Addressing Atlantic Canada's Talent Needs The topic of Atlantic Canada’s labour market is often surrounded by commentary about aging boomers and fleeing millennials, both contributing to an imminent talent supply shortage. The premise being that there simply aren’t enough millennials entering...
The University of the Future
Fuelled by uncertain funding models, rigid workforce systems and changing student demands, Australian tertiary education sector is exploring how to remain relevant in an increasingly differentiated and global education market. This sector is currently undergoing major structural reformations and...
Transformation or cultural change calls on the energy, focus and commitment of everyone in the organization. It’s less a matter of managing change than it is a matter of leading. Leading Change When faced with change, we tend to do a good job hiring project managers and setting up teams to run...
Dafodil
Every April I’m awestruck by those tough little daffodils appearing amid snow and slush. Seemingly fragile they break through the harsh, cold winter earth and emerge with yellow smiles and spirited vibrancy. What comes to mind is resilience. Resilience – ability to quickly recover and maintain...
Cultivating a diverse workforce is important and this notion is supported by economic trends and research. With many Atlantic Canadian regions experiencing population decline and the impact of the ‘brain drain’, as newly minted graduates head west, the topic of enhancing diversity within our...
There comes a time in every leader's career when they must let an employee go. It could be the result of restructuring or that the individual is no longer the right fit for the business needs. Whatever the reason, planning for a termination meeting can cause anxiety and loss of sleep for even the...
I Quit
How to get a job is always topical; advice on how to land your dream job abounds. But what about the other half of the equation? How can you ensure you leave a job without burning that proverbial bridge? Everyone talks about making the right first impression but what about making the right last...
The last few years have been tough for many Canadian organizations. Falling revenues and shrinking profits forced leaders to make difficult decisions about how best to reduce costs, boost productivity and ensure sustainability over the long term. In Canada and around the world, layoffs have been an...
Kevin Stoddart
We are constantly bombarded with advice on how to be a better manager or leader. Expert opinions abound; thousands of books, articles, blogs, and TED Talks have been dedicated to management and leadership, and the terms are often used interchangeably. The job market routinely showcases management...
Jeff Forbes
If you have set your career sights on ascending to the highest levels of any organization, rest assured the competition is stiff and the demands are high. For one, there are far more professionals competing for C-suite roles than opportunities available. And organizations are willing to look far...
Go Beyond Your Gut
It’s a saying you’ve probably heard before: if you want to thrive in business, go with your gut. But if intuition was the only tool you had to use, you wouldn’t be in business for long.  Most professionals recognize that successfully growing a business is as much about reliable information as...
Joe Moore
The question “Where do you want to be 10 years from now?” often gives those nearing retirement pause as they consider their options. We tend to think that, once we make this determination, the rest of our lives are settled. Yet, your retirement can span 20-30 years – perhaps even longer – which...
Workforce challenges
In 1975, the world was emerging from a devastating oil embargo and stock market crash. Everyone wanted to do The Hustle, but no one wanted to go near the water, thanks to Jaws. The minimum wage in Atlantic Canada had just gone up to over $2.00 an hour and the RCMP had recently hired its first...
Recruitment and selection
The following article previously appeared in the St. John's Board of Trade, Business News, August / September 2015 issue. The search has begun for a new leader. Your team wants someone with presence and profile, someone charismatic who is widely revered, and maybe someone who knows their way around...
Talent Assessment and Recruitment
If you ask any HR Professional they’ll agree, recruitment and selection can be a time consuming process. Even if you are lucky enough to experience a flood of qualified candidates, you ultimately need to choose a single individual to best fill a role; a challenging task when you consider that...
Measuring your talent
Business leaders know there’s more to success than intuition. It takes solid strategies, identifying opportunities, close observation of market trends and a concerted effort to recruit, retain and develop talent at all levels of the organization. Every business is looking for an edge in maximizing...
succession planning
Imagine if, overnight, your CEO left the organization, how would your organization ensure continued success going forward? What about the other critical roles on your team, how would you manage with the loss of their experience and knowledge? It’s a frightening thought for most business leaders...
Leadership
This article was previously featured in The Chronicle Herald. At the 2006 Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA's All-Decade Team, Madeleine Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I heard this as a call to action, one that has played over and...
Diversity
A colleague recently asked me, “Is it just me, or is everyone talking about diversity?” Interesting question and I guess it depends on who you ask. People have been talking about diversity for decades: the lack of it, the need for it, and the problems with it. I think my colleague is hearing an old...
Planning Strategy
Download full White Paper PDF The year 2011, marked the first year in Canada’s history that the number of people in the typical retirement age bracket (those aged 55-64) exceeded those at an age associated with workforce entry (15-24 years of age). In fact, 42.4% of Canada’s working population fell...
Immigration: A Recruiter's Perspective
Immigration has been talked about a lot lately. It has been cited as a vital ingredient to long-term prosperity in Atlantic Canada in the face of our aging population and shrinking workforce. According to the Ivany Report, Nova Scotia is projected to have 100,000 fewer working age people by 2036...
Confident Communication and the Gender Divide
The Chairman finished speaking and sat down, arms crossed. He’d put forward an impassioned argument for the merger; a great deal, negotiated over many months, a capstone of his career.  Sam stood slowly, hands planted firmly on the boardroom table, looked the Chairman squarely in the eyes and...
The Millennial Myth
For years, employers have been hearing that three generations in the workplace is a recipe for disaster. We’ve been told they all have different requirements and approaches to work, particularly Gen Y, otherwise known as Millennials. And woe to those organizations that are unable or unwilling to...
Navigating Job Loss
Maybe you saw it coming, or perhaps it came as a complete surprise – either way, losing your job is tough. For many, it can be a pivotal moment in the trajectory of their life. Will you choose to change your career path or seek a similar role to the one you are leaving? How will you avoid...
Performance Review
On October 21st, 2014, HRANB held a professional development session in Moncton, where I had the pleasure to be the guest speaker. The topic was Performance Reviews. After a brief introduction and a few observations from the podium on the current state of performance reviews, we decided to try a...
Employee Engagement
Employee engagement has headlined top business blogs and articles for over a decade and although we are making some inroads, many employers and managers still don’t understand what engagement is—let alone how it can impact their bottom line.  Top 500 firms in North America do, however, tend to...
Women in Leadership
The role of women in the workforce has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. Yet challenges exist for aspiring female leaders, as women are persistently underrepresented in the highest levels of organizations. A study by Catalyst suggests that among the Fortune 500 Executive Officer...
People leave their jobs for many reasons and, regardless of why, they all share a few things in common. Individuals in career transition face uncertainty and challenging circumstances that impact their personal, financial and professional life. These challenges hold true whether you are a CEO and...
Teams are essential for accomplishing business goals in today’s work environment. Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant upon teams for solution finding and production. Additionally, virtual teams are increasing in acceptance and popularity, as five million employees are projected to work...
Insights for enhancing CEO succession through a stronger board leadership By: Courtney Pratt, Chairman, Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions and Audra August, Principal, CEO Succession & Advisory Services There is a growing understanding and agreement on boards that effective CEO succession is...
The stakes in leadership have always been high, but they are getting higher. Leaders today must execute strategy, drive innovation, and build talent for the future. They are under more pressure and more scrutiny than ever before. But at the very moment we need our leaders to be their best - to be...
In Atlantic Canada a hot topic amongst employers is the difficulty organizations have attracting and retaining top talent. If your business is located in a rural area, that challenge is felt even more acutely. Many of our clients with operations in rural areas site attracting top talent to be there...
Elevator Pitch
So, what do you say after you say “hello”? The 30 second summary, often referred to as “the elevator speech” is a simple concept; it’s how you present yourself to others in 30 seconds, whether it is a person with whom you are networking, or perhaps an old friend who you actually do meet in the...
The Role of Psychometric Assessment in the Selection Process. So, you`ve thrown your hat in the ring and applied for a new job.  You`ve written a captivating cover letter and submitted your polished resume.  You have your references lined up and primed.  And then you have a screening...
Panel style interviews are common for first interviews in the public and not for profit sectors. In a panel style interview, a group of three or more panel members will ask a candidate pre-set questions and will often ‘score’ the responses to allow them to compare candidates as part of making a...
The Corporate F Word... Feedback
Leaders often preach the importance of constructive feedback but do we practice it? Corporate communications, job descriptions, engagement surveys, and even corporate values all point to the significance of feedback and yet we rarely provide it and when we do, it is often not done well. We even go...
Assessment and Coaching
Providing coaching to high potential employees has come to be seen as a must in many high performance companies.  Many leaders who want to differentiate themselves and enhance their contribution to the organization enlist a coach to help them achieve their potential and make their mark on an...
Leadership Capacity
Leadership is such a vague concept. When we hear the word we think of charismatic individuals, great generals, engaging politicians, or renowned business people. We generally think of people situated at the top of an organization who attract attention to their accomplishments. And, as of late, the...
Disengaged Team
There is almost always a palpable sense of fear when an organization decides to conduct an employee engagement survey for the first time. What if my employees are unhappy with the leadership of the organization? What if my employees feel under compensated or overworked? Employee engagement surveys...
Employer Brand
Like it or not, every company has a brand. In the traditional marketing sense, a brand is what differentiates one good, product or service from another. A name, design and reputation all shape a brand’s image and the public’s understanding of the value proposition. Similarly, employer brand is the...
Building Your Board
Boards are as diverse as the organizations they serve. However, there are a number of common challenges boards face including an evolving regulatory environment, increasing role complexity and rising demands for transparency and social responsibility. As the expectations of boards increase, so too...
Organizational models today are shifting from hierarchical to flat. Careers are no longer an upward trajectory, but more likely to be a series of experiences, projects and development opportunities. But, a lack of awareness around the new flat organization dynamics is resulting in a perceived lack...
Leaders often see the end of the calendar year as a time of planning and fiscal review. This comes naturally to most leaders. However, what does not, or is often not welcomed, is the most dreaded component of the talent cycle – annual performance reviews.  It harbours fear in some of the most...
Strong leadership is an essential ingredient in organizational success. Understandably, the topic of leadership attracts a lot of attention. Organizations train, develop, align and build capacity to enhance leadership capabilities. Yet, all too often, the focus becomes perfecting policies and plans...
The Personal Side of Job Loss
Not to sound pessimistic, but sooner or later, almost everyone has to deal with the implications of being downsized. How people deal with it is as different as night and day. I’ve seen a wide and varied range of emotions and responses from those who experience job loss. How you deal with it can...
Onboarding
Hiring a university president is the most important decision a board of governors will make. It is a challenging journey marked with interviews, months of discussion, selection committee meetings and tough deliberations. Once the ideal candidate has been identified, it may seem like the difficult...
Universities are complex organizations that require specific leadership capabilities. But while each university is very different from the next, there is one commonality in academic institutions from St. John’s to Victoria - the increasing struggle to fill leadership roles. The demands placed on...
Universities as organizations have always been more complicated than their private or public sector peers. Bi-cameral governance, the impact of academic freedom on the nature of the faculty’s relationship with the institution and the reliance on government funding with all the strings that are...
The academic sector is vital to the social, cultural and economic life of our Canadian communities. As such, the leadership of our universities and colleges directly affects the ability of our institutions to contribute to the social and economic development of our region. But with the shift toward...
Career Advice
Finding out you didn’t get the job when you had every qualification listed on the job description and you thought you aced the interview can be baffling and incredibly frustrating. No matter how strongly you feel, the way you react could make or break your chances of getting the offer in the future...
At age 26, Robert MacLeod changed jobs, packed up his belongings and said good-bye to his life in New Brunswick. His mission: criss-cross Canada as leader in sales for McCain Foods. For a small-town boy with powerful family connections to New Brunswick, the experience was challenging but deeply...
Viewpoint by Mark Surrette, President, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette Download PDF At a time when accessing global markets is so crucial to the competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian businesses, the world’s most advanced economies are experiencing a level of social and economic instability...
par Knightsbridge Talents stratégiques et le Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness, en collaboration avec l’Institut des administrateurs de sociétés. La plupart des administrateurs canadiens reconnaissent que la supervision du capital humain constitue une partie essentielle de leur travail....
Nancy Tower
Nancy Tower saw from an early age what it looks like to jump in with both feet. Her father grew the family’s Bathurst, N.B.-based firm Tower Jewellers from a single store to 16 locations. Spending her summer holidays working in the business, and chewing through HR and marketing talk at the dinner...
White Paper: Authored by Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions and the Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness, in partnership with the Institute of Corporate Directors. Most Canadian directors acknowledge that human capital oversight is an essential part of their work. The vast majority indicated...
Don Clow
From the outset, P.E.I. native Don Clow has been what’s known in athletic circles as “coachable.” Which is perhaps why the 49-year-old chartered accountant and CEO of Crombie REIT — Atlantic Canada’s largest property owner — has been mentored by, and worked side-by-side with, some of the region’s...
Seems I have been repeating myself.  I hear myself say to my clients, “but if you don’t tell the potential employer about all the great things you accomplished in your last role – how will they know how amazing you are?  Should they guess? Or assume?”  They won’t. As a Career...
Structuring Severence
When dealing with severance for an employee leaving your organization there are a number of issues to consider. The first and foremost is consulting with your legal counsel  to make certain you know what is fair and required by law. Once you have determined how much you are offering then you...
Steve Rennie’s Canadian Press article on the compensation levels of charity and not-for-profit sector leaders made the front page of The Halifax Chronicle Herald on Monday, July 11th – ‘Charity work you can bank on’. Now, I am as conservative as the next Nova Scotian about the ways in which the...
By: Kevin Stoddart, Managing Partner, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette Download PDF Much has been written about the upcoming talent shortage. Pundits predict qualified employees will be in scarce supply as thousands of baby boomers retire and a much smaller pool of younger candidates enters...
At 22, Andrew Bell joined The Bell Group, the firm his grandfather founded in 1933, and promptly launched what would become a career-encompassing habit: transforming businesses – as industry landscapes were changing. Today the diversified Newfoundland based firm has operations across Atlantic...
The role of the search committee in an executive search is critically important. This committee has the responsibility, and often the authority, to make a decision that will shape the institution’s direction and future. Yet many search committees don’t spend the time or get the support they need to...
Resume Review
Sometimes your résumé is your first impression. You may have perfected your interview skills, be passionate about the job and have some great experience to offer a  company but, if you can’t successfully articulate that in your résumé and cover letter, you may knock yourself out of the race...
It was 2007 and Captain Sid Hynes was staring down the barrel at early retirement when, as they so often do, the seas changed. A mariner since the age of 15, Hynes had spent the last two decades at the forefront of Canada’s marine industry, including roles as president of Canship Ltd., and chairman...
Viewpoint by Jeff Forbes, Vice President Download PDF In recent months, we’ve seen several Atlantic Canadian companies announce layoffs. Though they happen with some frequency, these particular layoffs raised eyebrows. It wasn’t just the timing, coming in the wake of reports we have finally...
You’ve invested considerable energy, time and money over the years to build a strong family business. As you plan for the future, you realize the day will come when you’ll have to hand it over to the next generation and make a graceful exit. As you plan your succession, there are three aspects of...
JP Deveau
In conversation with Jeff Forbes, Vice President What does it take to lead a company recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for seven consecutive years? Jean-Paul Deveau took over the reins of Acadian Seaplants from his father in 2002, building the company into a multimillion-...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Vice President Download PDF Atlantic Canadians love talking about government. Certainly, the past year provided lots of fodder for debate. From the continued courage of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Premier,to the challenges of Nova Scotia’s first NDP government,to New...
I was thinking the other day just how many interviews have I conducted? I've been doing this for 11 years and I probably on average interview four people a day, so based on 250 working days/year that's roughly 11,000 interviews! Other than feeling rather old all of a sudden, I feel somewhat...
Viewpoint by Jeff Forbes, Vice President Download PDF Recently, a friend told me a story about her father, and the difficulties he faced when her mother died. After years of being the main provider for the family, he found himself completely unprepared for the demands of life on his own. He...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Vice President Download PDF Every day I am in the privileged position of being able to hear first-hand perceptions about employment in the public sector. And it is always fascinating! Recently, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette conducted an on-line survey to hear more...
In conversation with Kevin Stoddart, Vice President Lee Bragg, son of John Bragg, was appointed CEO of EastLink in 1999. In the decade since, he has successfully led the integration of 12 cable companies, resulting in an innovative telecommunications provider serving communities across Canada....
In conversation with Mark Surrette, President As a child, Ron Lovett earned money any way he could – shoveling snow, managing three paper routes and giving five dollar haircuts to friends. At the age of 22, he started Source Security & Investigations to offer security services to nightclubs...
Viewpoint by Kevin Stoddart, Vice President Download PDF For an organization, your employment brand is your unofficial rating as a place to work. Recently, I had an opportunity to discuss employment branding with Ramsay Duff, Vice President, Finance and Operations, at StFX. He made the...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Vice President Download PDF As an executive recruiter for the public sector, I have the privilege of working with many great leaders and interviewing many talented candidates. It’s very satisfying when a recruitment process results in a great match of a dynamic...
Viewpoint by Jeff Forbes, Vice President   In the late 1990s, IT professionals were in short supply. Organizations, driven by uncertainty over the impending Y2K rollover, went on a hiring spree, beefing up their IT teams to stave off the threat of costly errors or interruptions in their...
Viewpoint by Jeff Forbes, Vice President As a leader, you know that hiring is an inherently risky proposition. People are complex, making it challenging to assess the ability of any candidate to successfully perform a particular role in an organization. Although any failed hire is detrimental,...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Vice President Recent conversations with clients and colleagues – and the seemingly endless media litany of layoffs, closures, cost cutting – take me back to the early 1990s, which many of us recall from a perspective quite different from our current one. In that...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner and Joe Moore, Partner   You’ve invested considerable energy, time and money over the years to build a strong family business. As you plan for the future, you realize the day will come when you’ll have to hand it over to the next generation and make a...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner and Joe Moore, Partner   The time has come to place the leadership of your family business in the capable hands of your son or daughter. All that remains is to make the change official and everything will be fine, right? Actually, what most family business...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner and Joe Moore, Partner   You’ve assessed the skills of your sons and daughters and identified the best candidate to lead your family business to continued growth and prosperity. It’s a major challenge resolved, but a bigger one lies ahead: preparing your...
Viewpoint by Mark Surrette, President   For several years, we’ve been hearing about a looming war for talent. Baby boomers are starting to retire and fewer young workers are available to replace them, which means demand will soon outstrip supply in the labour market. Already we’re seeing...
Viewpoint by Kevin Stoddart, Vice President   Coca-Cola, Bank of Montreal, Hewlett Packard, Allstate. As consumers we are aware of these brands, and the products or services they represent. We recognize the brands – and related logos and distinct visual identities – we see on product...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner, & Kelly Dawson, Consultant   Engaged employees. These are employees who are passionate about the work they do and committed to achieving the strategic goals of your organization. The Gallup Organization has proven that engaged employees are more...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner and Joe Moore, Partner   She has your common sense and drive for achieving results, and her mother’s sound judgment about people. But is she the right candidate to lead your business to future prosperity? He has worked with you for years, sticking with you...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner   They are the newest generation to enter the labour market, yet they already have clear ideas about what they expect from you as an employer. They are in high demand, so if you can’t meet their needs, they’ll find someone who can. And, with boomers...
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner   Look around your organization and you’ll notice an interesting phenomenon – four different generations of employees sharing the workplace. This comes at a critical time as older employees are leaving the workforce and young talent is in short supply due...
Viewpoint by Kevin Stoddart, Vice President   Last spring at our national executive search conference in Calgary, I heard senior HR professionals saying, ‘In this town, if you hesitate in hiring talent, you’re dead.’ As an employer, you may think, ‘That’s red-hot Calgary’s problem. Things...
Beating the odds
Viewpoint by Anna Stuart, Partner and Joe Moore, Partner Download PDF As a family business owner, you know the stats. Only 30% survive to the second generation, and as few as 10% continue to the third. So the succession plan you develop for your business is crucial to beating these odds. Even...
National Post opinion editorial by Mark Surrette, President   The professional baseball world changed dramatically in 1975 in one of the most significant ways in its history. The change to Free Agency (allowing a player to move from one team to another after a single season) was important...
Insight by Mark Surrette, President   Ethics in business is really no different than ethics in life – ethics are the fundamental building blocks to an organization. Ethical and value-based organizations recruit great people and keep great people to build longevity and have long-term...
Insight by Mark Surrette, President   I came into the recruiting business almost 25 years ago. When I look back at the attributes we thought were important then, it is almost humorous when compared to today. Let me give you some examples. Age of candidates was always a major concern....