might work at the Department of Finance. This does not necessarily have to be part of your dissertation nor does the document have to be complete. However, the document will be used to assess your written communication, as well as your ability to conduct high quality research in a relevant field of economics. Only one paper will be read per candidate, it is incumbent on the candidate to select what they feel is the best example of their research. Candidates are encouraged to highlight any other research documents by attaching abstracts to their CV. The research document you submit will be a central topic of discussion during the interview rounds in Ottawa.
Doctoral Research Stream: Interviews and Job Offers
When Will I Learn Whether I Have Met The Screening Requirements?
How will I be contacted?
Candidates who meet the essential qualifications listed above will receive confirmation by December 23, 2014 about whether they have been placed in a pool of partially assessed candidates. Applicants who did not meet the required qualifications during the online application process will not be contacted.
What Is The Next Step in the Process for the Doctoral Researcher Stream?
Selected Candidates will be invited to Ottawa for interviews in January 2015. The selection of candidates for this interview round will be based on the ranking of the candidates placed in the partially assessed pool and according to the Statement of Merit Criteria. Operational needs could also influence this ranking.
Additional information will be provided to candidates invited to the Ottawa interview round. Travel expenses incurred during second round interviews may be reimbursed by the Department of Finance, except for Candidates travelling from overseas. Alternative interview approaches such as phone interviews may be considered for candidates not able to schedule a visit to Ottawa.
What Is The Focus and Format of the Ottawa Interviews?
The interviews provide candidates with the opportunity to discuss their qualifications with one or more hiring officials from Finance Canada. The focus of the interview process is to evaluate whether a candidate possesses the competencies necessary to work at Finance Canada as laid out in the Statement of Merit Criteria.to assess how well the Candidate fits in with the Division's research agenda.
The interviews also offer you the opportunity to learn about the structure and the different areas of research undertaken by the Department.
To ensure consistency and fairness, all candidates will be offered the same set of general questions and will be evaluated using a common template. Follow up questions on the technical aspects of your research will obviously vary between candidates. The interview will take place in the official language of your choice.
How Can I Prepare for the Interview?
Doctoral Stream candidates should be well prepared to present and discuss their research document and any relevant experiences. This should include the ability to relate their research to economic policy issues.
The interviews will include:
- seminar presentation to the Division,
- informal one-on-one meetings with various researchers
- lunch with a small group of researchers
- formal interview with a management hiring committee
How Many Applicants Do You Get Each Year?
In 2013-2014, 27 applicants were placed in a qualified pool.
When Are Job Offers Made?
Conditional on job openings, managers may begin to make offers of employment after conducting interviews. These offers are conditional on obtaining your secret security clearance. When a conditional offer has been accepted, the Department will begin to process the required paperwork.