qwerty Takeaways from the HRPA Conference - TDS Personnel

Takeaways from the HRPA Conference

2019 Theme: Work Climate (Positive Climate Change at Work)

The consultants at TDS attend the HRPA Conference every year to network, gain new insight into HR trends and to learn more about engaging the workforce to better service both clients and candidates. The 2019 conference had plenty to offer, from insightful and thought-provoking speakers to informative and fun exhibitors. Our consultants share their highlights below:

Day One


Be open minded to the unexpected candidate – ask the right questions and don’t be afraid of, “ugly babies” (new ideas and perspectives). It stuck with me to keep being curious and investigating new ideas by agreeing with and building upon concepts. “Yes, and…” goes a long way and invites the creative process in without judgement. Lastly, I recognized that small chance encounters can truly make all the difference in someone’s life. You never know what challenges someone else might be facing – having someone’s back instead of standing on the sidelines can make such a difference. (Keynote speaker: Mark Henick)


One of the biggest takeaways for me from the HRPA related to branding and experience. The way that we source, interview, manage and work is different than previous years. When thinking about our company or our clients, we must think of what brand image we are putting out for not only candidates, but the world to see. It is important to not just show our values, but to live them every day. (Keynote speaker: Eric Shangle)

Day Two


Inspiring breakfast key note speakers. Looking at HR from a “Design Lens” can add the context required to understand the landscape from the candidate’s perspective. Bill and Dave did a good job of helping turn HR on its head during the keynote. I especially liked when they encouraged HR to ask Employees to envision what they “dream of being”. Scary tactic but could empower companies to really harness their staffs potential. (Keynote speakers: Bill Burnett and Dave Evans)


Design Thinking – to cultivate that potential, and fundamentally change the way people tackle challenges in their work and lives. The five stages of Design Thinking according to Stanford d.school, are as follows: Empathise, Define (the problem), Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
In our everyday lives (at work and home) this approach can be applied. Like any new methodology, it is challenging to implement but as it becomes a natural way of thinking, you will soon reap the benefits. I felt that way upon leaving the session and continue to feel the positive aftermath of design thinking. (Keynote speakers: Bill Burnett and Dave Evans)


The lunch hour key note was about drama in the workforce and in the office; switching off judgment and becoming helpful in a situation that is seemingly unpleasant and unproductive. Taking a step back before judging to assess what one can do to assist in a situation. (Keynote speaker: Cy Wakeman).


2.5 hours are spent on non-productive work each and every day. Cy Wakeman was an inspirational speaker who highlighted the (unproductive) drama that permeates businesses today and offered an attitude revamp to counteract the negative and replace it with optimistic leadership.

Day Three


I really enjoyed the Fired Up and Focused seminar with Bill Hogg. His enthusiasm was contagious and his lesson of being clear on your purpose and connecting with the people around you resonated with me. It’s something that I will not only apply to my work life but my personal life as well. (Keynote speaker: Bill Hogg)


I took away valuable insights about the recent amendments to the Employment Standards Act as well as the unique challenges of employee relations post #metoo. The #metoo movement has brought about a shift in the way workplaces deal with sexual assault and harassment. After a number of high profile cases in Canada, a more thorough approach is taken towards workplace investigation as well proactive training programs. (Speakers: Lindsay Gluck and Krista Siedlak)