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Lessons from Leaders: Hiring and Retaining Quality Talent

On October 28, 2022, Innovation Guelph hosted a Lessons from Leaders panel discussing best practices for hiring and retaining high-quality employees. The objective of Lessons from Leaders panel discussions is to have diverse sectors, leaders, and stages represented by impressive business leaders who bring different perspectives to a single theme. This panel allows clients to hear stories from people who have “been there and done that” and has an open-mic format.

The three panelists at this session were Court Desaultes, CEO of Neighbourhood Group of Companies; Jennifer Seberras, President and CEO of Simplify Supply Chain Solutions; and Marg Van Herk Paradis, President of Credence and Co.

These panelists all come from different industries in different stages of growth. Court represents the restaurant/food service industry which was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He retained employees throughout the pandemic by starting an employee relief fund, which set them up to reopen. He credits open communication and tailoring programs to the needs of his employees to his success in employee retention. Jennifer, on the other hand, was very busy during the pandemic and focused heavily on employee mental health and creating systems that allowed employees to communicate their needs. Marg’s company also grew during the pandemic, and she credits listening to employee feedback and mutual respect to her ability to retaining talent.

All three panelists cited open communication, honesty, and transparency as tips for retaining new staff in a newer workplace. Employees are more likely to be successful when they know what to expect and feel they can communicate openly with their employer.

During the session, panelists were asked how to hire the right person in the right role at the right time. Both Marg and Jennifer explained that clear expectations are they key to ensuring an employee is the right fit for their role and company, as this allows for greater understanding of the role and company goals. Court also discussed the importance of value alignment, as the employee is more likely to be right for the role if their values align with those of the company. He also states that when hiring, he asks non-traditional questions and focuses more on attitude and experience than education.

To learn more about the Neighbourhood Group of Companies, please visit https://www.neighbourhoodgroup.com/restaurants.

To learn more about Simplify Supply Chain Solutions, please visit https://www.simplifyscs.com/.

To learn more about Creedance and Co., please visit https://credenceandco.com/.

Innovation Guelph
Innovation Guelph provides mentorship, programs and services to help innovative businesses start, grow and thrive. Serving Guelph, Wellington County and Southwestern Ontario, our novel business acceleration programs – including Speedway, Fast Lane, Fuel Injection and the Rhyze Project – support high-potential businesses from start-up to scale-up. Innovation Guelph also serves as a single point of access to Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) resources. We empower entrepreneurs, build community partnerships, and foster initiatives to build an innovation ecosystem that drives lasting economic growth, supports environmental sustainability and enhances the quality of life for everyone in our region.

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