Canadian HR Reporter

March 23, 2015

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 15

Canadian HR RepoRteR March 23, 2015 News 3 Competence. Validation. Trust. HRPA is proud to introduce the CHRP, CHRL and CHRE designations. The new global standard for HR excellence and professionalism. The Certified Human Resources Professional, Leader, and Executive designations for HR professionals at every stage of their careers. Unleash the new gold standard: An opportunity to be CEO for a day Annual mentorship program popular with students, executives By SaRaH doBSon ImAgInE being CEO for a day. Several students did just that recently when they took part in Odgers Berndtson's CEO x 1 Day program, shadowing some of the country's top leaders. After hanging out with Barry McLellan, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, David Li said his experience was "fantastic." "I had a lot of one-on-one time with him," said Li, a medical sci- ences student at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. "I had a lot of chances to ask him about his background, his career, how he became the CEO and, in addition to that, we also talked a bit about medicine and the health-care system… it's very important to get that interaction." ere's a leadership gap in Can- ada and employers are looking for people with the right leadership skills and business acumen, so this kind of program makes sense, said Robert Quinn, a partner at Odg- ers Berndtson in Toronto. "Students don't have an ap- preciation for what the CEO of an organization is responsible for and how much. What we like to say is that the CEO role is a lot of fun and it's interesting but there's a lot of moving parts and it's a demanding job, so it's something that we just want them to be able to experience." Having the ability to chat with a CEO, to learn from his leadership style, management style and best business practices, was definitely an opportunity Anthony Esposito wanted to take part in. "I knew that it… would add immense value to my life, to my career, to my school — just every- thing in general," said Esposito, a student at Concordia Univer- sity in Montreal majoring in management. In 2015, several employers took part in CEO x 1 Day including GE Canada, Altus Group, Cineplex, First West Credit Union, Lulule- mon, ATB Financial, VIA Rail, Hydro-Québec and Ubisoft. For participant Saad Rafi, CEO of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015), the pro- gram made a lot of sense. "I've benefited in my career with significant input from men- tors and those people that have shaped my thinking and my ap- proach, and I thought (this) was a great initiative," he said. "It's just reinvigorating... you have an op- portunity to provide some per- spective to someone who is truly interested in the business that you're in. And it's an area that these Games have focused on, that is their impact on youth." Lanita Layton, managing direc- tor at Hugo Boss Canada in To- ronto, has also had mentors over the years and saw CEO x 1 Day as a chance to do something similar. "We've got the responsibility to pay it forward. And we're always looking to see who's up and com- ing in leadership and what is the potential out there," she said. "It was well-worth it for us too — the rest of our offices were quite intrigued with the program and for them, it's an example of how Hugo Boss is trying to help coach and train and build leader- ship and succession planning and all of that… I always get a kick out of it just to see new people com- ing through and seeing it through somebody's eyes again — you don't want to forget what that was like." 'Rigorous' application process To take part in the program, stu- dents undergo a rigorous appli- cation process that begins with sending information about them- selves, a resumé and a transcript. ere is then an online psycho- metric leadership assessment. If successful, candidates par- ticipate in a half-day evaluation conducted by Odgers Berndtson partners and consultants. ey also go through case study simula- tion so they are seen under group dynamics, said Quinn, adding the whole process is very similar to a real search. "With students, we're not look- ing for demonstrated experience, we're looking for potential and so we're looking for leadership po- tential, we're looking for curiosity and broad thinking, so we focus in on that extracurricular activity, and we're looking for communica- tion skills." e speed interviews with sev- eral interviewers were very help- ful, said Li. "I'm applying to med school this year and... a lot of medical schools are switching from a traditional panel interview to multiple mini interviews so I found that to be good preparation," said Li. "It's not just the one day with the CEO that you get to learn from — the whole application process itself, you really gain a lot of valuable skills and experi- ences that (will) help you with job searches in the future and a lot of it really helps you reflect on just what you've been doing in the past few years." In taking part, employers are reverse > pg. 7

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian HR Reporter - March 23, 2015