The current context is prompting us to rethink our staff management practices, including our hiring process. Here’s a quick guide on remote hiring.

For a few months now, businesses have been operating in a context that’s prompting us to rethink our HR management practices, including our hiring process. It’s crucial to stay proactive by continuing to offer effective, innovative recruitment activities—it will make it easier for you to get back to business.

During the pandemic, businesses must use the new technologies at their disposal for their recruitment needs.

Naturally, welcoming a candidate with the good old-fashioned handshake is no longer standard practice.

However, your hiring process can be just as effective when done remotely. Here are some tips you can use for your video conference interviews.

Video conference interview: Inform the candidate

1. Contact the candidate by phone or email beforehand to explain how the video interview will take place. You want to make sure they have the right technological tools (computer, tablet or smartphone, internet connection, video conference software, etc.).

2. Do a test run before the meeting to make sure everything works and that the candidate is comfortable using the tools (that will help set them up for success).

3. Email the candidate at least 48 hours prior to the meeting to provide all meeting details: date, time, length and software to use (Teams, Skype, etc.).

How employers should prepare

As an employer, you should apply the same best practices you use for in-person interviews:

1. Be on time and be available for the candidate (avoid interruptions).

2. Choose a quiet place with good lighting.

3. Make sure you have a stable internet connection.

4. Observe a few moments of silence throughout the interview to allow the candidate to express themselves fully (very often, the candidate will ask some excellent questions towards the end of the interview).

Before you start, let the candidate know how long the interview will take, how many people are present and how it will go about in general.

The job interview process

For a first interview via video conference, we recommend not going over 45 minutes. You can address five to seven usual interview points, including:

  • Career (résumé);
  • Reasons for seeking a job change;
  • Career goals and expectations;
  • Achievements and successes;
  • Understanding of the position they’re applying for;
  • The type of business sought by the candidate;
  • English proficiency (if relevant);
  • Computer skills and salary expectations.

Use a structured interview questionnaire and real-life scenarios to guide you and make sure you don’t forget anything.

The meeting will essentially run like a normal job interview. You may consider the following as important elements during the video conference:

  • Candidate’s presence, availability and level of comfort;
  • How well the candidate prepared for the interview;
  • How the candidate presents themselves (outfit, neat appearance, posture, language, etc.);
  • The location chosen by the candidate (ideal, quiet, well lit, discreet, etc.);
  • Non-verbal signs (e.g. tics, restlessness, signs of stress of discomfort, eye movements, etc.).

Before ending the meeting, ask the candidate if they have questions and explain the next steps of the hiring process.

If the candidate has an interesting profile, you can hold a second interview via video conference to help you delve deeper into certain specific aspects and use one or two other real-life scenarios.

Many employers have already been using a videoconference system for years, but not as much as they are now.

Video conference interviews ensure businesses are proactive, innovative and ready to go when it’s time to resume their operations.

If you have questions about the hiring process or other concerns regarding HR management, our experts will be happy to help you.

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The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published COVID-19 – Accounting Considerations for CFOs: Five Accounting Considerations Relating to Revenue Recognition.

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, entities are generally expecting to experience significant declines in revenue and delays in the delivery of goods and services for long-term contracts. These declines in revenue may arise from decreases in volume and changes in variable consideration. It is likely that, as a result of changes in the economic environment, customers will seek to modify contracts. It is also possible that the ability of customers to pay for goods may be called into question prior to delivery occurring.

An entity may choose to transact in this situation notwithstanding the uncertainty. Both trade receivables and contract assets may also be subject to additional credit risk. Finally, onerous contracts may arise as contracts become loss making through either a decrease in variable consideration or an increase in contract costs.

The publication COVID-19 – Accounting Considerations for CFOs: Five Accounting Considerations Relating to Revenue Recognition highlights key aspects of IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers that are expected to be particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Our one-of-a-kind tourism industry is being put to the test but it is very resilient. Let’s take a look at the issues and solutions.

On June 22, 2020, President and CEO of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Emilio B. Imbriglio shared the screen with Liza Frulla, General Director of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ). They talked about the issues facing the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of the ITHQ in this particular context. (Watch the online video for the full interview.)

The recipe for tourism: volume and talents

Liza Frulla is very optimistic about the resilience of the Quebec tourism industry which she believes stands out worldwide. And those who are passionate about the local tourism industry will help boost it up.

“It’s an industry filled with talented people. In terms of restaurants, Quebec is considered as the food capital of North America. There are small jewels […] in major cities like Montréal and Québec City, but also across all regions of the province. That’s what cements our culinary reputation and attracts tourists,” she says.

However, we must still be aware of the new challenges brought about by the pandemic. “Volume is important for tourism. And the rural regions might pull through better than Montréal because business tourism and the cultural sector are concentrated in the big city,” Liza Frulla points out.

She goes on to say that when it comes to restaurant owners—contrary to other industries—many started their business with love money. That presents certain difficulties, especially in getting endorsements from a financial institution. According to Liza Frulla, restaurants don’t just need financial support; they could also benefit from a complete review of the economic dynamics of the system that governs them.

The client experience and restaurants

Social distancing measures imposed by the Quebec public health authority will no doubt have an impact on the client experience. Liza Frulla believes that we must play the game and consumers must tell themselves that they can overcome those restrictions through their desire to go to a restaurant, to go out, and their imagination.

The Restaurant de l’ITHQ reopened for three weeks, with two professional chefs and their final-year students in the kitchen. Liza Frulla uses this example and points out that they have downsized from 64 seats to 32, and a Plexiglas shield separates diners from separate households dining at the same table. The teams are of course required to wear a face mask and a visor.

“We’re testing it out and developing a number of training webinars. The ITHQ is a leader in the industry; we take our role seriously.”

Let’s enjoy Quebec!

Despite the situation, Liza Frulla emphasizes the positive aspect of the crisis. It’s an unprecedented situation that’s giving us a chance to rediscover our beautiful territory! “You can be at a beach in Gaspésie, there’s the Bic, and Charlevoix is incredible. There’s nothing more beautiful than summer in Quebec!”

There is some apprehension about the Quebec government’s decision to inject $753 into supporting tourism in the province. “This help will take the form of very attractive loans. The industry says “great, thanks,” but if we’re not sure to make it through the fall, we’re not sure we want to go into debt again.”

According to Liza Frulla, the $20 million announced for Quebecers looking to vacation in the province is good news as it will help generate the volume needed for the economy to run smoothly and drive tourism across Quebec. “The SEPAQ is giving discounts to encourage you to visit the province. It’s an agreement of historic proportions. We want to motivate you to travel within Quebec and to make that a habit.”

What needs to be improved and what needs to be done

Despite the fact that a number of real estate and hotel owners, especially in business tourism, are Quebecers, Liza Frulla advises that they shouldn’t throw in the towel and let our real estate fall into the hands of foreign owners. She is adamant that we do not want to become tenants in our own home.

When the firm’s President and CEO asked what needs to be done to ensure the long-term survival of organizations, the ITHQ General Director answered that “fixed charges and taxes have always been the issue: a tax holiday and a fixed charge holiday would be most welcome.”

Tourism and the hotel and restaurant industry have major economic repercussions on many Quebec regions. What’s the first thing she’d do if she were a municipality mayor? “Mayors should be saying: I will do everything in my power to promote tourism in my town, in my region. We cannot survive without tourism.”

Regarding major events, in Montréal for example, Liza Frulla believes that we should go back to holding large-scale events, which would mean quicker financing as soon as possible. Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (RÉMI) has already requested that a federal emergency fund be set up for that purpose.

The role of the ITHQ

Liza Frulla says that as a hotel management school, they “will continue to focus on management and research. The ITHQ is the only establishment in Canada that offers three different program levels (secondary, college and university). With our two research units, we serve tourism in the broadest sense.”

Due to COVID-19, the ITHQ has developed online training in the form of webinars. The school strongly encourages the use of digital technologies. “We work with every sector of the tourism industry. We try to help. It’s our mission to raise the industry’s professional standards.”

According to Liza Frulla, the pandemic has tuned governments in to the importance of tourism and shown that every job in the industry is profitable to society.

 

For tips and support regarding tourism, leisure and culture, our team is here for you. With more than 30 years of experience and some 3,000 projects under the belt, our experts can help you bounce back and remain innovative, based on an approach tailored to your sector.

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With the gradual reopening of the economy, the mergers and acquisitions market is gradually recovering. What’s next?

Prior to the pandemic, the Canadian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market was very stable and even on the rise. The Canadian outlook was very favourable for sellers. However, the pandemic caused disruptions in the M&A world, and several firms suspended or cancelled deals.

In a recent webinar, our experts discussed the current state of the market and their financing issue predictions with a special guest, Éric Doyon, Managing Partner at Walter Capital Partners.

Unprecedented economic impacts

Nine out of ten transactions were taken off the market or put on hold due to the lack of medium- and long-term financial performance visibility on companies, leading to global uncertainties and the preservation of cash resources.

There is no doubt about the need for every entrepreneur to be vigilant in this uncertain economy, but better days are ahead. With the gradual deconfinement of economic activity, businesses will be able to revisit their M&A plans and even take advantage of opportunities that may arise.

Proactivity and innovation: essential for recovery

In Canada, we are currently in the recovery and revitalization phase. With the reopening of the U.S. and Canadian economies, after a few months of crisis, we are already seeing some recovery in the transactional market.

In spite of the major difficulties encountered, some companies have proven to be resilient and others have shown strong growth. Several organizations, especially in the retail sector, were proactive, thinking outside the box and repositioning their Web activities, which, for some, drove a 200-300% sales increase. As a result, many are now re-evaluating their priorities in order to further invest in an online sales platform for future success.

Our viewpoint: our predictions for the future

We are seeing some demand in the market and are already witnessing the resumption of transactions, leading to business continuity. With entrepreneurs’ confidence and a more optimistic outlook, including the recovery of North American stock exchanges, as well as several attractive business opportunities, the M&A market will gradually pick up again.

However, we expect a change in the structure of transactions, as selling price values and earnouts will become increasingly common. It is still not certain what role the effects of COVID-19 will play in lenders’ and investors’ analyses. They will possibly be more careful in selecting transactions, but, to date, these partners have been very flexible in order to support entrepreneurs, despite the context.

As mergers and acquisitions gain momentum, investors and lenders will continue to focus on companies with strong management teams and a proven business model operating in growth sectors. Entrepreneurs will therefore have to demonstrate how well the company and the management team navigated through the crisis, mainly in terms of agility, flexibility, cost control and loyalty.

On the other hand, an entrepreneur who decides to sell today must approach this step with a certain open-mindedness. Valuations will be under pressure, since we are seeing a decrease in the available leverage in transaction structures, which will require much more operational and financial creativity.

We remain optimistic about long-term transaction volumes. With the pandemic stabilizing, many buyers will be ready to do business: there is still a lot of capital available in the market. However, it is important for an entrepreneur to avoid making hasty operating decisions that would maximize short-term profits and transaction value at the expense of long-term value creation.

Please view our webinar for more information on the return of M&A and financing.