AMS services hire some 2020-21 staff on application-only basis

COVID-19 preventative measures eliminate interview process for numerous services

Some AMS services hired service staff and volunteer positions on an application-only basis because of COVID-19.
Journal File Photo

AMS hiring season was quieter than usual this year, as COVID-19 preventative measures caused some services to forgo the interview process entirely and hire incoming staff for 2020-21 based on applications alone. 

“Given COVID-19, the Human Rights Office (HRO) wanted to ensure the safety of hiring panels and applicants alike, as well as limit the amount of excess stress that hiring can create for both applicants and hiring panels,” Bronwyn Greenhalgh, AMS Director of Human Resources, wrote in a statement to The Journal

The hiring process was changed shortly after the University’s decision to suspend in-person classes on March 16.

“After evaluating all options and conducting consultations with the outgoing and incoming service managers, this was deemed the only possible outcome given the circumstances,” Greenhalgh wrote.

While all in-person AMS interviews were cancelled, some services conducted interviews online and others hired on an application-only basis.

Common Ground Coffeehouse, Studio Q, the Printing and Copy Centre, AMS Pub Services (TAPS), Walkhome, and the Tricolour Outlet all hired their service staff and volunteer positions strictly using applications.  

“All of these services had an exceptional number of applicants in comparison to positions available and had not started interviews prior to March 14,” Greenhalgh wrote.

Applicants were made aware of the changes to the hiring process by email between March 14-20, after the application deadline for many positions had passed. The AMS also released a statement on its online application system to inform applicants of the decision.

Service staff hiring for all other AMS services was conducted using Zoom, a virtual communication platform. The Society’s online statement included information about how to prepare for a Zoom interview and encouraged anyone with questions to reach out for clarification.

Greenhalgh wrote that, to aid in the transition, hiring panels were briefed on the emergency hiring practices in their hiring packages. The HRO was also available to aid both the hiring panels and applicants in the new process.

According to Greenhalgh, hiring practices remained equitable in light of the changes. 

“All members of hiring panels receive Hiring Equity Training. Hiring panels also submit a predetermined list of required qualities which are then approved by the HRO. All applications were then reviewed against a rubric,” Greenhalgh wrote. “Panels were also encouraged to reach out to references.”

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