How to Leverage Canadian Hiring Grants

Now is a great time for businesses to capitalize on the different types of hiring grants that are available. Many of these funding programs support hiring young people and recent grads.

These are common questions we get from clients:

  • How much can I get from a hiring grant? 
  • How long can I hire people for? 
  • When should I apply for the grant and start interviewing?
  • What kind of job positions will qualify for a grant?

We’ll answer all of these questions in this post and give you some examples of the kinds of hiring programs that open up throughout the year. 

Understanding the government’s hiring grant intentions

Every Canadian government business grant has a specific goal. It’s really important that applicants understand what the intention is behind each grant. Right now there is a lot of funding for hiring grants because the government’s intentions are to decrease the unemployment rate. Most of the programs are focused on employing people with full-time positions rather than contractors or part-time workers.

“How do you find out what the government’s intentions are?”

You can either read information on the grant program’s website or call the program contact. Every grant will have someone who can answer your questions in more detail. This can go a long way to making your application tailored to what funders are looking for in applications.

For example, the Get Youth Working grant website says, “In order to address BC’s current and future skills shortage challenges, we need to offer job opportunities and training to youth and maximize their skills.” If you clearly state how you will provide valuable skills to someone through the hiring grant, you are setting yourself up to successfully get funding.

“How much money can I get with a hiring grant?”

Hiring grants usually range from $2,800 to $7,000 in total and any type of business can qualify for these funding programs. This amount is often used over the course of three or four months. If companies apply for a wage subsidy, they typically share 50% of the cost of the employee.

If you are posting for positions that are service-based like a salesperson or admin assistant that don’t require highly technical knowledge, these hiring grants are usually in the thousands. If you’re hiring someone with more technical skills, the government grant can be $12,000 to $15,000.

Someone with specialized skills doesn’t necessarily need to be a programmer or IT specialist. If the person is a social media expert who uses analytics to run reports and help businesses make strategic decisions in marketing, this could qualify. The job responsibilities have to be more than simply posting content on social media.

“How long are the work terms?”

Most hiring grants range from three to six months while some wage subsidy programs can support a position for up to a year. The reason for this is because the government’s intention is for people to get meaningful work experience and not just any job. A month is too short to really develop valuable skills. 

But if your company is involved in many events that take place over the summer, there are summer hiring grants available. This could be an 8 to 16-week paid placement that can save you thousands of dollars while moving your marketing or business projects forward.

Why it’s not always best to go for highest value hiring grant

Whether our clients are using our GetGranted system to be automatically notified on grants or using our government grant gurus, we make the same recommendation to businesses: don’t just shoot for hiring grants with the highest funding amount. Of course we want all of you to get the most amount of money possible to hire a great person, but it’s not always the best strategy.

Remember, being awarded a grant is just 20% of the work required. To be reimbursed for the new hire, a company has to submit all of the requested documents to meet the funding requirements. 

It’s much more effective if the hiring grant aligns with what your company is already doing, what the business needs are and what clients need. Every government grant requires reporting and follow through. If you’re not able to meet the program requirements, then it will be harder to get grants in the future.

Best Practices for Hiring Grants

Important: Make sure that your new hire is brought on only after you are awarded the grant. The last thing you want is to have a new person on your payroll and not be reimbursed after their term has finished.

This is the best practice to secure a hiring grant:

1. Call the program contact to evaluate your chances of getting a hiring grant

Hiring grants come and go pretty quickly. The turnaround time is 5 days to 2 weeks. One of the shortest turnaround times one of our consultants saw was a day! 

This is what you don’t want to happen: see a grant, post a job and by the time you get resumes to look through, the government grant is gone. This happens either because the deadline passed or there were limited spots.

To avoid spending a lot of time going through the hiring process and missing a deadline, it’s best to simply call the program contact. You can say, “Hi, I came across your hiring grant and have an excellent candidate. Today is Thursday and I want to start them on Monday. Would that be possible?”

Whether they are open to it or not, at least you know right away. This way you can avoid getting a new hire without qualifying for the grant. 

2. Have a list of prequalified candidates so you can screen them quickly when you are applying for a grant

 Because hiring grants can have a quick turnaround, having a list of prequalified candidates allows you to apply for funding faster and more successfully.

3. Make copies of required documents like pay stubs and the job description

Once the candidates start, the government grant will have a list of documents that demonstrate that your company is meeting the minimum grant requirements. They could ask for copies of pay stubs, the number of hours worked and the job description. 

Some programs define full-time positions as working 30 hours a week while others say 35 hours. Many programs will often ask for candidate information to make sure they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

4. Complete the survey about the hire

 Once the person has completed their work term, you’ll get a survey that allows the funders to give feedback to the government to say whether the term was successful or not.

What if the person is not a good fit?

Whether you hire someone short or long term, you never know if it will be the right fit until you work with the person for a few months. At least with a full hiring grant, you will not have spent your own money. 

It will be challenging for a business who can’t follow through with the minimum 3-month commitment to meet the grant requirements. The government doesn’t want a constant revolving door because they want people to gain the skills to be successful. 

To ensure you get a quality hire, you can set the expectations with the person and make sure they are committed for the full term. You don’t just want someone who wants to just try any job because the person could easily quit as soon as she or he finds something better.

Examples of Hiring Grants

There are provincial and national hiring grants that our clients (and us!) have greatly benefited from. In addition to saving thousands of dollars, many new hires have ended up staying with companies over the long term.

Right now, the government is focused a lot on hiring young people to give them experience related to their field of study and address skill shortage gaps in the future. That’s why there are Canadian government business grants that regularly come up throughout the year. 

Here are a few examples of hiring grants our clients have taken advantage of:

Grad Hiring Subsidy

  • Value: Up to $7,840 per placement based on:
    • 35 hours a week 
    • 16 weeks
    • $14/hour 
  • Turnaround time: 4 to 5 business days

This program offers a wage subsidy of up to $7,840 for employers in B.C’s Lower Mainland to hire recent post-secondary graduates under the age of 30. The placements must be full-time, last 16 weeks and the employer must have a WorkSafeBC account in good standing.

Digital WIL Program (national)

  • General Stream: 50% of wages up to $5,000
  • Underrepresented groups: 70% of wages up to $7,000 for first year students, female students, recent immigrants under 5 years, indigenous students or persons with disabilities
  • Turnaround time: 2 weeks

This hiring grant provides a wage subsidy of up to $7,000 for internships in the following technology sub-industries: 

  • Intelligent Retailing (E-Commerce)
  • Advanced Manufacturing 
  • Fintech
  • Entertainment & Gaming
  • Cybersecurity
  • Connected Transportation
  • Biotechnology
  • E-Health
  • Clean Technology

Between 50% and 70% of a new employee’s salary is offered for post-secondary students in STEM or business. The position must be no more than 16 weeks and must either have an IT or business focus.

Youth Hiring Grant

The Get Youth Working program provides a wage subsidy of $2,800 for three months of full-time employment for youth aged 24 or under. This program supports virtually any full-time position in your organization. It is required that the employees must not be enrolled in full-time studies and cannot be returning to full-time studies after the subsidy term is complete.

  • Value: $2,800 wage subsidy and $1,000 external training per person (up to 1 new hire per business)
  • Turnaround time: 5 business days

It’s important to know that even though some hiring grants are offered every year, they can be discontinued at any time. Don’t rely on government grants as a reliable source of funding, but rather an extra resource to support your existing activities. 

You can always ask us to be on the lookout for hiring grants because we know what times of the year they open up when they are available. Or if you are using our GetGranted system, you will automatically be notified based on your business profile.

Conclusion

Our team at Granted and many of our clients have benefited from hiring grants by not only saving on costs, but finding employees who have ended up working long term because of their valuable contributions. When your company is applying for government grants, it’s important to understand the grant’s intentions so you customize your information appropriately. 

Hiring grants can range from $2,800 to $15,000 depending on the type of position you are applying for. The work terms must be at least 3 months and there are positions that can be supported for up to a year through a wage subsidy where the government covers for 50% of someone’s wages.

These are the best practices to secure hiring grants: 

  1. Call the program contact to make sure the position you want to hire for will be supported by the government grant
  2. If you have a regular position that keeps coming up, have a list of prequalified candidates you can quickly screen so you can leverage hiring grants faster
  3. Submit all of the required grant documents like pay stubs and job description
  4. Complete the grant survey after the hire has finished the work term

Don’t miss out on hiring grants by connecting with our grant gurus to keep an eye out for your company or get automatic notifications for hiring grants that match your business profile through our GetGranted system.

Spread the wealth