As a recruiter I have always wondered why vacation time is not more prominently featured in Job Advertising? Only 13-16% of job advertisements on Workopolis and Monster feature the word Vacation and some of those are only highlighting job duties of scheduling employees. A large percentage of the candidates we place are concerned about the amount of time they will have with their families and the amount of time they will have off. Senior candidates are often looking to match their time off if they are leaving a company which they have been with for many years and people with young families are often concerned about the amount of time they can spend with their kids.
Canada’s minimum standards for vacation are two weeks which are “earned” and can be taken in the second year. Essentially when a new employees starts they are entitled to no paid vacation time off until they start their 13th month of employment. Most employers accumulate the vacation time and allow it to be taken during the first year and many employers offer 3-4 weeks vacation to entice employees. One thing we often see negotiated with senior candidates switching employers is “unpaid” leaves of absences which make up for vacation time they may have had with their former employer.
As recruiters we often advise candidates not to push time off early in the interview or negotiation process. One of the interview “enders” is when a candidate asks for or communicates how much time they want to spend away from work. Candidates need to keep in mind they may be replacing an employee who was fired for attendance issues or the interviewer may have just spent hours on the phone looking for someone to come in and fill an absence. As a candidate you want to show that you are going work enthusiastically and not cause difficulties for your prospective manager, so save the questions about time off for Human Resource personnel or in final negations.