Talent Management Begins Before Hiring

Talent management is a powerful business advantage when executed in conjunction with existing workplace culture and business strategy.  It is also a possible solution to the managing the skills shortage.  As a reflection of its public image and connection to its “employer” brand, the flow of talent into an organization is an important touchstone to the pursuit of top talent.

PeopleTalk Spring 2017

The Human Touch Advantage

People define the core of any organization or business. However, in a world of widgets, what sets leading organizations apart is the HR mindset.  By keeping people first in the minds of decision-makers, this strategy has people’s hearts and minds focused on the right goals so the business can flourish for a mutually beneficial future.

PeopleTalk Winter-2016-The Human Touch Advantage

Daily Realities and the Globally Mobile

Skilled workers with professional expertise have many international employment options.  However, do the employers who want to attract this talent understand how to deal with the global mobility issues?

HRMA’s PeopleTalk Summer 2016 – Are You Globally Mobile.


eTA required for Canadian PR’s

The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be coming into effect on March 15, 2016.  This travel requirement (see previous blog post) is being imposed on visa-exempt foreign nationals flying into Canada.  All Airlines will be checking travelers and any passengers who do not have an eTA or do not qualify for an exemption will not be permitted to board the aircraft.


  • Foreign nationals who require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada are exempt
  • Citizens of the United States are exempt – however, US permanent residents / Green Card holders do require an eTA
  • According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”), foreign nationals who hold a study or work permit issued on or after August 1, 2015 have automatically been issued an eTA
  • Visitor record holders must apply for a separate eTA, regardless of when it was issued
  • Permanent residents who hold a valid permanent resident card do not require an eTA
  • The eTA is not required for travel to Canada by sea or land

eTA Application process

The eTA application process is fully electronic and costs CAD $7.00. The eTA will be issued for up to five years and will be electronically linked to the traveller’s passport.  No physical document will be issued so it will be wise to print and carry the CIC confirmation acceptance email.

Permanent Residents of Canada

The eTA air travel requirement will affect permanent residents of Canada in a brand new way.  On March 15, Canadian permanent residents without valid permanent resident cards will not be permitted to board flights to Canada.  They must apply for a separate “travel document” from a Canadian visa office abroad to confirm their status with airlines prior to boarding.

Permanent residents who need to renew their permanent resident cards should send in their applications as early as possible. All travelers should confirm their status with air carriers prior to travel to ensure they will be permitted to board flights back to Canada.  Otherwise, the only other option is to travel back by land or sea.

Canadian Employers

Employers should review current immigration documentation held by non-US foreign workers and permanent residents required to travel for business.  Those individuals who require an eTA or permanent resident card to enter Canada should apply as early as possible; these eTA requirements will increase the immigration-related administration and could impact operations.

Cultural differences are …complicated

Cross-cultural issues are very complex.  And these differences are more complicated than what country you are from.

In this age of global mobility, stereotypes are still commonly applied — whether it is with good intentions to understand unfamiliar cultures or figure out how to interact with others.  Although reading through cultural guidebooks is a place to start, we still have to be more mindful of contextual nuances and individual differences as well.

In this short cross-cultural management article in the Harvard Business Review, the author poses three general questions to help prepare for doing business with a new global markets.  Another wonderful resource are expatriates who have experienced those cultures first hand.

  1. What do you know about the region?
  2. What do you know about the company or industry?
  3. What do you know about the people?

Cultural differences are more complicated than what country you are from

International Experience Canada (IEC) reboot

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC, launched a new e-application system for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

The IEC provides foreign youth between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to travel and work temporarily in Canada to fund their trip or to gain a Canadian work experience. There are currently 32 countries participating in this reciprocal arrangement program and three types of “working holiday” categories — Young Professionals, Working Holidays, and International Co-op Internships.

This new IEC process has been redesigned to prevent the annual crush for working visas to Canada.  The previous system was on a first come, first served basis which resulted in acceptance quotas being reached within minutes of the annual program launch.  This left many disappointed applicants having to wait until the next quota/year to try again.

The new system works in a similar fashion to the Express Entry pool where applicants  begin the process creating an online profile.  If eligible, this places the individual into a “pool” of candidates to be drawn randomly at “regular intervals”.  If drawn, the candidate is sent an Invitation to Apply for a work permit. Draws continue to be held until all slots are filled for the year.

There is some talk of new participant countries being added, more flexibility with quota limits and other new features on the horizon.  It will be exciting to see what happens as youth and mobility will benefit Canada.

For more information on the program, see International Experience Canada.

Positivity in Practice

Why is it that we naturally hyper-focus on negative things? Ask anyone what they are thinking and most of the time, you will hear about what has been negatively impacting them or the “thing” they are stuck on because it went or will go horribly wrong. Without fail, most humans overthink the negative instead of embracing the positive. No wonder there are so many self-help resources on mindfulness and appreciation. Many of us don’t know how to relax and celebrate “all that is right in the world”.

As an HR professional, many of my solutions involve people and how they communicate, especially within the organizational setting.  A positive work environment supports employee engagement and plays a big part in business success.  Fostering a productive workplace culture requires consistent practice because it doesn’t just happen.  Nurturing positivity with intention sets the overall tone on the right course.  A technique called “Resource Gossiping” by Sarah McVanel-Viney and Brenda Zalter-Minden demonstrates how this can be done effectively in the workplace.

Since employees have conversations and tell stories about individuals and events as part of their usual daily routine, adjusting how they do this is the key to affecting the dynamics.  The duo suggests coaching individuals to put gossip-like stories in a positive light — thereby focusing the collective lenses on constructive feedback.  This type of commentary sets people towards strengths and resources. The outcome is positive and practical because it pays good things forward.  Most people are natural story tellers so this is a great way to coach employees to develop community and skills for the “greater good”.  With a little practice, the positive perspective keeps going.

Resource Gossiping is part of the Forever Recognizing Others Greatness (or “FROG“) toolbox and the Greatness Magnified philosophy.  Please see the Dimensions of Greatness for more details.

Be sure to look for Sarah McVanel-Viney and Brenda Zalter-Minden’s new book titled “Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness: Solution-Focused Strategies for Satisfied Staff, High Performing Teams and Healthy Bottom Lines” available January 2016.