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The Preferred Candidate List & The Campus Visit

The Collective Agreement refers to developing a list of preferred candidates (i.e. shortlist).

Many DHCs, prior to developing a shortlist, prepare a long-list of candidates they would like to learn more about and they conduct brief telephone/skype interviews in order to arrive at their shortlist (i.e. preferred candidate list).

Those on the preferred candidate are invited for a campus visit which includes a formal interview by the DHC and teaching and research presentations.

The preferred candidates may also meet with other groups or individuals.

All notes from committee deliberations and assessment that support the decisions relative to the long and short list and the eventual selection of the final candidate, must be kept on file.

It is first important to note that no questions should ever be asked that elicit information from candidates about any of the prohibited grounds, external link under the Human Rights Code. Questions such as “do you have a spouse/partner and what do they do”, “do you have children” or “do you plan to have children” are strictly prohibited. Candidates may in the course of discussing a possible offer and relocation to Toronto, ask about childcare, school and spousal employment options and it is best to refer candidates to Human Resources in such cases.

Interview questions must be based on the selection criteria (i.e. qualifications) in your ad, i.e. education, SRC accomplishments and capacity for collegial service.  When designing the questions, DHCs must also ensure to incorporate the values of equity, diversity and inclusion and the additional values in our academic plan.

Different types of questions serve different functions. For instance, “tell us about yourself”, “what attracted you to this position” and “what do you believe makes you qualified” are typically the first questions asked and meant to put the candidate at ease.

Questions such as “how does your current research program fit/work with the department/school and/or Ryerson”, “what collaboration potential do you see here if you were to join our department/school” and “what pedagogical changes do you see on the horizon in your discipline” get at the candidate’s knowledge of the field and understanding of the Ryerson context.

Behavioural questions, such as “tell us about the biggest conflict you have ever been involved at work, how you handled it and what you learned” or “what experience have you had in mentoring diverse students, faculty and/or staff” look at the candidate’s past experience as a predictor of their future success.

Situational questions such as “with whom would you collaborate with?” and “how would you involve students in your research at Ryerson” or more complex scenarios involving difficult work situations are another way to assess the candidate’s qualifications and suitability for the position.

DHCs should make an effort to define the standard for teaching, SRC and service. For example, teaching excellence may include: 

  • experience as a lead teacher
  • experience with course management 
  • experience with student accommodations
  • experience serving a diverse student population 
  • curriculum review/development experience
  • strong teaching evaluations
  • variety of courses taught (e.g. undergraduate and graduate levels)

Similarly, SRC might be measured through:

  • # of publications or creative works
  • recency of publications/work
  • whether the publications were solo or in collaboration and the extent of contribution if in collaboration
  • understanding of the discipline
  • # of working papers/projects
  • past grants/awards and prospect of new ones
  • recognition in the field, such as acting as a referee, conference presentations, etc.

Note that you will also need to balance the above with equity considerations such as considering candidates who bring different career paths and experiences. For further guidance on assessment of candidates, please consult the Recruiting & Hiring Diverse Faculty, external link guide. Some areas to focus on from an equity lense might include:

  • Demonstrated ability to provide expertise, support and advice on inclusive curriculum and pedagogy.
  • Proven track record of mentoring, advising, teaching or supporting diverse learners, such as Aboriginal learners.
  • Experience proactively advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in curriculum, teaching, scholarship and creative activities.
  • Demonstrated initiative in creating an environment of access and understanding for diverse students.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage undergraduate and graduate students of different genders and races; with different cultures and religions, gender identities and sexual orientation, and learning, sensory and other disabilities. 
  • Proven track record using diverse pedagogy and principles of universal design for learning.
  • Ability to advance Ryerson's areas of strength including innovation and quality of student experience in a diverse urban campus.

When considering applicants who are or have been internal Limited-Term Faculty (LTF) or limited contract instructors, the DHC may review the Performance Conduct File or Service Record Files as appropriate prior to making hiring recommendations.

DHCs must ensure that if there are candidates from within the department, that they are not invited to provide input into the shortlisted candidates.

If you have identified a candidate for your long/shortlist who appears to be a foreign national, you are advised to consult with the Immigration team.

Hiring a foreign national into a faculty position requires authorization from the government in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is obtained by demonstrating to the government that we complied with their advertising/recruitment requirements, considered all Canadian (permanent residents and citizens) and found none of them to meet the minimum qualification requirements in our ad. Once we have successfully demonstrated this and the government issues a positive LMIA, our successful candidate is able to apply for a work permit.

There may be some exceptions in which an LMIA application may not be required. For example, if the candidate is in Canada and is in possession of an open work permit, or expects to obtain one by the appointment date, then it may be possible to hire the candidate without having to apply for an LMIA (i.e. in such a case we would not have to demonstrate that there were no qualified Canadians).

There are also two free trade agreements (NAFTA and CCFTA) in particular that allow us to hire foreign nationals who are citizens (not permanent residents) of the United States, Mexico or Chile, without having to apply for an LMIA and demonstrate that there were no qualified Canadians.

To be prepared to hire a foreign national, we must ensure that:

  • we have advertised the vacancy in Canada using mediums (web, print, electronic, etc.) most appropriate for attracting candidates for the position; 
  • any vacant position advertised abroad is also advertised simultaneously in Canada;
  • we have advertised for a reasonable length of time (about a month) to allow broad exposure of the vacancy to Canadians and permanent residents; 
  • include the following statement in the ads: "All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority."; 
  • we have complied with all relevant articles of the collective agreement; 
  • we are prepared to provide annual data to the government on foreign recruitment undertaken at the University. 

If an LMIA is required, the Immigration team will work with your DHC to gather the necessary information and documentation. Information will be collected from your recommendation letter and additional information will be obtained on your assessment of the Canadian candidates.

If an LMIA is required, the DHC will be required to provide a list of every Canadian applicant, with an explanation for each one as to how they were not qualified per the requirements in the ad.



In all cases, Human Resources must be involved as early as possible in the process so as to advise on options, process and timelines (processing times will vary significantly depending on a number of factors). Please contact or your Sr. HR Partner or  Zenab Pathan for further guidance.

When a terminal degree is necessary for the transfer to the tenured faculty, a candidate who does not hold such a degree, but who the DHC and the Dean reasonably expect will achieve it within two years, may be recommended for appointment as an Acting Assistant Professor. Candidates hired as Acting Assistant Professors, must achieve their terminal degree within a two-year period.

DHCs must ensure that they have indicated in their ad whether they will consider candidates who are ABD and very close to completion.

If the DHC wishes to allow a candidate who has surfaced after the application deadline to submit an application for the vacancy, in order to maintain a fair and transparent process, it should extend the posting deadline so that others who may have also missed the opportunity to apply are able to do so.

When this occurs, it is sufficient to extend the deadline only on the Ryerson careers page and no extensions are required on CAUT and UA, provided there are no substantive changes to the ad.

Overall, careful consideration should be given to the smaller but important aspects that will affect the candidate experience and their ultimate decision to continue in the process. These include:

  • Providing an itinerary in advance, including date and time of interview, presentation, etc. 
  • Allocating prep time and a quiet space for them to prepare.
  • Introducing them to members of your department/school.
  • Providing a campus tour, focusing on the interesting and unique features of the campus. 
  • Providing a physical layout including where to find the washrooms, food options, etc.  
  • Providing a contact in case of any support required at any point.  
  • Asking them about their preferred pronouns.  
  • Asking them about any dietary restrictions.
  • Providing names and titles of expected panel members (i.e. DHC members) who will be interviewing. 
  • Giving them a sense of the types of questions they will be asked or information they should be prepared to share. 
  • Asking them if they have any accommodation needs to allow them to participate in the interview and other parts of the campus visit. 
  • Advising them of the public nature of the presentation they will be delivering and that their CV will be made available to members of the department/school.
  • Asking them if they wish to meet with anyone from the University in particular during their visit and/or receive information about anything such as benefits, immigration and/or relocation support.

The Collective Agreement requires the DHC to make CVs of the preferred candidates available to faculty within the school/department (except to those that may themselves be candidates for the position) for feedback.

Additionally, all members of the school/department are to be invited to the research presentation delivered by the candidate and final input is to be collected prior to a hiring recommendation being made.