Should you pay candidates for interviews?

How one Canadian company is staying competitive in a challenging hiring market

We’ve seen employers turning to creative recruitment solutions in this uncomfortably tight hiring market. Considering nontraditional sources, increased reliance on internal mobility programs, expanded agency partnerships, and now…compensating candidates for job interviews? An employer in Ontario, Canada, is doing just that. I read this article recently and would be curious to see a case study on the results down the road.

To summarize: FoodShare – a non-profit org – has started to pay candidates $75 per interview. In a concept that I could see garnering excitement among job seekers, they’ll also compensate candidates for any assignments they need to complete as part of the hiring process.

As recruiters, we’ve all seen great candidates drop out of the interview process. So what 
could we potentially achieve if we followed FoodShare’s lead?

Interviewing often requires candidates to invest a lot upfront. They may take time off, secure childcare, pay for transportation, or buy a new outfit to match the company’s culture. You start your relationship off with more respect by recognizing the value of a candidate’s investment in the interview process. Beyond establishing respect, compensating candidates for interviews could reduce barriers in the hiring process.

What FoodShare is doing is making the process very human and saying, ‘We recognise the value of this we’re willing to put money on it.'”

Tricia Williams, Director of Research, Evaluation, and Knowledge Mobilization at Future Skills Centre – CTV News Article

Compensating candidates for their time may also prompt you to take a deeper look at your current process. For example, could your candidate pool be narrowed further before an in-person interview? Are you asking too much of your candidates? Most importantly, are you remaining competitive in a challenging hiring market?


The idea is certainly good food for thought and something I suspect we’ll see more of. Might also be a great topic to discuss over on our CXR Talent Talks forum.


Learn more

Read more from the source: This Ontario company will pay you for a job interview, and here’s how much from Sean Davidson at CTV News. To take a deeper look: Why you should consider paying candidates to interview by Rebecca Deczynski at Inc.

Picture of Gerry Crispin

Gerry Crispin

Gerry co-authored eight books on the evolution of staffing and has written 100s of articles and whitepapers on similar topics during a career in Human Resources that spans more than 40 years from HR leadership positions at Johnson and Johnson; to boutique Executive Search firms; a Career Services Director at the University where he received his Engineering and 2 advanced degrees in Organizational/Industrial Behavior; and, GM of a major recruitment advertising firm even as he launched CareerXroads 25 years ago.

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