TAG HR SEEMA ARORA’S SECRET SAUCE TO STAFFING SUCCESS p. 10
THE TALENT EDITION
WINNING THE TALENT GAME Ottawa’s opportunity to develop, attract, and retain the best Left to right: From left to right Henry Akanko, Marjolaine Hudon, and James Baker
SECURING TOP TALENT
Business opportunities abound in the city
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TOP TECH TALENT
VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA
PM 4313 6012
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF FALL 2019
MEANS BUSINESS There are so many ways DYMON can help you run your business more efficiently.
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With a mailing address at DYMON, your mail is safe and secure with us. Your mailing address at DYMON includes a true street address, meaning couriers can deliver to you. We’ll gladly accept your packages for you. With our 24/7 access, pick up your mail and packages at a time convenient to you. SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES
Store your important documents and smaller valuables with DYMON. Our over-sized deposit boxes can also securely store items such as back-up tapes and other electronic storage. Highly secure facial recognition access plus 24/7 security keeps your valuables safe. Best of all - no waiting list!
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COVE R: KEVI N BEL ANGER
Tackling the Talent Gap
Attracting and Retaining Top Tech Talent in Canada’s Capital
Local Tech Attracts Top Talent to Kanata North
BY N ATA L I E M ACA RTH UR
BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
BY J ENNI F ER C A MPBELL T hank you to the NAC for a l l owi ng us to use their space for our photoshoot
TH E BUS I N E S S M AG A Z I N E OF TH E OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E | FA L L 201 9 C A P I TA L 3
IN EVERY ISSUE
Capital Context Relationships—Secret Sauce to Staffing Success
C-Suite View Securing Talent in Ottawa’s Thriving Economy Challenging, But Rewarding
The OBOT Perspective
BY S EEMA AURO RA
BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
8 From the Publisher
On the Cover
TAG HR SEEMA ARORA’S SECRET SAUCE TO STAFFING SUCCESS p. 10
THE TALENT EDITION
WINNING THE TALENT GAME
Ottawa’s opportunity to develop, attract, and retain the best Left to right: From left to right Henry Akanko, Marjolaine Hudon, and James Baker
4 C A P ITAL FAL L 2019 | T HE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TOP TECH TALENT
VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF PM 43136012
SECURING TOP TALENT
Business opportunities abound in the city
POWER UP HR
People are your biggest asset. Unleash their potential. January 22-24, 2020, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
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THE OBOT PERSPECTIVE
Creating a Game Plan for Talent
To this end, we have several areas of focus that our volunteer/staff team work on including the Capital Build Task Force, Economic Growth Committee, Small Business Council and Council for Gender Equality, to name a few. However, there is one issue that continues to rise to the forefront of every conversation we have about the success of our businesses and the future of our economy. The top thing on the minds our chief executives and business owners in every sector is talent. Talent in the broadest sense; access to skilled people, who are dedicated, entrepreneurial and healthy. People who take their work seriously, have interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Many of our business leaders have created thoughtful and innovative ways to attract and retain the best talent. We applaud their ingenuity and thank them for leading the way. We also, believe that if we are going to win the war for talent, Ottawa’s greatest competitive advantage is to work together. What a surprise, right?
Meanwhile, we wish to express appreciation for our local businesses who are dedicated to their own success, to their employees and to Ottawa. Thank you to the members of the Ottawa Board of Trade for your support and trust as we strive to excel in our role as the key business advocate for Ottawa and catalyst for positive change. Ottawa has so much to offer—let’s share that story! #myottawa Yours truly, Sueling Ching, President and CEO Ottawa Board of Trade
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ISABELLE BOUCHARD, ABELLE PO RTR AITS
THE OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE mission is to create prosperity by cultivating business and community growth through advocacy, economic development and leadership. We deliver on this mission by focusing on three main pillars: • Building Business through benefits, connections, dialogue, education and fun; • Creating Prosperity through city building, competitive policy making and innovative initiatives and; • Growing Opportunities by promoting Ottawa as a global iconic city led by a thriving business community.
Although many companies are competing for talent with other Ottawa based businesses, there is a case to be made for local leaders to work together to create a long term, sustainable strategy for Ottawa to attract, retain and develop the best in the market and grow our collective labour pool. The Ottawa Board of Trade is committed to working with our businesses and economic stakeholders to create a community game plan that will address our talent issue and secure our future prosperity. This year, we published an insights report called, “Skilled Labour Shortages and Internationally Trained Talent.” We also launched the Talent Committee, a group of dedicated members, that will design a talent strategy to bring direct and sustainable benefit to our business community. We hosted our inaugural Talent Summit which brought together over 100 business and community leaders to discuss how Ottawa can become a leader for building a productive workforce. Stay tuned for the next steps in our talent game plan, as we look for ways to: • Work with businesses to become expert recruiters, trainers and stewards of our future workforce, • Engage and lead on community wide strategies that support every size and sector of business, recognizing the needs may vary, • Promote Ottawa as the best place to enjoy a thriving quality of life and take advantage of many professional opportunities.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
The magazine about doing business in Ottawa, created by the Ottawa Board of Trade in partnership with gordongroup.
Attracting the brightest and best
OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE 328 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9 Phone: 613-236-3631 www.ottawabot.ca President & CEO – Interim Sueling Ching
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain
WE’RE CELEBRATING THE SUCCESSFUL 10TH EDITION OF CAPITAL! This publishing
Robert Chitty, President gordongroup
Managing Editor Terry McMillan Contributors Jeff Buckstein Jennifer Campbell Natalie MacArthur
Alje Kamminga Seema Aurora
Creative Director Andrew Lannan Art Director Jim Muir SALES For advertising rates and information, please contact: Director of Advertising Sales Stephan Pigeon Phone: 613-234-8468 / 250 email@example.com
OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE Director, Stakeholder Relations & Strategic Initiatives, Ottawa Board of Trade Chantal Calderone Phone: 613-236-3631 / 120 firstname.lastname@example.org www.capitalmag.ca
ISSN 2371-333X. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the contents without prior written authorization from the publisher is strictly prohibited. PM 43136012. Capital is published three times a year: winter, spring, and fall. Printed in Canada.
MAR K HO LLERON
enterprise continues to be met with strong support from a readership in the NCR who recognize the extraordinary value the Ottawa Board of Trade is delivering to its membership as well as the wider community. With the launch three years ago of the inaugural edition we’ve been witness to a flow of content about people in the region’s dynamic business sector. CAPITAL is about leadership and the people who are doing remarkable things that contribute to making Ottawa the great city that it is. This edition puts the lens on the challenges faced by organizations as they manage the process of attracting the brightest and best and hiring them into core roles. The competitive nature that is evident when hiring trailblazers requires an
investment and careful consideration to ensure proper alignment and winning outcomes. The people profiled in this issue of CAPITAL have provided insight and best practices around making the right decisions to meet these challenges. The axiom, the sum is greater then its parts resonates more now then ever given our fast moving, transformative workplaces. The strength of the team is about removing gaps and effectively driving the business forward through capacity building and collaboration. I want to extend a huge thank you to all those who continue to support CAPITAL, especially among our roster of leading business people who have endorsed the pages of this magazine with their advertisements. Moreover, thanks must also go in a big way to the many people who have willingly come forward and shared their unique points of view and thought leadership within the editorial pages here in this 10th edition of Capital.
PUBLISHER gordongroup 55 Murray Street / Suite 108 Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5M3 Phone: 613-234-8468 email@example.com
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Ottawa Commercial Real Estate
Commercial Leasing and Property Management Finding the right space for your business
Relationships—Secret Sauce to Staffing Success AS THE NATION’S CAPITAL CONTINUES TO BE THE ULTIMATE destination to
jumpstart any career, one staffing agency is paving the way for customer service— by valuing their employees. “The best lesson I ever learned is that everyone should surround themselves with positive and supportive people. We spend more time with our team than we do with our families, so we’ve created a constructive and supportive environment that gives us a comfortable and professional space to use to challenge each other and grow. Every week we offer gift
card incentives for most interviews and confirmed contracts. It’s a celebration of our team, not a competition. Our management, including myself, maintains an ‘open-door’ policy that let’s our staff know that we want their ideas. We take every opportunity to learn from each other,” explains Seema Aurora, President and CEO of the Ottawa based staffing firm, TAG HR. Born in Budapest, Hungary to diplomats of the Indian Foreign Service, Seema lived a life of constant motion as she grew up travelling from country to country, “I spent my whole life
learning to adapt to new people and places. It taught me to never dwell on the past. I always forge ahead because something great is often right around the corner,” says Seema. After graduating from Seneca College in Toronto, she moved to Ottawa to begin her professional journey. Unfortunately, due to the hiring freeze at the time, she was left with few options, until she heard about the staffing industry, “I jumped right in as a candidate, taking whatever job people offered me, at any time. It was a habit of mine to wake up at 6 am every morning in case I got a call to go anywhere. She
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was often asked ‘How do you it? You never even asked for a price!’ Money was never my initial goal, it was the experience and networks I created along the way,” details Seema. Aurora’s adaptable entrepreneurial spirit invited many job offers and Seema accepted one such offer from a leading international staffing agency. Seema went on to become the youngest branch and area manager in the company’s history in just eight short years. In 1990, Seema decided to venture out on her own and joined in a small start up, within the year, she had assumed ownership of
KE VIN BEL ANGER
BY S E E M A AUROR A
“We always sit down with candidates and clients and make sure we fully understand what they’re looking for. The best way to connect with anyone is to listen.”
the company and thus her journey with TAG HR began. Today, the company has more than 40 employees and a database of 100,000 candidates at their disposal. With ongoing projects from Vancouver to Halifax, the company works nationally with a variety of public and private clients. The company is a leading supplier to the federal government in temporary staff and is the go to HR partner to many private firms. As a recipient of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in 2016 Seema understands the difficulties a lot of individuals face, “I’m proud of the fact that
my team is so diverse and multifaceted. It’s not a matter of age, gender, culture, or appearance; it’s about what skills and talents you can bring to the table. Most of our senior and management staff are women with various backgrounds.” “We thrive by evolving alongside our clients and candidates. My team and I always have our ears to the ground for the latest industry trends, skill sets, and standards. Work environments have changed so much from when our company started. People are only staying in jobs for two to three years at a time and are constantly moving
around. The reality is, there are more open positions than people to fill them,” Seema points out. Statistics Canada reported unemployment rates at an alltime low of 5.5 per cent in September of 2019 and more positions are being created each day. The pool of available talent continues to dwindle as more options for lucrative and stimulating work have made it difficult for organizations to retain capable personnel. Salary demands and benefit costs continue to climb as the market for skilled workers continues to tighten. It’s because of this substantial change that many
public and private sector companies are turning to staffing firms throughout Canada. TAG HR has successfully made a name for itself within Ontario through not only this influx of clients, but because of their hands-on approach. “We always sit down with candidates and clients and make sure we fully understand what they’re looking for. The best way to connect with anyone is to listen. If you listen to people, they listen to you—it’s all about mutual respect. What soft skills is the client looking for? Can this candidate adapt to a bigger
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team? What are the objectives and goals? Those are just a few of the factors we look at. We’ve worked with companies and professionals at all stages in a life cycle, so we have an understanding of what they’re going through,” stresses Seema. Millennials have played a big part in influencing today’s office fashion as well as the way most people do business. The ability to sell oneself to a potential employer has always been an asset for any generation, and with the advent of technology people have more avenues to promote themselves than ever before. Recruitment outreach has benefited greatly from the Internet age.
Seema believes that millennials and technology have a lot to offer, “Technology is a tool that will enhance your experience, not replace it. Face-to-face connections are irreplaceable; I think that’s why some mature organizations are hesitant about millennials. What they see, like every previous generation, is a group of people moving to replace them and creating a medium that may make some jobs obsolete. But this isn’t the case, we can learn from millennials. Nothing lasts forever, and knowing that, is the true path to success. Everyone should have a ‘Millennial Mentor’—someone that can bridge the gap of misunderstanding and fear of a new
generation. We have this wonderful resource of job seekers who aren’t afraid of technology or change and know how to use it to their advantage.” Experience is always an asset in any industry. In fact, a lot of experts in various industries become consultants for staffing firms once they retire. Many of TAG HR’s candidate database are recently retired experts who work for them on a contract basis, “In most cases, consultants will complete the job in half the time with half the resources. It saves our clients money and time,” adds Seema. Even though they’ve always had a solid footing in Toronto, TAG HR is looking
INCREASE YOUR PROFITS WITH SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR PEOPLE LEADERS WHAT WE DO •Talent Engagement •Performance Management •HR Fundamentals, Policies, Processes •Coaching & Training NEW BOOK AVAILABLE NOW! Over the course of the book, Larocque-Patton’s straightforward prose style offers easy reading and clear authority. Along the way, she insightfully urges readers to remember that employees are also customers and ambassadors, so treating them conscientiously will not only benefit them, but also one’s business, in multiple ways. Contact us today for all your HR needs
to strengthen their connections in the economic powerhouse that exists in the city, “The majority of our network is in the Eastern Coast, primarily in Ottawa and Toronto, so the addition just makes sense. Our motto is to always try to extend beyond the comfort zone and challenge ourselves, because we know it can open so many doors for us. We work hard for our staffing partners—and that’s the simple truth.” Contact TAG HR today to find out how they can help you discover your next dream job or professional addition: taghr.com/index.php/contact. Seema Aurora President and CEO, TAG HR
Left to right; Raymundo Patino, Holiday Inn General Manager, Dimitri Jean-Paul, Deborah Hunter, Executive Housekeeper, and Graziella Forbes PPRC.
FINDING AN INCLUSIVE MATCH D
IMITRI JEAN-PAUL IS A GOOD NATURED, BRIGHT YOUNG MAN with ambition and a desire
to work. The only challenge is his hearing loss. Finding employment is not easy when the world does not know how to communicate with you. Dimitri is not complacent, he knew what he wanted, and he set out to find a service provider that would assist him in finding employment. He selected Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. (PPRC) and began working with Rehabilitation Consultant Graziella Forbes. Graziella worked with Dimitri and the PPRC Team of Job Developers and they found a willing employer in the Holiday Inn Ottawa East. Graziella met with Debbie Baker the Human Resources Manager and she needed workers. The service industry is fluid and needs good employees. Debbie saw an opportunity and together they decided that the Holiday Inn would be a great match for Dimitri. In February 2019, Dimitri started in the laundry and met his new work peers. Everyone was very receptive and positive. Dimitri’s direct supervisor, Executive Housekeeper Deborah Hunter, worked with Dimitri to find ways to communicate and ensure he was trained in the job tasks. PPRC provided Job Coaches and hired interpreters from Sign Language Interpreting Associates Ottawa Inc. (SLIAO) to work with Dimitri and the Holiday Inn while he was training. Seven months later, “Dimitri is a model employee, he works hard, he is dependable
and he goes above and beyond to learn the job and excel” says, Deborah Hunter his direct supervisor. Debbie Baker concurs, “Dimitri is always positive and as a result of working with him we have hired a second person with a hearing loss. He has taught us to be more open in looking for talent.” “The support from PPRC and the Disability Awareness and Etiquette Training that the staff received was instrumental” continues Debbie, “it created an environment where everyone was able to understand and work as a team.” Dimitri for his part is very happy at his work, he is working full time hours which allows him to have more independence and be able to buy things he wants. He loves the people and working in a team. “The team is very open to me; we work well together. I like the physical work and getting to go out to the floors. People here have learned some basic sign language which is fun and tells me I am included.” But Dimitri stresses that not all deaf people get this outcome. Finding work was hard, “through the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) I found PPRC, they worked with me, I was part of the team. PPRC provided great service and support.” When I spoke to the Holiday Inn General Manager, Raymundo Patino, he explained that at first the idea was scary and they were not sure how working with a person who was deaf would turnout. He says
it has proven wonderful. “As an employer you worry, how will we communicate, how will the staff react, can this really work?” That is where PPRC came in, “PPRC provided us with the tools we needed to work with Dimitri, the supports they provided were great. Best of all it translates into how we work with potential clients who may have a disability, having the training makes a difference.” “One thing I have learned is that we need to explore more, expect the best and be open to new ideas.” Says Raymundo, “This has been a positive experience for us.” “The key to being successful for a Rehabilitation Consultant is preparing your client for job search and then finding a good match for their interests,” says Graziella. “You need an employer who is open to inclusion and diversity. You need someone who is willing to grow with the client and work together to provide a successful work environment not only for the client but also for the existing employees. With Dimitri we found that employer in the Holiday Inn Ottawa East. A successful match is always rewarding.” PPRC is a trusted partner providing employment services to persons with disabilities and at no cost to employers, we help you hire suitable candidates. We navigate the world of inclusivity and accommodation with you. Looking to hire? Contact us at www.pprc.ca or call 613-748-3220 for more information.
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Success is just a tap away tap into your talent and potential
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UCCESS RARELY HAPPENS BY ACCIDENT—it requires a
carefully crafted mix of strategy and talent management. Those who already achieved success understand— they have a well-thought-out vision and strategy, a meaningful plan for achieving results, and they effectively manage an engaged workforce. However, not all organizations have the necessary resources, time or knowledge to deliver on these…in comes tap Strategy & HR Consulting. As a boutique-style consulting firm, tap Strategy & HR Consulting offers a wide range of customized and cost-effective strategic business management and HR services and solutions that deliver on business needs, and they have the experience and know-how to do it right. tap Strategy has a wide-spread and well-earned reputation for delivering high quality solutions, on time and on budget.
“The ‘tap’ in tap Strategy stands for ‘talent & potential,’” says Terri Harrison, tap Strategy’s co-founder and vice-president. “We are absolutely serious when we talk about enabling organizations to tap into their talent and potential by tapping into our expertise. We believe, and we’ve proven time again that an organization’s success depends on its ability to tap into its talent. Only then can they fully realize the potential of both their employees and the organization itself.” “The quality of tap Strategy’s work, and the added value it constantly delivers, is based on our four pillars of services: strategic planning, end-to-end HR, coaching, and our national HR guidance hotline,” says Bruce Weippert, tap Strategy’s president and co-founder. “With these, our clients receive an integrated approach to business management and HR strategy that works.” So who does tap Strategy ‘tap’ into for its success? “Our team of skilled professionals,”
says Harrison. “Each is an expert in their field. And, everyone of them knows that it’s not just what they do that matters but how they do it. Knowing what to do and how to do it has allowed us to deliver high quality, innovative solutions for our clients,” says Weippert. “Clients like to work with us because we offer a well-rounded approach, one that considers their industry, unique culture and vision. Typically, they have a wide range of needs. And just as typically, we have the expertise within our organization to meet those needs.” Not surprisingly, meeting the needs of its existing clients has enabled tap Strategy to grow. “Our continued success is due to the trusting relationships we’ve built with our clients,” says Weippert. “We take particular pride in the fact that most of our new clients have been referred to us by existing clients. These new clients hear about the quality of our work and want to experience the added value that comes from partnering with us.”
“While our focus will always be on making sure our clients receive solutions tailored to their specific needs, we stay keenly aware of new ideas and best practices,” says Harrison. “And, we always rely on tap Strategy’s tried and tested processes and practices and our team of innovators to deliver the right solutions for our clients.” For tap Strategy & HR Consulting, it’s not about getting bigger; it’s about delivering services and products that meet their clients’ needs. It’s especially focused on increasing awareness of its coaching pillar, training, facilitation of workshops, as well as provision of products such as policies, employment agreements and HR program tools. It’s tap Strategy’s expertise in these areas that organizations want to tap into. tap into your talent and potential by tapping www.tapstrategyandhr.com.
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Three Ottawa organizations talk about the employment challenges they face and how they’re addressing them
BY JENNIFER C A MPBELL
Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President for Royal Bank of Canada
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RBC’s approach The gap between students’ qualifications and the jobs available worries Marjolaine Hudon, regional president for the Royal Bank of Canada. After studying the problem, RBC committed $500 million over the next 10 years to run its RBC Future Launch program that will address these challenges head-on. One initiative—Career Launch—gives recent university graduates six months of work in an RBC branch and three more months with a not-for-profit organization, during which time RBC pays their salary. “The not-for-profits benefit and the young person gains as well,” Hudon says. After that, they return to RBC for three more months’ worth of work experience in a more specialized area of banking. RBC also runs a program for Olympians, allowing them to train and work for RBC at the same time, with flexible hours to fit their training schedule. “We work with Michael Tayler, who is an Olympic kayaker from Ottawa,” Hudon says. “When he retires from his Olympic career, he will have gained work experience that will help him transition.” Tayler is thankful for that. “For athletes, retirement from sport and the transition to a career can be a major challenge,” Tayler says. “RBC’s Olympians Program has helped me prepare for a career while I’m still competing.” In Ottawa, RBC has spent $1 million on skills development for youth. Its employees volunteer their time to deliver hands-on workshops on personal branding, resumé building and networking through community organizations.
KE VIN BEL ANGER
TACKLING THE TALENT GAP
“Canada, we have a problem.” So says David McKay, president and CEO of Royal Bank of Canada in a report titled Humans Wanted. He’s writing about the fact that the next generation is entering the workforce at a time of rapid change in Canada and the young people who will inherit the challenge of dealing with the change aren’t ready for it. “Too many have been trained for jobs that may go away, rather than [being] equipped with skills that will be ever more valuable,” he writes. To see how Ottawa’s tackling this challenge, we spoke with three professionals from the front line: One who knows she needs talented young people now, one who hunts talent for a living and a third who has a clever way to fill some of the gaps.
Maybe it’s time for Talent Ottawa James Baker and his wife, Donna, launched Keynote Group Executive Search and Recruitment four years ago after discovering that Canada had a “broken recruitment industry.” For each position, their team will talk to between 200 and 250 candidates, after which they’ll interview between 40 and 50 again and then re-interview the top 15. They then whittle that number down to a shortlist for the client. Keynote also uses artificial intelligence as a way to stimulate business. For example, Baker uses it for predictive modelling, to determine turnover within an organization. “A senior leader lasts between five and seven years so I can anticipate that change,” Baker says. “Anything we can do to anticipate change is helpful. Every talent challenge we have, from recruiting to onboarding, starts with a conversation. If we can use AI to facilitate the legwork, we can spend more time speaking face-to-face.” A member of the board of the Ottawa Board of Trade, Baker is well aware that talent is one of the top concerns of Ottawa businesses, as borne out in a recent business survey. He thinks the city has to take the talent problem more seriously.
KE VIN BEL ANGER
“Anything we can do to anticipate change is helpful. Every talent challenge we have, from recruiting to onboarding, starts with a conversation.” “I’d like to see the city bring all of the key stakeholders together on the talent agenda,” he says. “Talent Ottawa might be a good way to describe it, in the same way we have Invest Ottawa and Tourism. Maybe we should try an umbrella organization or at least a think-tank of some description, where the key stakeholders from the city—large corporations, post-secondary institutions and those from the Employment Ontario side—come together and look at how we address this problem.” He said the recent Talent Summit, an initiative from Board of Trade’s talent committee, on which he serves, was a first step towards that idea.
James Baker, Keynote Group Executive Search and Recruitment
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Immigrants can address some of the talent gap Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s name boldly describes its mandate, which is to promote the integration of immigrants into the labour market. “We support employers to adapt and create opportunities for immigrants and we work closely with our agency partners who provide support to immigrants,” says Henry Akanko, director of Hire Immigrants Ottawa. The organization came about following two years of research on why Ottawa had persistent underemployment of highly skilled individuals when businesses were signalling an impending skills shortage. The research revealed a disconnect between the demand for talent and the supply. He said the organization’s goals are still a work in progress, but he has seen a shift in attitudes of employers. “One of the things we’ve been able to do over the last three years with the Ottawa Board of Trade was looking at business perceptions about immigration as a source of talent,” he says. “The numbers for those who have never hired an immigrant are high, but we’ve seen modest gains in the perception of the importance of hiring skilled immigrants for their own businesses, from a low of 43 per cent in 2017 to 53 per cent in 2019. But when asked how important immigrants are as a source of growth for the overall economy, the number is 83. So there’s a gap, but the increase to 53 per cent shows us our work is getting some traction.”
“We support employers to adapt and create opportunities for immigrants and we work closely with our agency partners who provide supports to immigrants.”
Jennifer Campbell is an Ottawa writer and editor. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines and is currently the editor of Diplomat magazine.
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K EVIN BE L ANGE R
He said there’s ongoing awareness of the importance of immigration to labour-market growth. For some businesses, he says, the challenge isn’t in attracting talent but in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. To assist with that, Hire Immigrants Ottawa provides training programs on cultural competencies and inclusiveness, among others. He said SMEs tend to recruit through their networks and often immigrants aren’t on the radar. “So we have programs that help these people connect to that talent pool,” Akanko says. Henry Akanko, Director of Hire Immigrants Ottawa
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
Talent Labour Market Information BUSINESS COUNTS by sector 2018
99,648 Businesses in 2018
Participation Rate (%)
Employment Rate (%)
All sectors Technology Aerospace Professional Services
Data source: EMSI 2019.3 dataset - Canadian Business Patterns, December 2018
BUSINESS COUNTS by sector 2019
102,452 Businesses in 2019
Professional, scientific and technical services (NAICS 541) Data source: ONE HUB - Canadian Business Patterns, June 2019
LABOUR FORCE STATUS 2014-2019 Five Year Comparison
Drop in unemployment rate in the last five years
Labour Force Stats
Population1 (x1,000) Unemployment Rate (%)
Data source: Statistics Data Table: 14-10-0294-01 1
population age 15 and over
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by population group (2011 and 2016 Census) Population groups
Persons with Disabilities2
Youth Under 29 Older 55 and over Data source: Community Labour Market Plan, Ottawa Employment Hub 2
Number of persons with disabilities able to work in Ottawa doubles in the last five years
Canadian Survey on Disabilities - survey 2012 and 2017, among age 15-64 years old, custom ordered data
NUMBER OF JOBS by sector 2013-2018
Growth in the technology sector in the last five years
LMI POWERE D BY THE OT TAWA EM PLOYM ENT HUB
Data source: EMSI 2019.3 dataset
by sector in the last 12 months (2018 Oct-2019 Sept) Sector
All sectors Technology Aerospace Professional Services
12 month job posting #
Strong technology and professional services sectors
Data source: Vicinity Jobs
TH E BUS I N E S S M AG A Z I N E OF TH E OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E | FA L L 2 01 9 C A P I TA L 2 1
ENERGIZED WORKPLACE IS AN INVITING WORKPLACE S A SMALLER COMPANY, in a government town, you might think Hydro Ottawa would be at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for talent. So why then, you might ask, is Hydro Ottawa consistently recognized as one of the top employers in the National Capital Region? Lyne Parent-Garvey, Hydro Ottawa’s Chief Human Resources Officer, knows why. “Hydro Ottawa offers potential and existing employees a great work experience, one in which every employee is encouraged, recognized and rewarded,” she says. Here are just 10 examples (and there are more, says Lyne) of why Hydro Ottawa has become the go-to company for employees ready to make a positive difference, personally and professionally. • Good things come in small packages. At Hydro Ottawa, being smaller means every employee knows what they do makes a difference. And every employee will see— quickly—what that difference is. • Innovation finds a home. Employees in any company are naturally expected to do a good job. At Hydro Ottawa, our employees are encouraged to be innovative, to constantly seek new ways to improve the customer experience, be it through new technology or enhanced service offerings. • We give where we live. Our United Way Ottawa workplace campaigns have raised more than $2.4 million. And, through
our ‘Paperless Hero’ campaigns, we’ve donated over $400,000 to the CHEO Foundation. Also, employees get one paid day off every year to volunteer in the community. Safety first, safety by choice. Every working day, half of Hydro Ottawa’s workforce finds itself working in dangerous situations. In response, we have a robust safety program, provide safe work practices training consistent with industry best practices and promote employee health and wellness. Green means go for the environment. Our new facilities are built to LEED Gold standards, our waste diversion rate is over 90 per cent year over year, we have solar panels that offset our energy consumption and we generate clean green power for Ontario. These are some of the reasons Hydro Ottawa has been recognized as a ‘green’ employer for eight years. A focus on diversity. We believe diversity and inclusion is about recognizing, respecting and valuing differences. We’ve been recognized as one of the best diversity employers in Canada, in large part because we know that diverse backgrounds and perspectives means enhanced innovation and performance. Through our Diversity and Inclusion Plan employees get the tools and support they need to build an even more diverse and inclusive culture and workplace.
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Recognizing employee achievements. Honouring exceptional performance and outstanding achievements is rewarding and inspiring. At Hydro Ottawa, we celebrate our employees’ work everyday and with awards for living our values of teamwork, integrity, excellence and service. Recipients are formally recognized at our annual Employee Forum and Recognition Event. An environment that works. Every Hydro Ottawa employee has a laptop so they can work where they want. In the cafeteria or at touchdown stations, wherever they feel most productive. Our open concept includes collaboration spaces as well as quiet rooms for those who want, well, quiet. We’re a values-based company. Strong feedback mechanisms ensure that Hydro Ottawa and its employees are always on the same page, sharing and respecting different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. Our CEO meets with employees once a month while ad-hoc surveys and focus groups keep everyone on the right path. Competitive compensation. Yes, you may earn more in other organizations, but Hydro Ottawa is more than competitive when it comes to offering a defined benefit pension, benefits, paid leave and stability of employment. The real difference is the one you’ll make every day working for an innovative and dynamic company like Hydro Ottawa.
1 Employees being recognized at our annual
3 Safety is, and will always remain, Hydro Ottawa’s
2 New technology and advanced service offerings
4 Solar panels offset our energy consumption and
Employee Forum and Recognition Event
number one priority
generate clean green power
5 A work environment that works 6 Hydro Ottawa employees rolled up their sleeves for Habitat for Humanity
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Robert Rhéaume, Partner, BDO Canada LLP
Rima Aristocrat, President and CEO, Willis College
Ross Meredith, General Manager, The Westin Ottawa
Securing Talent in Ottawa’s Thriving Economy Challenging, But Rewarding
SECURING TOP TALENT in an Ottawa economy that is firing on all cylinders presents challenges to local employers, but stiff competition for the best and the brightest talent from both government and the private sector yields benefits. For example, many employers that haven’t traditionally been involved in the same search for professional talent as the accounting firms are seeking, now are, says Robert Rhéaume, a partner with BDO Canada LLP in Ottawa. But that is good news for the Ottawa business community overall because “a lot of very vibrant new companies and industries are looking for top
talent, and are offering some very good positions with bright futures,” he explains. “We spend a lot of time striving to be the hospitality employer of choice,” says Ross Meredith, general manager of The Westin Ottawa, part of the Marriott International hotel chain. “We firmly believe that if we can create the right environment to work in that we are going to be able to recruit and attract employees easier and retain them longer.” Knowing that members of the millennial generation, for instance, want to feel that they are making a difference on the job, Westin Ottawa’s
management team actively solicits and welcomes their feedback and input into how it can deliver a better guest and associate experience every day. “We stress that everyone contributes to the hotel’s overall success,” says Meredith. “We have very specific values, beliefs and actions that we expect of our leaders, and we incorporate this into talent recruitment,” says Rhéaume, who notes that BDO is more than just an accounting and taxation firm. “We offer HR services. We offer consultation services. We have people that do mergers & acquisitions and people that do business valuations. We offer
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a large selection of services. That creates opportunities, because different individuals will want to do different things with their career. “We want to provide an environment where employees have the ability to succeed both professionally and in their personal lives,” says Rhéaume, adding that contemporary employees are also factoring work-life blend opportunities into the decision about where they want to work. To attract and retain top talent, BDO offers employees the flexibility to sometimes work from home, as well as flexible work hours to accommodate, for instance, the needs of parenting a young family.
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BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
PHOTO CR EDIT TK
“A lot of very vibrant new companies and industries are looking for top talent, and are offering some very good positions with bright futures.” BDO also offers the incentive of overseas opportunities. “If somebody wanted to work in France or Germany or in the U.K. for example, we have a program that allows our personnel to work in different areas throughout the world within the BDO network,” says Rhéaume. Another key talent attraction is that BDO has, on average, only five to six employees per partner. This provides opportunities for closer mentorship, explains Rhéaume. Westin Ottawa has used several strategies in the current recruiting environment, including offering flexible work hours, making jobs attractive to people from non-hospitality backgrounds, and providing first-employment opportunities to underprivileged individuals aged 30 and under through involvement in The Prince’s Trust charitable organization. Westin Ottawa is in constant touch with local universities and colleges in search of the best talent available, particularly
students in the hospitality program at Algonquin College. “We’re trying to recruit them for part-time work while they’re going to school. Then on the completion of their schooling, there may be a different opportunity for them in a leadership role to kick-start their career,” says Meredith. Rima Aristocrat, president and chief executive officer of Willis College, is on the front lines of training and equipping students with the skills needed for Ottawa to thrive in global competition. Students at the adult learning institution, many of whom are already well credentialed professionals, focus on gaining practical experience. “Willis College works very closely with our industry partners to ensure our curriculum is ahead of the curve,” says Aristocrat, who stresses that academic collaboration with industry is the wave of the future. “Today, given the current crisis of skills gaps, it demands that we are more innovative and targeted by using a private/public/industry learning partnership. Willis College, the University of Ottawa, and MindBridge have partnered up to address the skills gaps that are necessary to grow successful Canadian companies,” she elaborates.
Aristocrat is also the founder of the Willis Cyber Security Academy, which trains students to gain expertise with cyber security issues, including cyber security defence, which is a critical element of business today. She is particularly proud that since this program was introduced in 2013 more women have been encouraged to join. As an added incentive, the Academy has established an annual ‘Women in Technology’ scholarship worth $24,000. Willis College also has a strong business program, employing what they refer to as a ‘Lion’s Den’ approach. This is similar to the format on the TV show ‘Dragon’s Den,’ under which students develop and pitch a business plan. Industry leaders assess that work and offer constructive criticism. “Some of our graduates have made use of the ‘Lion’s Den’ business plans and opened some very successful businesses already,” says Aristocrat. Business opportunities abound in the city. Westin Ottawa offers various careers. In addition to positions that interact directly with guests, fields that include sales, marketing, event management, accounting, engineering, security and human recourses are other important sides of the business, notes Meredith.
Professionals with BDO acquire in-depth knowledge, through technologically advanced training focused on digital transformation, about many different businesses in many different industries. “We provide our people with the skills and competencies they need to grow and succeed now and in the future. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and it is important that training stays up to date,” Rhéaume emphasizes. Rapidly changing technology is playing a role in improving the guest’s experience at Westin Ottawa, “but at the end of the day, it’s still the people in the building that execute on those requests that are the key drivers for change. I truly believe we have one of the best hotel teams in Canada and therefore are able to exceed our guest experience expectations,” says Meredith. He notes that Westin Ottawa opened in 1983, and still has about 20 original employees on staff. “It’s a great story. So many people have joined our organization over the years and enjoyed prosperous careers, raising wonderful children who have gone on to become contributors to the community. “So now there is the next generation of associates we want to hire,” Meredith says.
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NAV CANADA SEEKS TO PROVIDE THE
BEST EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
AV CANADA IS FOCUSED ON RECRUITING AND RETAINING QUALITY EMPLOYEES in the
National Capital Region and across Canada for a competitive 21st century work environment. “We try to provide the best candidate experience when candidates are thinking of joining NAV CANADA. And once they’re here, we do our best to provide them with the best employee experience,” says Lyne Wilson, Assistant Vice-President of talent management for the private company responsible for managing 18 million square kilometres of Canadian and related oceanic airspace. NAV CANADA’s 5,200 employees provide critical air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services, and electronic aids to navigation. For air traffic controllers, which comprise about 2,000 positions, decision making and problem solving skills are paramount. Also important: resiliency, adaptability, the ability to receive feedback including constructive criticism, and the ability to perform well in stressful simulations in preparation for a real emergency involving human lives. When searching for leadership talent across Canada, NAV CANADA seeks employees who demonstrate leadership capabilities. The company has developed a leader success profile that identifies various capabilities they expect
will define future leadership and succession, says Raymond Bohn, the firm’s Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Communications & Public Affairs. This profile assesses eight capabilities, including: the ability to lead and inspire others; execute results; influence stakeholders; collaborate and create synergies through working partnerships; set directional strategy; business judgment; ability to innovate; and the ability to build talent. NAV CANADA also conducts an annual two-day CEO leadership forum with its managers, with one day devoted to organizational leadership, and the second to personal leadership. “It gives them the opportunity to reflect on who they are as leaders along with their values and what their leadership purpose is,” says Bohn. Key NAV CANADA values include respect, excellence, customer service, and diversity & inclusion. Furthermore, “the people in our organization take our safety mandate very seriously in terms of all of the work that they do,” stresses Bohn. The company also devotes time to heralding its employees. There is an annual recognition program called the ‘Points of Pride’ celebration, which recognizes their very best accomplishments. NAV CANADA also offers a strong wellness program to support its emphasis on keeping employees healthy, including
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having an employee wellness coordinator in each of its main centres to provide healthy life coaching and support to employees, Wilson says. More than 500 employees volunteer in various internal, peer support wellness programs to assist other employees in areas that include support and mentoring to employees through critical incident stress management, mental health related issues, and substance use. “Employees really like that opportunity to provide support to others,” says Wilson. NAV CANADA offers free fitness club access in buildings where a club is onsite, and discounts for certain fitness club memberships outside the premises. Employees also participate in various community charitable events, sometimes representing NAV CANADA on company time. “We are essentially a monopoly, so we’re cautious of not spending too much money on marketing our brand,” says Bohn. “But we do a lot within communities. We have donated a total of about $500,000 to a number of different charitable organizations this year.” Recently, NAV CANADA was a recipient of the Sanofi Canada Wellness Pioneer Award. It’s an award that highlights NAV CANADA’s leadership role in the wellness space, particularly their focus on mental health and peer programs.
“We try to provide the best candidate experience when candidates are thinking of joining NAV CANADA. And once they’re here, we do our best to provide them with the best employee experience.”
NAV CANADA head office, 77 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON.
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CARLETON CO-OP PROGRAM DRIVES RECRUITMENT SUCCESS
OSS VIDEO, A LEADING INTERNATIONAL LIVE PRODUCTION COMPANY, with more than 800
employees worldwide in 19 countries, credits much of its local recruiting success to Carleton University’s Co-op program, from whom it has been hiring since 2001, including over 30 student employees in 2019. “We have found students coming from Carleton to be so well prepared for the world of work. They hit the ground running really quickly, and many are extremely productive members of our team right away,” says Ian Durant, human resources business partner for Ross Video’s research and development team. Carleton co-op students seem willing to take the initiative and roll up their sleeves to
put in the hard work needed to get the job done, he adds. Carleton’s program, established in 1988, has expanded substantially, notes Courtney Régimbald, the university’s director of career development and co-operative education. “We’ve been able to grow at about 10 to 15 per cent per year, particularly in the last five to six years. We have over 149 different programs within co-operative education that we oversee and provide opportunities for,” she says. About 3,000 co-op students are hired annually in various professions where employment demand is high, including electrical and software engineering, computer science, and accounting and finance, among others.
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“Students bring fresh ideas. They are eager to contribute. They have the most up-to-date training and education relating to their field and their program. So they’re able to step in for a short or longer period of time to fill the talent pipeline,” Régimbald explains. In addition to possessing strong technical skills, Carleton students must successfully complete a course covering topics such as professional ethics and etiquette, resume writing, and interview preparation. Carleton’s Co-op program includes four, eight, 12 and 16-month terms, depending on a student’s program. Cameron Ward, now a full-time Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) developer at Ross Video, completed both an eight month and a 12-month co-op work term
ROUS SAKIS PHOTO GRAPH Y
From left to right: Ross Video’s Ian Durant, Human Resources Business Partner in Research and Development, and Cathy McCallion, Recruitment Strategy and Community Relations Manager, with Cameron Ward, full-time FPGA Developer and former Carleton co-op student.
with the company before graduating from Carleton University in the spring of 2019. “Having that experience to be able to go in and see what the work environment is like, and work on a team where collaboration and communication is critical, and then go back to school and do more classes allows you to see your education in a different light. That’s important, in my opinion,” he says. Cathy McCallion, Ross Video’s recruitment strategy and community relations manager, says the opportunity to work with Carleton co-op students for longer terms benefits both student and employer. “Our best practice is to hire the students for four-month terms and then extend. I think that is a testament to Carleton as we end up extending so many of their students for two or more terms,” she elaborates.
Furthermore, notes Régimbald, this provides employers with the opportunity to essentially bypass the entire probationary period if they want to pursue hiring the student after graduation because they already know they are getting a credible employee who will work hard and benefit the company. The co-op experience “is a really great way for students to build their future, and we’re happy to be able to support it. We’ve had some fantastic success stories—in particular with our partnership with Ross Video,” says Régimbald. And that feeling is reciprocal. “We value our partnership with Carleton. They really accommodate us and are creative in helping to meet all of our needs,” Durant stresses.
“Students bring fresh ideas. They are eager to contribute. They have the most up-to-date training and education relating to their field and their program.”
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Attracting and Retaining Top Tech Talent in Canada’s Capital Invest Ottawa’s Knowledge Based Industry Talent Strategy BY N ATAL I E MACART HU R
VER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS, Canada’s average annual
gross domestic product has been 3.1 per cent, with a per capita average of 1.9 per cent. This rate was driven primarily by employment growth. However, as Canada’s workforce ages and population growth slows, employment growth will become increasingly constrained. Without significant change to counteract demographic trends, the number of working-age people versus seniors will reduce significantly. Estimates confirm that from 2015 to 2030, the ratio will drop from 4.2 to 2.7.1 This reduction threatens Canadians social safety net, and the economy stands to face significant fiscal strain. This reality is compounded by the fact that knowledge-based industries (KBIs) in Canada have been growing at unprecedented rates. 1
“Attracting the talent Canada needs though immigration,” Advisory Council on Economic Growth, October 20, 2016.
According to the Information and Communication Technology Council, as of 2016, there were 1,220,000 KBI professionals employed in Canada, and that number is rising. Ontario alone will see 88,000 additional technology sector jobs by the end of 2021. The availability of homegrown talent will not suffice and to address this issue, Invest Ottawa took action to deliver a Talent Attraction Program. In January 2019, I joined Invest Ottawa as Director, Talent Attraction and was charged with building an inaugural program that serves as a team extension for the human resource needs of the fast-growing startups and scale-ups in Canada’s Capital. Leveraging critical support from the City of Ottawa and FedDev Ontario, and building directly on Invest Ottawa’s five-year strategic plan, annual operating plan, and diversity, inclusion and belonging objectives, our Talent Pilot Program needed to include multi-year local and international recruitment facets.
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“This Talent Program will support the Nation’s Capital knowledge-based industry with growth and send a signal to others on the global stage in terms of our talent depth and capacity.”
tracking system, interactive software developer assignments and candidate behavioural reports which measures aptitude, motivations and personality. We officially launched the pilot (publicly) in July, and we now have 30 client companies registered in the program. The great on-the-ground work and deployment of national and global sourcing techniques, has led the Talent team to build relationships with over 400 candidates and facilitated many introductions and connections with these firms, leading to 30 quality interview rounds. To further augment our talent management strategies, we have also updated our Work in Ottawa webpage and our team has and will continue to attend, host and sponsor a variety of events. Meet us next at: Elevate (Toronto)—Tech Week Uniting the World’s Innovators— on Sept. 24 and 25: Provincial, national and global tech talent sourcing opportunity. Startup Open House (Ottawa) on November 13, 2019: Helping to promote client firms, and facilitate access to new graduate talent from local post-secondary institutions.
Talent Strategy stakeholder workshop (March 2019) Our journey began by conducting a discovery process with 20 stakeholder groups including post-secondary institutions, KBI organizations, private sector firms, and the City of Ottawa. We then built a meaningful multi-year roadmap designed to help Ottawa firms attract, develop and retain the talent required to compete in the global market. The Talent Attraction Program implementation phase began with the hiring of two Talent Sourcers in April. Our service delivery is a blend of recruitment and marketing best practices with a bespoke technology stack that provides firms with data points that expedite the qualified candidate selection process. It includes, disruptive artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to provide candidate and real-time market data reporting that uncovers trends directly impacting hiring strategies. The team also utilizes an applicant
HackerX events (Ottawa): Raising the visibility of Ottawa as a top global tech hub; helping to promote client firms, and facilitate access to talent. Destination Canada Mobility Forum in (Paris & Brussels) November 2019: Sourcing international talent who could leverage the five-year Visa available; and Canadian Expats. Thank you to the City of Ottawa and FedDev for continued support of our innovation, entrepreneurship and business community. This Talent Program will support the Nation’s Capital knowledge-based industry with growth and send a signal to others on the global stage in terms of our talent depth and capacity. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the creation of world-class career options for future generations, right here in Ottawa—the best place to work, live, learn and play. Natalie MacArthur Director, Talent Strategy at Invest Ottawa.
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“Being a professional denotes legitimacy to the public.”
HR PROFESSIONALS: DRIVING SUCCESS IN MODERN WORKPLACES
N A WORLD OF TRANSFORMATION AND INCREASED COMPLEXITY,
people are an organization’s most valued asset—and their competitive advantage. Never has it been more critical to ensure your organization manages its most precious resource—its people—with Human Resources professionals. “The role requires a person of the highest professional calibre,” says Louise Taylor Green, chief executive officer of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). “And it goes further than just having the education and experience to call oneself an HR professional, it is about practicing HR in a truly professional way. The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is the regulatory association for Human Resources with more than 23,000 registrants in Ontario.
Human Resources is a voluntary regulated profession in Ontario; and while anyone can call themselves a ‘human resources professional,’ without the requisite education, experience and oversight of professional standards that comes with regulation, there is no safeguard nor minimum standard of practice for those entrusted to lead human capital across Ontario. Regulated human resources professionals must have profession-specific knowledge, skills, experience, and exhibit specific behaviour. “For example, regulated HR professionals must abide by HRPA Rules of Professional Conduct and maintain their currency in the profession through minimum mandatory continuing professional development requirements,” Taylor Green explains. The caliber of a profession is measured by the quality of its designations: M.D., P.Eng., CPA, for instance. Human Resources also has
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professional designations conferred by HRPA, the Ontario HR regulator. Since 2014, HRPA has used a competency framework (similar to other professions) to test both the knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge of HR professionals, reflecting the spectrum of expertise including: Entry designation (CHRP), Professional designation (CHRL), and Executive designation (CHRE).
Louise Taylor Green, chief executive officer of the Human Resources Professionals Association
“Being a professional denotes legitimacy to the public. It creates a reasonable expectation that when members of the public, whether workers or employers, interact with an individual or with members of that profession in the broader sense, they can count on truly professional practice achieved through rigorous education, experience and proven professional competence,” says Taylor Green.
Global competition for talent, technology, multigenerational workers and the gig economy continue to offer a solid opportunity for strategic organizations to benefit from HR professionals. “We’re seeing significant changes to how work gets done, and this is often referred to as the ‘future of work’ where automation, such as AI/machine learning, robotic process automation, and simplified processes will
cause HR teams to redesign the nature of jobs and work,” stresses Taylor Green. “HR professionals have the capability to build, sustain and evolve workplaces to meet the changing needs of employers and employees.”
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CAPITAL/Telfer School of Management
PRACTICE-BASED LEARNING FOR THE NEW WORLD OF WORK
HE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA’S TELFER SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT is in the
business of developing the managers of tomorrow. Like many business schools, it finds itself at a time in history in which change is happening so quickly, the School must move just as quickly to adapt. “Given all the changes going on with artificial intelligence and machine learning for example, the question for us is: What does that future organization look like and how will our managers maintain the level of performance they want in these organizations?” says Gregory Richards, Interim Director of the Executive MBA at the Telfer School of Management. It’s a big question, and one Telfer is tackling head-on. “The strength of the Executive MBA program is practice-based learning,” Richards says. “We teach the basic concepts that you’d expect in an MBA program, but they’re wrapped around six real-life consulting projects in which our candidates are working with managers dealing with new realities. Some recent projects, for example, included anticipating the impact of driverless vehicles on parking requirements and examining automated document analysis.” The program’s professors ensure that concepts such as artificial intelligence, diversity and inclusiveness, and ethics are included in class discussions.
“ One of our courses that addressed business intelligence and analytics is now adding artificial intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation and digital transformation,” Richards says. He notes that one of the things that’s important in organizations today— whether government, non-profit or the corporate sector—is innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. “Even the federal government has a program for supporting entrepreneurial
Gregory Richards, Interim Director of the Executive MBA at the Telfer School of Management.
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thinking and initiatives,” he says. “And our students do real consulting projects that deal specifically with the notions of entrepreneurship and innovation either for startups or within large complex organizations.” He said one of the “elephants in the room” is automation of processes that might lead to some jobs changing and other jobs being replaced. “As a manager, automation offers resources I can use,” he says. “But what happens to the humans in the process? Do I need to think about retraining or do I need to think about outsourcing some of these tasks? AI and machine learning will become more sophisticated. Managers need to understand how to use these technologies on the one hand, but also understand the implications for the organization.” Richards says it’s important for institutions that teach management to address the key levers that influence the evolving world of work. “It’s important so that we can ensure employees aren’t feeling as though they’re being supervised by big brother or subject to a production-line mentality. If you think about AI as automating cognitive work, what impact does that have on people? And what would it do to the process of management? Our practice-based approach immerses students in this evolving world to hone their ability to tackle these types of questions.”
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BUSINESS LAWYERS BY MART IN AQUI L I NA
Martin Aquilina, COO, HazloLaw-Business Lawyers
HEN BUSINESSES OR INDIVIDUALS SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL for complex or
out-of-the-box legal issues, many lawyers are hesitant to tackle unknown territory. Others, like Martin Aquilina, welcome such challenges with open arms. In fact, as the COO and International Lawyer of HazloLaw-Business Lawyers, Martin Aquilina is no stranger to the novelty that often comes with his practice, which expands over a wide range of activities. From privacy matters to health and safety concerns, from Canada’s first IPO of a mortgage investment corporation to licensing Cannabis-related intellectual property, and from solicitor-client
privilege over archives donated during the Holocaust to helping a client obtain a letter of credit in an Islamic financing deal, Martin has dealt with just about any issue that a commercial or institutional client is likely to ever encounter. Bringing an exceptional degree of energy and passion to his work, Martin, who describes himself not as a generalist but as a “specialist of many disciplines”, is adamant that sophisticated clients should not shy away from smaller boutique firms such as his. “If we cannot do it in-house, we will find the right resource whether locally or internationally. We have a pretty unbelievable network for a firm our size” he states proudly.
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While Martin is well aware that there are firms that deliver services through a battery of experts distributed across the globe, he points out that through their personal relationships, HazloLaw is able to punch way above its weight when it comes to delivering attentive, specialized services. During the 25 years he has been in practice, Martin has never rested on his laurels, which is a trait that has attracted fascinating clients to HazloLaw. Martin, backed by HazloLaw’s multilingual and talented staff, is well equipped to surmount any challenges a business may encounter, whether they be the ordinary or the uncharted, with charm and aplomb.
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Become a member of Ottawa Board of Trade today! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 613-236-3631 | www.ottawabot.ca
CAPITAL/David C. Onley Initiative
an inclusive campus recruitment strategy W
HEN WE THINK ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,
a person in a wheelchair or someone with a white cane or hearing aids might come to mind. But, disabilities are far more prevalent than we think—they’re just not as visible as those described above. One in five Canadians older than 15 have one or more disabilities, according to a 2017 Statistics Canada report. Non-visible disabilities include mental health and memory or learning challenges such as dyslexia. They can even be related to chronic pain through such conditions as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease or arthritis. A shortage of talent in the Ottawa area should prompt businesses to tap
into the talent pool that includes people with disabilities. Rethinking traditional recruitment practices could ensure you’re reaching what are often considered untapped pools of talent. “One of these untapped pools of talent includes post-secondary students with disabilities,” says Julie Caldwell, assistant director of program operations at the David C. Onley Initiative. The David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development, a two-year project between Carleton University, Algonquin College, University of Ottawa and La Cité Collegiale, aims to reduce the employment gap for post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities.
“These are students with undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas and certificates who have also had the opportunity to develop work-integrated learning experiences through co-op, apprenticeships, internships and other leadership opportunities, and who are ready to embark upon a meaningful career path,” says Caldwell. An inclusive and well-defined postsecondary recruitment strategy can contribute to a company’s growth, help expand its brand, and even help its bottom line. And to simplify the process, postsecondary institutions have created employment pathways that help businesses access students and graduates and start building a more inclusive workforce.
Five top tips for creating an inclusive campus recruitment strategy
Be clear on your needs
Write a clear position description
Discuss how best to mentor a student or graduate in the role
Identify skills, previous experiences and academic knowledge required to be successful in the role in question. Consult your diversity team, or an expert, to ensure you’re creating an inclusive work environment to support the needs of all employees.
Be sure the description doesn’t include tasks that could exclude someone, such as indicating a need for physical demands such as lifting boxes that may not be essential for the role. This could limit your talent pool. In addition, include a description about the company and the work environment. Knowing whether the office is open-concept, or high traffic, for example, can help candidates decide if it might be a fit.
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Identify a mentor and be prepared to talk about the students’ accommodation needs at work. Ask about their learning style and if there are resources the company can provide to support their success.
Accessibility for all.
Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility, Yazmine Laroche visits the DCOI’s October 2019 “Careers in Government” event.
The DCOI has developed a new symbol to help businesses show they are committed to accessibility for all employees. Download, print and position the identifier around your workplace and include it in email signatures and on job postings to show your company’s dedication to providing an inclusive environment. Visit AbleTo.ca for more information.
Identify three to five post-secondary institutions
Identify employment pathways that meet your business needs
Do your research. Identify institutions that offer academic programs that address your company’s needs as well as provide opportunities for work-integrated learning for students while in programs.
Work with campus career offices to identify which employment pathway is right for you. While co-op is most widely used, there are other options. Check out cewilcanada.ca to learn more about work-integrated learning opportunities in line with your company’s needs.
twitter.com/abletoottawa linkedin.com/company/ david-c-onley-initiative/ facebook.com/OnleyInitiative/ instagram.com/abletoottawa/ ableto.ca
For more, check out AbleTo.ca or contact Julie Caldwell at email@example.com or see Twitter @AbleToOttawa.
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BY J E FF B U CKST EI N
LOCAL TECH ATTRACTS TOP TALENT TO KANATA NORTH
REVITALIZED LOCAL HIGH TECH INDUSTRY, led in large
part by bright and innovative young entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks, has blossomed in Ottawa. Martin Vandewouw, president of KRP Properties, a leading local commercial landlord and property management firm, has seen this transformation take place in Kanata following the global technology crash in the early 2000s that led to the exodus of some big name players from the local scene. “Since the tech wreck the number of tenants we have has increased significantly. In our portfolio of three million square feet, we have over 260 tenants. About 160 are directly involved in tech. The others are affiliated with tech, or they’re services type companies such as investment firms, legal, food services, dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists,” says Vandewouw. KRP Properties is currently responsible for the leasing and property management
of 34 buildings, including parts of Kanata North Technology Park and all of Kanata Research Park. “I’ve been here 17 years and the amount of space that we’ve managed has continued to grow, either by development of land in our portfolio, or acquisition of buildings that we’ve purchased,” says Vandewouw. The success of tech in Kanata North has also resulted in some growing pains, including increased traffic along March Road, particularly during rush hour. “Regardless of where you go in Ottawa, there has been significantly more traffic over the last couple of years. The case is very similar for Kanata North,” notes Vandewouw. “Fortunately, the City has taken a number of steps over the past year to ensure disruptions are kept to a minimum.” Vandewouw says there are intensive efforts to attract and recruit top talent to local businesses in Kanata, not only from smaller start-ups, but also from the larger
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global players such as Nokia Corporation, Ciena Corporation, Ericsson Canada Inc., and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. “We have a very active business association that represents the interests of the tech community out here. They work in partnership with the local businesses to address the challenges in attracting and retaining top talent,” he elaborates. A key strategy to attract the best and the brightest young talent involves maintaining strong links to Canadian universities and colleges, including those based locally, with the University of Ottawa establishing a physical location in the Tech Park. “There are a number of things that the community in Kanata are doing in terms of making sure that we’re visible not only in Ottawa, but throughout Canada, the U.S., and globally from a talent attraction standpoint, and also from a business and economic development standpoint,” he stresses. Jeff Buckstein is a Kanata-based freelance business writer.
Hendry Warren LLP
Finds Success in Transition
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Partner and manager team left to right: Ian Hendry, Shona Scharf, Paul Rutherford, Robin Lawrence, Muhamad Adatia, Jennifer Dawe, Shaina Watt, Jaime Wendland, Nancy Nicks, David Ienzi, Marie Fraser, Megan Bloskie, Dan Warren, Jacob Milosek, Todd Hamilton, Spencer Brooks, Blair Duffy, Nicholas Raycroft, Brock McDonald, and Michelle Bouchard
S AN ENTREPRENEUR—WHAT YOU BRING TO A NEW BUSINESS VENTURE MATTERS.
Qualities like commitment, energy, ability to set goals and take innovative approaches. A willingness to take risks and look forward through challenges and setbacks. Leading by learning. In 2002, Ian Hendry and Dan Warren brought all these traits, and a lot more, to the professional services firm that now bears their name. Not surprisingly, the small accounting firm flourished. But now, as they take a step back from the day-today operations of Hendry Warren LLP, it isn’t only what Ian and Dan brought to the firm that matters, it’s what they’re leaving behind. And that’s a lot. From its humble beginning in 2001 as a two partner public accounting firm, Hendry Warren LLP has grown into one of the most respected full service accounting firms in the National Capital Region. Today, with eight partners and a staff of over 60 professionals, the firm provides professional services to entrepreneurs, not for profit organizations, and corporations across a broad range of industries.
The firm’s core services include traditional accounting, assurance, tax planning, and compliance services. However, growth has brought in talent to allow the firm to offer its clients additional business valuation and advisory services as well as financial planning and retirement and estate planning. Small start-ups and budding entrepreneurs are as welcome as large, established corporations and not-for-profit organizations. “Yes, we’re definitely a growing firm,” says partner Todd Hamilton. “We are double the size we were only 5 years ago. That rate of growth presents challenges but also creates opportunities for our highly skilled and talented staff moving into leadership positions. These are dynamic and committed young professionals, many of whom have grown up with the firm. They know our clients and our business and are constantly looking for ways to add value to meet the needs of our clients.” Understandably, the eventual departure of the company’s founding partners has accelerated the transition process. But it did not initiate it. The process really picked up steam six years ago when the firm made a business decision to leave its cramped building on Gilmour Street for the 13,000 square foot space it occupies today.
“It gave us the space, and the incentive, to spread our wings,” says Nancy Nicks, an assurance partner. In addition to the move, Nancy mentions the importance of both internal and external collaboration. “Collaboration enhances our ability to serve our clients. Reaching out to professionals who work with our clients gives us added insight, not only into our clients’ needs, but also into their thinking and into their plans.” This cross-pollination benefits everyone—Hendry Warren clients as well as those they work with. Meanwhile, the Hendry Warren LLP team should probably put off buying a cake or signing a card for its founding partners, Ian and Dan. They’re not going anywhere just yet. Certainly, not while they still have so much to offer to the firm and their clients. “They’ll be with us for at least two days a week for the foreseeable future,” says Todd. “They’ll be sharing their considerable expertise and mentoring the new leaders of the firm who are anxious to carry on the legacy of excellence over the past 18 years.” In other words, they’ll be passing along those qualities that have made Hendry Warren the success it is today.
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Jason Burggraaf, Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association
Yves Ménard, BLG
Scott Conway, LGG Media
Linda Simpson and Brittany Williston, Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc.
Mark Bonneau, Ottawa Senators
Yves Ducharme, Brigil
CAPITAL AROUND TOWN
Kyle Kirkwood and Chantal Rice, OSEG
Ian Sherman, EY
Alexis Ashworth, Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa
Gilles Desjardins, Brigil
Leanne Plamondon, Ottawa Board of Trade
Laura Dudas, Deputy Mayor
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THE LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW EXPERTS
Emond Harnden is trusted, not simply as advisors, but as an integrated member of our clients’ HR departments and senior management teams. We are devoted exclusively to advising management on labour relations and employment matters. Our team brings a forward-thinking approach to labour law.
À PROPOS DE NOUS
As a boutique labour and employment law firm, Emond Harnden has represented the interests of management in both official languages since 1987.
Emond Harnden est un cabinet d'avocats en droit du travail et de l’emploi qui représente exclusivement les intérêts des employeurs, dans les deux langues officielles, depuis 1987.
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