Canadian Talent Management Summit: Interview with Dawn Farahani

The Candian Talent Management Summit is just a few weeks away and, as part of the build up, we got the chance to interview Interview one of the event’s speakers, Dawn Farahani. Dawn is People Services Project Manager, North America, at Colliers International.

Editor: Dawn congratulations on your recent recognition for the award of 2015 Canadian HR Rising Star of the Year. Please tell us a little about yourself – your career path and expertise HRS

Dawn: My Human Resources career started in University. After taking my first HR course, I became keenly interested in the field of HR and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Human Resources and Economics. In my career I have been very fortunate to work in a variety of industries and gain exposure to many different aspects of HR. I am passionate about working with managers and employees to drive employee engagement and also enjoy the systems/operational aspects of HR. I have been involved in implementing four HRIS systems and rolling out new performance management and training programs.

Editor: Can you give us some insight into Colliers International and what the organizational people culture is like?

TMA_TalentManagementSummit_300x300Dawn: Our culture at Colliers is driven by our core values of Service, Expertise, Community, and Fun. We all have a strong feeling of ownership and empowerment through the enterprising spirit of the organization. At Colliers we have the opportunity to take ownership of our careers and directly contribute to the success of our business We have a strong emphasis on employee development and grow our internal expertise through our wide array of internal training programs.

These programs range from our Management Development Program to our Advisor Acceleration Program and our own multifaceted Colliers University platform, which provides e-learning, webinars, and various collaboration tools. Throughout my time at Colliers I have been fortunate to grow my career moving into new roles, working on the development of many programs and learning from a variety of mentors and leaders within the organization. We are also encouraged to collaborate with our peers and partners globally across the organization, while still focusing on our local markets and communities.

Editor: What topic will you be speaking about at the Canadian Talent Management Summit?

Dawn: I will be presenting on Collier’s new Performance Check-In Program. Performance Check-In is a progressive performance management program that accelerates the success of our employees by focusing on simple, and frequent dialogue between employees and managers on their performance, goals, and career development.

Editor: Why is that an important topic to HR and Talent pros?

Dawn: I am very excited about our new program as it is an innovative and progressive way of looking at performance management. It replaced our traditional and administratively burdensome annual performance program, which was more focused on ranking employees’ performance based on prescribed competencies and did not always include developmental or career conversations.

Talent Management Summit, Toronto

Editor: Please share 2 or 3 ‘influencers’ in the talent and recruitment space who you follow and tell us why

Dawn: We are very fortunate to have many great leaders in the talent sphere sharing best practices and knowledge in our field. The individuals I follow most are Stacy Zapar, Lou Adler and Jennifer McClure. What is really great about these leaders is the guidance they provide is simple and easy to implement in your workplace. It doesn’t take a big change or big budget, just something new to try out and see if it works for your organization.

Editor: The HR Gazette is a big believer in the shift from traditional thoughts of HR to embracing modern HR as part of ‘people and culture‘. What does ‘people and culture’ mean to you?

Dawn: I think this is a shift in mentality that is gaining more and more momentum. In my opinion, we are moving away from thinking that our employees are just personnel who come into an organization to do a job – they are people who have career aspirations, their own culture and values, and are looking to work for an organization where they can make an impact. Our organizations now have their own characteristics as well; they have their own values, history, and vision for the future. To achieve successful partnerships between employees and organizations, the cultures of both parties must align. Once you have this alignment, you will see the passion of the people strengthen the culture and drive the success of the organization.

Editor: What do you think will be the major developments in the Talent space to watch out for in the next 12 months and why?

Dawn: I think we will continue to see a focus on social recruitment, candidate care, and smart data in the Talent space. Organizations will continue to use different avenues in social media to showcase their culture and illustrate what it is like to work at their organization. At Colliers, it is our topmost priority to provide exceptional service to our partners and clients, and we are translating this experience to our candidates as well. We are focusing on ensuring our candidates have the best experience, from their first click on our website, all the way to the offer stage. Lastly, I think we are becoming smarter with data, using web analytics, predictive metrics and other data points to see how we can become more strategic and efficient in our recruitment processes and sourcing.


About Dawn Farahani


Dawn Farahani, BBA, CHRP, is a dynamic human resources professional who specializes in the implementation and execution of HR projects and programs. Her background includes working in the technology and retail industry and she currently focuses on the development and management of key HR strategies for Colliers International across North America. Dawn welcomes every opportunity to share her expertise as it relates to the field of human resources and project management, mentoring many new HR professionals and contributing to her local HR community. Dawn is the 2015 recipient of the HRD Rising Star Award recognizing her work in the implementation of best in class HR programs and sound industry trends and practices.'

Author: Editor

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