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VA Trial Resources and FAQs

VA Trial FAQs

Role-based Recruiting Introduction

What is Role-based Recruiting and how will it benefit me?

Role-based recruiting helps CESO to “find the right VA for the right assignment at the right time” through common, standardized terminology applied across clients, assignments, and VAs. This terminology, used to help match VAs and assignments, includes:

  • industry “sectors” in which CESO operates (e.g. Manufacturing, Tourism and Hospitality, etc.),
  • an organization’s business “functions” (e.g. Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, etc.), and
  • “roles”, often known as “job titles”, which provide a high-level description of the nature of the tasks required (e.g. Accounting and Auditing Advisor, Business Planning Advisor, etc.). Some roles may have associated “similar roles” which share some common skills and, in some cases, may be valid substitute when matching VAs and assignments.

The use of common, standardized terminology makes it easier for you to find assignments of interest, as well as for CESO to more easily find you!

How long has Role-based Recruiting been used within CESO and why are you conducting a VA trial?

Role-based recruiting has been used by CESO’s recruitment teams for over a year, and by our in-country team members for more than six months. This trial will collect additional VA feedback on this new functionality from a select number of participants, such that any further improvements can be implemented before its introduction to all VAs.

How do I participate in Role-based Recruiting trial?

As a trial participant you will have access to an “Enhanced Assignment Opportunities Board”, which incorporates our new terminology to make it easier to find assignments of interest. You will also have access to an “Enhanced myCESO Profile” through which you can identify the roles you are able to fulfill and types of clients you have experience with, which will be used for assignment matching. Lastly you will be able to set up email notifications for assignments of interest. A CESO team member will follow up with you to collect your feedback from the trial.

How were CESO’s sectors, functions, and roles created?

Various sector, function, and role terminology is used by many public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. CESO’s terminology was selected through a series of VA focus groups, a global analysis of volunteer sending organizations, and its testing on over 3,900 assignments.

Where can I find more information about CESO’s sectors, functions, roles, and similar roles?

The CESO’s Advisory Roles and Services document contains detailed information on all sectors, functions, roles and similar roles. Role and sector details can also be found by hovering over the squares on your myCESO profile.

Enhanced Assignment Opportunities Board

What is the Enhanced Assignment Opportunities Board?

As its name implies, the Enhanced Assignment Opportunities Board incorporates new features into the current Assignment Opportunities board available on the myCESO portal including the addition of the assignment’s sector, business function and role.

How do I pursue an opportunity I see on the Assignment Opportunities Board?

As with the current Assignment Opportunities Board, you should email the recruiter noted to explore the opportunity further.

Enhanced myCESO Profile’s Expertise and Experience Section

What is my Enhanced myCESO Profile and how does it fit with my current profile on the myCESO portal?

Your existing myCESO profile, accessible through the myCESO portal, is divided into several sections including: Additional Information Required, Personal Details, Contact Details, Application Details, and Resume.

The Enhanced myCESO Profile maintains many of these existing sections accessible in the same manner but adds new functionality to help you more easily find assignment opportunities and for us to find you! As part of the trial, this capability is accessible through a link an associated access code emailed to you.

This new functionality includes an ability to specify the nature of the roles you can fulfil and your related sectorial and client experience, as well as the ability to create custom assignment email notifications.

How is the “client experience” information on my profile used?

The client experience “buttons” are very high-level indicators of your customer-related exposure which should be substantiated by your resume and CESO assignment documentation. This content will be reviewed in detail by CESO’s recruiters to understand the breadth and depth of your client experience, which is one of the many elements used to determine the optimal VA/assignment match.
As with all such attributes, client experience will be taken in context. For example, experience working with a Canadian governmental entity, may not necessarily be a major asset in a public sector department of a country with significantly different governance structures, work practices, etc. Likewise, much as in Canada, experience with one type of client may be transferable to another.

What’s the difference between “client type” and “industry sector”?

Client type and industry sectors are interrelated, but different concepts. Client type is roughly aligned with the organization’s business model ranging from: public (i.e. government) to private (i.e. SMEs and Large Corporates) to not-for-profits (i.e. NGO). Industry sector is a high-level description of the organization’s business focus (e.g. Health Care and Social Services, Manufacturing, etc.). One typically finds many client types in a given industry sector. Likewise, a given client type may operate in many sectors.

What’s the difference between the client type “Government” and industry sector “Governance (Multi-sector)”?

As described in the answer to “What’s the difference between client type and industry sector?”, client type and industry sector are two different but interrelated concepts. Simplistically speaking, one could distinguish between the two concepts as “who you are” (e.g. government, SME, etc.) versus “what you do” (e.g. Arts, Culture, and Recreation; Tourism and Hospitality).
Some government organizations operate in a specific industry sector (e.g. Ministry of Natural Resources, Department of Economic Development, etc.). Their role may include some element of oversight or governance within that sector, amongst others. There are also governmental organizations whose mandate is focused on governance across multiple sectors. They would be considered to operate in the “Governance (multi-sector)” sector.

There are some roles and associated sectors in my profile. How were they determined, and can I change them?

The roles and sector experience initially indicated should be reviewed in detail and modified accordingly. They are only starting point which was created during the development of role-based recruiting based on your resume and past assignment activity.

Am I the only person who selects my “Expertise and Experience”, or will someone at CESO be updating it as well?

Our intent is for a VA to be the only person who can change their profile. However, as we refine our content over the next year, there may be some changes that will be initiated by CESO (e.g. if it makes sense to combine two roles due to significant overlap). VAs will be informed of any such changes which we welcome the opportunity to discuss further.

Do I have to update my resume after I make changes to my profile?

VAs have full control to indicate which roles they are capable to fulfil, along with their associated sectorial or client type experience. However as always, our recruitment team may require information to substantiate any profile claims to help assess your assignment fit and compare it with other VAs being considered.

As before, updating your resume as you gain more experience is at your discretion. It should be noted, that having both your myCESO profile and resume reflect your current capability will help ensure you are considered for all applicable opportunities.

Is there a limit to the number of roles I can have?

No. Assuming they can be substantiated, there is no limit to the number of roles on a VA’s myCESO profile.

How do I select appropriate roles and their associated sectors?

As CESO’s list contains ~150 roles, it may be helpful to search for prospective roles to add to your profile based on the functions and/or sectors you’ve worked in. As many roles use industry or defacto standard terminology, their names may be familiar to you. You can then review CESO’s definitions for these roles found in the CESO Advisory Roles and Services document, or by “hovering” over a given square in your enhanced myCESO profile, to determine if it’s appropriate to add to your profile. Specific instructions on how update your sectorial and role experience can be found in the Role-based Recruiting VA Trial Guide.

If a Sector or Role is added or removed for CESO’s Advisory Services, will I be notified so that I can update my profile?

Yes. While in the longer term, we don’t expect this to be a regular event, you will certainly be informed. We also anticipate more regularly updates in the short term, as this new functionality is further refined. Should a role be removed, as it will impact all VAs, the change will be made automatically.

If I have any questions, who can I call to discuss my qualifications and associated Role(s)?

Please contact our recruitment team to discuss your qualifications and associated CESO profile.

Assignment Opportunities Email Notifications

What are assignment opportunity email notifications and how are they set up?

This new functionality will allow you to automatically receive emails outlining your preferred assignments using a variety of criteria such as: notification frequency, required language, countries, sectors, and functions, as well as those related to your enhanced myCESO profile. Once you have set up your notification preferences, there is no need to log on to the myCESO portal or await a recruiter’s phone call. Specific instructions on how to set up your notifications can be found in the Role-based Recruiting VA Trial Guide.

Will I be “re-notified” about an assignment opportunity that is sent to me, or will it be only sent once?

Assignments will be sent to you based on the assigned preferences. If an assignment has not yet been filled, it will be sent to you again until it is taken down from the Assignment Opportunities Board by our recruitment team.

What do the icons mean in the Assignment Opportunities Email?

For each assignment you are notified of, one of three simple but useful icons are used to indicate how closely the assignment matches at a high level, the expertise and experience captured in your myCESO Profile (i.e. your green squares!). This ranges from a match, to a potential match to not a match.

What should I do if I get an email with an assignment I am interested in?

As with the current Assignment Opportunities Board, you should email the recruiter noted to explore the opportunity further. With the enhanced Assignment Opportunities Board, this is done by pressing the “Contact Recruiter” button.

Recruitment and VA/Assignment Matching

Is keeping my myCESO profile updated important and are resumes still used in recruitment?

Initial matching using roles helps identify a “long list” of potentially qualified VAs for recruiters to review in more detail. As such it’s important to keep your profile updated to ensure you are included in this first recruitment step.

Based on the specific assignment needs, recruiters will then develop a short list of VAs, based on various approaches including resume reviews, assessment of past assignments, and direct interaction with interested parties.

Will I only be approached for assignments where my profile matches the Sector and Role requirement exactly?

In many cases finding a VA with specific sectorial experience may result in the best fit. However, as many roles are transferrable across sectors, you may be approached for an assignment for a role you possess, without the experience in the sector outlined. 1-800-268-9052
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CESO thanks and gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and our private-sector supporters.
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