Canadian Talent Management Summit

Do you ever leave a conference thinking “those were some fun presentations but I’m not sure how it relates to what I’m doing?” It’s a trap that many conferences attendees find themselves falling in to. They may leave energized or inspired but without any real takeaways.

This was not the case for me at the Canadian Talent Management Summit that was recently hosted by The Talent Management Alliance. In attendance were HR and talent management professionals from the public sector as well as private and public companies from across Canada.

It was a great opportunity to learn about the current talent practices of individual organizations as well as identify market trends and innovations.  Through case studies, frameworks and tools, presenters and attendees shared their success stores. Taking it further than many other conferences, the summit also gave attendees the chance to discuss specific challenges and opportunities that we were facing and this created an environment where most attendees were able to walk away with ideas on how to drive productivity and performance in individual organizations as well as stimulate the growth and retention of talent in the Canadian market as a whole..

Highlights of the summit included:

  • Cheryl Fullerton’s (VP Leadership at Maple Leaf Foods) keynote speech on Investing In Tomorrow’s Leaders;
  • The comprehensive presentation on Workforce Planning at Halton Healthcare Services presented by Demetrios Kalantzis (HR Director) and Veneza Baptista (Manager Workforce Planning) that addressed how they are preparing for the challenge of opening a state-of-the-art new facility;
  • The lively and blunt discussion generated by the panel on Creating An Inclusive Workforce which was moderated by Stephanie Willson (Chief Professional Resources Officer at McCarthy Tétrault) and where the panel participants were Andre Goh (Diversity & Inclusion Manage at Toronto Police Services), John Basile (VP Diversity & Inclusion at Fidelity Investments) and Sayma Hai (Diversity & Inclusion Manager at PepsiCo);
  • The interactive session on Tools and Strategies To Identify and Develop Your High Potential Talent presented by Norm Sabathy (EVP People) and Carmen Klein (Senior Director, OD & Culture) from Cadillac Fairview; and,
  • A presentation by Maura Dyer (Director of Talent Acquistion at Rogers) and Simon Parkin (Partner at The Talent Company) on Recruiting In A Competitive Market which provided great insight in to current market conditions and trends as well as providing specific recommendations on how to use these trends to your advantage.

Throughout these sessions there were common themes which carried through the summit included:

  1. There is no “best practice”.
    There is plenty of information available on talent “best practices”. Whether it’s workforce planning, leadership, talent development or diversity/inclusion there are plenty of philosophies, models and programs out there. Study them, figure out what will work for your organization and then operationalize it.
  2. Build on your strengths
    Further to the point above, in order to manage talent practices effectively you need to understand what is working for your organization and why. Understand those bright spots and, whenever possible, duplicate the results.
  3. Diversity is a business imperative
    There are clear metrics that demonstrate that diversity has a positive impact on talent management, innovation and profitability.
  4. To drive change, use others.
    Leverage external speakers/experts, Executive sponsors and internal champions to drive the change you want.
  5. Don’t boil the ocean.
    There is a tendency to try to tackle everything all at once. This is a recipe for disaster. You will overwhelm the business and exhaust your teams.
  6. Your past will catch up with you
    There were numerous examples of individuals or organizations making decisions where the consequences were not felt immediately. Moral of the story, if you think you’ve gotten off scott free, you might not have.
  7. Move from an administrative/compliance approach to engagement.
    Whether you’re managing diversity and inclusion, recruitment or talent development practices it’s not enough to track and facilitate the program. Engaging individuals and teams within your organization is what leads to buy-in and drives results.

Attending The Canadian Talent Management Summit was a good opportunity to understand market trends. It also confirmed my belief that while selecting the right program is important, it’s ultimately how you implement a program that leads to either success or failure.

If you are looking for more information about market trends, specific frameworks/approaches or how you can implement customized programs, feel free to contact me.

Details on future conferences hosted by The Talent Management Alliance can be found here.'

Author: Kathleen Jinkerson

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