A certain amount of employee turnover is a part of doing business. Employees may move on to new jobs or locations, transfer or resign or they may have been let go – whatever the situation your challenge is - you have a job opening that you need to fill.

There are many ways to reach prospective employees including traditional media such as newspaper ads, posters and employment agencies and newer methods such as online job sites, social networking media, and international recruitment.

In this section you'll find tips to help you be more competitive in your search for workers, and templates to help you write job descriptions and effective job ads. You'll also find a listing of government programs and resources to help you hire new workers.



In This Section:


Recruiting Methods

On-line recruiting is a cost effective and efficient method for finding workers, and the Internet is popular with job seekers, especially young people.There are two ways of using the Internet to find the right person for your company: Job Posting Sites and Social Media.


Job Posting Sites

Job posting sites allow you to place a job posting and use a résumé matching service. Some of the most commonly used sites are:

Career Beacon


Job Bank 

Kijiji Jobs


Nova Scotia Tourism Talent

Nova Scotia Works




Social Media

Social media sites can be an effective way to find candidates.  Employers can post notices of job vacancies free on most social media networks, and these networks are accessed by millions of people around the world. In many cases, you can create your own account and use it to let people know about your company and positions you have available.  

Some of the most popular social media are






Training in using Social Media in Business is also available: 

SkillsonlineNS offers free online courses to Nova Scotia residents and businesses. The Introduction to Social Media for Business bundle of courses introduces practical uses for social media in business: the Social Media for Recruiting course in particular demonstrates the potential of social media for finding and hiring workers. Click here to view the Course Catalogue or to sign up for free training. 


Traditional Recruitment Methods

Some of the more traditional ways employers have used to attract applications are still being used. They include:

  1. Newspaper Advertising: Job advertisements in local or national newspapers. 
  2. Help Wanted Posters: These are inexpensive and can attract a wide range of applications.
  3. Employment Agencies: When a successful candidate is hired through such an agency, you (the employer) pay a fee based on the type and level of the position.
  4. Temporary Help Agencies: There are temporary help agencies that specialize in accounting, health services, trades, information technology and sales.


Other recruitment ideas:

  • Job/Career Fairs: Industry sector councils and organizations like the Province's network of Nova Scotia Works Employment Resource Centres can organize job fairs to help employers showcase thier jobs.

  • Campus Job Fairs: Campus-sponsored job fairs are ideal venues for recruiting students looking for summer or part -time jobs, and new graduates looking for full-time permanent employment. For more information contact the colleges and universities directly. Your company may be eligible to receive a hiring incentive to hire a student or a new graduates. For a listing of the colleges in Nova Scotia the following link: http://pcc.ednet.ns.ca/colleges.  Click on the following university names to be directed to their website Acadia University, Dalhousie UniversityKings College (University of), Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary's University, Université Sainte-Anne, Cape Breton University

  • Promote From Within: A good candidate often exists within your company. Giving current employees the chance to grow and change positions within your company has its benefits:
    • Increases job satisfaction and esteem for the promoted employee
    • Shows others that the company recognizes and rewards excellence
    • Reduces training and orientation time since current employees are already knowledgeable about your product and services
  • Current Employees: Some companies provide incentives to existing employees to get their support in attracting new recruits.
  • Former Employees: Don't rule former employees. Not only do they know your company, the probably gained valuable new skills and knowledge since they left. They may also know of other good potential employees.
  • Company Web Site: You can post your job on your website and provide valuable information about your products, services, markets and business approach to potential applicants.
  • Customers: Include employment opportunities in mail-outs and on posters at your place of business.
  • Trade Publications: Advertising in a magazine specific to your industry can attract applicants with interests, training or skills that are well suited to your company.
  • Community Notices: Post positions in Church Halls, Community Centres, Sports Centres, Town Offices and similar locations  to reach stay-at-home parents, newcomers to the community and other persons not currently in the workforce.
  • Retired or Semi-Retired Workers: Retired or semi-retired workers have years of experience. Many are looking for part-time work for social reasons or for travel money! Post your position at seniors clubs or resource centres.


Professional and Industry Associations

The following professional and industry associations may be able to help you to find employees,.

Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association (ACADA)

Atlantic Home Building and Renovation Sector Council

Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia

Digital Nova Scotia

Forest Product Association of Nova Scotia

Health Care Human Resource Sector Council

Nova Scotia Automotive Industry Health Care Human Resource Sector Council

Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association

Nova Scotia Construction Human Resource Sector Council – Industrial – Commercial – Institutional

Nova Scotia Fisheries Human Resource Sector Council

Nova Scotia Forestry Human Resource Sector Council

Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia

Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia

Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia Human Resource Sector Council

Trucking Human Resource Sector Council





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Recruiting Internationally

People from other countries have skills and talents that can contribution to your business. They are entitled to work in Canada under one of the four categories listed below. More information is available by clicking on the links provided.

  • Permanent Residents: These individual are legally entitled to work in Canada. No special process is required to hire permanent residents.
  • International Graduates: These are international students who recently graduated from their studies in Canada. A student visa must be obtained.
  • Temporary Foreign Workers: These are individual who are hired to work at specific jobs that cannot otherwise be filled by the Canadian work force. A special work permit is required. 
  • International Students: International students may be eligible to work in Canada. If eligible, they may work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and full time during study breaks.


Information Sources for Hiring International Workers


Some of the unique aspects you may encounter when hiring Immigrants are:

  • Lack of Canadian work experience
  • Lack of recognition of foreign education, work experience and professional credentials by professional associations
  • Limited understanding of Canadian work culture
  • Limited understanding of the English language
  • Difficulty matching skilled immigrants into high demand positions
  • Be aware that a self managed career may be a new concept for certain cultures. Some individuals may find self promotion and networking difficult.
  • The provision of a buddy/mentor system for newly hired immigrants may ease the transition into the workplace.
  • Strong role models in management positions will assist in helping immigrants become aware of the workplace expectations.
  • Communication can be affected by cultural factors. For example, in some cultures not making eye contact is a sign of respect.
  • Immigrants may encounter some language barriers. Arrangements may need to be made to help the immigrant worker acquire additional language courses in English.
  • It may be beneficial for you to connect with support services and agencies such as Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) provide employment services to New Canadians.

It may be beneficial for you to connect with support services and agencies that provide employment services to New Canadians.

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Apprenticeship Opportunities

Many skilled workers in Nova Scotia are expected to retire over coming years. It is critical for employers to begin thinking about the workforce of the future. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Training model is tailor-made to develop Nova Scotia's workforce and may support your hiring needs.

Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education for both young and mature individuals who want to be certified to work in a skilled trade. There are over 60 designated trades in Nova Scotia, with apprenticeship training being offered in twenty six of these trades. Click here for a list of certifiable and apprenticable trades in Nova Scotia.


Benefits of Taking on an Apprentice: 

Apprenticeship training provides you an opportunity to train the workers you need for the future. When you take on an apprentice, you have a chance to train them to your professional standards and according to your business needs. Apprenticeship training can also give you a competitive advantage. Employers who have taken on apprentices cite the following compelling reasons for why they support apprenticeship training:

  • Improve the skills of the workforce
  • Increase the quality of services and finished products
  • Increased productivity through training apprentices in the company's systems and processes
  • Improved safety leading to fewer accidents and reduced compensation costs
  • Improved company reputation
  • Enhanced quality of training in the workplace makes the company more attractive to new employees and helps retain them.

There is no cost to you to register an apprentice.
There are elements of apprenticeship program that support both the employer and the apprentice:


Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

Employers with certified journeypersons who take on apprentices and provide them with further training may be eligible for the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.


Credential Recognition

If a worker holds certification issued by another regulatory authority (from within or outside of Canada) in a trade that is designated in Nova Scotia, he or she may be eligible to apply for certification under another program. Click here for more information on credential recognition.

You can find more information on the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency Website.  You may also contact an Apprenticeship Office in your region for more information.


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Expand Your Pool of Candidates

The workforce in Nova Scotia is changing. There is a decline in the overall population and as people are leaving the workforce there are more and more job openings. At the same time some population groups in Nova Scotia are underrepresented in the workforce or are not employed to their fullest capacity. These groups are great sources for potential workers.

Employers who tap into the full potential of the province's workforce by hiring diverse workers and building an inclusive work environment to retain these workers will compete more effectively than those who are unprepared.

Diverse workers CAN BENEFIT YOUR COMPANY by bringing a great mix of skills, abilities, and perspectives to your workplace, and make it easier for your company to understand and respond to the marketplace and the needs of your clients. 

When the different perspectives and experiences that people bring to the workplace are valued, the right conditions are in place for people to their full potential. These conditions help build a work environment where all employees feel welcomed and valued. A welcoming environment will help you find and hold on to your most valuable asset – your employees.

Diverse population groups include: persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples, African Nova Scotians, international workers, immigrants and persons from another culture, women in non-traditional roles, youth and older workers.  Government and community organizations provide supports and resources to encourage employers to hire diverse workers.  These include:

Nova Scotia Works Employment Centres  

The Nova Scotia Disability Support Program

Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia 

SkillsonlineNS offers free online courses to Nova Scotia residents and businesses. Courses such as Engaging Gen Y, Creating an Age Friendly Workplace, and Managing Workforce Generations introduce the benefits of diversity in the workplace as well as ideas for attracting and retaining diverse workers. View the Course Catalogue here or sign up for free training. 

Tips for how to reach and attract diverse people to your workplace, and how to build a welcoming and inclusive work environment, are provided in the Nova Scotia Works Welcoming Workplaces online toolkit

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Write a Job Ad

Some items must be included in a job posting while others are optional depending on your company policy and the particular posting. The bold items are almost always included:

  • job title
  • employer's name
  • location of the job
  • brief, to-the-point company description
  • to whom the position reports
  • outline of job role and purpose - expressed in the 'second-person' (you, your, etc)
  • outline of ideal candidate profile - expressed in 'second-person' including qualifications and experience required
  • salary or salary guide
  • whether the role is full-time, part-time, permanent or a short-term contract
  • other package details or guide (pension, car etc.)
  • response and application instructions
  • contact details as necessary, for example, address, phone, fax, email, etc.
  • request for references
  • website address



Job Ad Template

Click here for the Job Ad/Job Posting Template.  The template includes a list of Do's and Don'ts to help guide you to write the very best ad or posting. 


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Hiring Incentives and Supports for Employers

The Province of Nova Scotia, the Federal Government and other Agencies and Associations have incentive programs that may cover a portion of your next new hire's salary.


Provincial Programs

Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) hiring incentive offers a salary incentive to help Nova Scotia employers hire recent graduates.  Employers receive 25% of the first year’s salary – 35% if the new grad is a member of designated diversity group – and 12.5% of the second year’s salary. 

The Innovate to Opportunity hiring incentive helps Nova Scotia employers hire a recent master’s or PhD graduate to help their business become more innovative and export-oriented.

The Co-op Education Incentive (CO-OP) provides wage assistance to private sector, government-funded and non-profit organizations offering career-related work experiences for university and community college co-operative students.

The START program provides a financial incentive to help small and medium sized enterprises in Nova Scotia hire Nova Scotians who need work experience. Contact a Case Manager at a Careers Nova Scotia Centre near you.

The Student Summer Skills Incentive (SKILLS) offers wage assistance to non-profit organizations that provide summer jobs to post-secondary students.

The Student Career Skills Development Program (SCSDP) offers wage assistance to non-profit organizations that offer career-related summer jobs for students going to university or college in the fall.

Job Creation Partnerships is an employment program supporting projects that provide eligible individuals with work experience leading to enhanced employment-related skills.

APTEC offers a range of employment and training services with the goal to obtain and maintain long term sustainable employment for the rural, urban, off-reserve Mi’kmaq / Aboriginal Peoples of Nova Scotia.

The Apprenticeship Agency offers START for Apprentices to businesses, not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises with business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia.

NS Office of Immigration helps people immigrate to Nova Scotia through several streams such as the Entrepreneurs Stream, the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Skilled Worker stream, and the Express Entry stream.  They provide information for employers about hiring permanent residents, temporary foreign workers and international students.  

The Nova Scotia Department of Energy's Program for Students provides wage subsidies up to 50 per cent (to a maximum of $7.50/hour) to eligible companies to hire co-op students, non–co-op students, and recent graduates.

Licensed child care facility or day care centre may be eligible for the Early Childhood Development Continuing Education Program.  $13 an hour is paid towards the salary of a substitute so that he/she, or other employees, can take approved courses in Early Childhood Education during working hours.


Federal Programs

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create full-time summer job opportunities for students. Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible to apply. 

Career Focus provides financial assistance to companies or not for profit organizations to provide career-related work experience to young people between the ages of 15 and 30. The business or non-profit organization hires 8 or more recruits (exceptions for rural or remote regions).

The National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) delivers Youth programs under the Youth Employment Strategy.  financial assistance is available to help small and medium-sized research hire a post-secondary graduate between the ages of 15 and 30.

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities is designed to assist persons with disabilities, not eligible for Employment Insurance, gain or maintain employment or become self-employed. 

Young Canada Works provides funding to support businesses and non-profit organizations that provide services in English and French to hire an intern for up to 1 year.


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Downloadable Resources