Event Review: innovatework Toronto

Last night, over 170 HR pros, leaders, tech enthusiasts and innovators came together for the second installment of innovateworkTO at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.

Hosted by The HR Gazette’s Bill Banham and Worktango’s Rob Catalano, the event facilitated lots of networking and learning. Here’s the lowdown:

The panel discussion entitled “The Future of Talent Acquisition is Now” saw four HR professionals engage in spirited debate and lively conversation.

Ryan Porter, Founder and CEO of Ruutly, spoke about recognizing the limits of technology with respect to talent acquisition, pointing out that throwing technology at a problem isn’t always the proper solution. In fact, assuming technology can and will solve all of a company’s problems will create technological clutter and render talent acquisition methods less efficient and successful.

Jeff Waldman, Founder of SocialHR Camp, noted that finding top talent is difficult in this day and age. He insisted that while technology must be leveraged in order to find candidates, we must not forget to connect with them on a human level. As talent acquisition moves forward, Waldman believes organizations with great branding and the ability to provide a positive candidate experience will lead the way.

Jesse Ryan, Managing Director of Augment HR, warned about the perils of over-reliance on technology when dealing with human capital. He stressed the need for the candidate experience to improve in the future and believes that touching base with candidates is important in maintaining the human element of talent acquisition. Ryan also highlighted the fact that niche markets often have candidates who don’t engage socially via technology, making the human element of talent acquisition paramount to success.

Shweta Jacob, Sr. Manager, Talent Acquisition at Flipp, expressed the need for senior management to buy into the talent acquisition process and allow TA professionals to invest the necessary time and resources needed to find and hire the right candidate. Jacob also mentioned that technological tools have made it easier to streamline some hiring processes, freeing up more time to invest in connecting with candidates on a personal level.

The HR Leader series consisted of three HR professionals: Amanda Ono, Head of Talent at Resolver; Amrita Bhalla, SVP HR at NexJ Systems; and Christine Song, VP, People and Culture at Mindful Snacks, speaking on a variety of topics.

Amanda Ono’s presentation about coaching culture emphasized the need for companies to create a culture where feedback is not only given but also accepted. In turn, employees receive the opportunities they desire, which are to learn, to grow, and to take on challenging work.

Amrita Bhalla’s speech revolved around the dynamics changing how we work, and how they relate to the changing design of our workplaces. Chief among the tenets of the shift in physical workplace design is the idea of the “Next-Gen Workplace”, an urban, mixed-use location with community-based workspaces and “smart” environments.

Christine Song displayed how organizations can create a culture of autonomy and ownership through four principles: instilling values into training, hiring autonomous people, building trust, and allowing ownership. These principles are instrumental in creating a culture replete with accountability due to the freedom employees are granted.

innovateworkTO co-founder and The HR Gazette’s Publisher, Bill Banham, said of the event: “This event series was borne out of a conversation between Rob Catalano and I a while back. We really were not sure of how it would be received by the local HR and Tech communities but so far it has been a huge success. We doubled the number of registrations and attendees compared the first event in May 2017 and we have even bigger plans for the next one in August!”

The next innovateworkTO is August 17th. Buy your ticket here.

Author: Ryan Fulford

Ryan Fulford is an up-and-coming HR Professional in active pursuit of CHRP certification. Focused interests include employee benefits, workplace wellness, and mental health in the workplace.

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