Talent Shortages and Upskilling Affecting Retail in Canada


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The retail industry is facing enormous talent shortages as the skillsets required to keep pace with the new technologies continue to expand.  In 2022, there were two open jobs for every unemployed person, forcing companies to find new approaches to access qualified talent.  Evolving employee expectations around flexible work models are also adding further complexity to the agility organizations need to master.    

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is hosting its annual Retail Human Resources Conference, the largest gathering of retail professionals who will discuss today’s most pressing HR issues on April 20, 2023 at the International Centre in Toronto. This one-day conference brings together retailers, solution providers, and industry experts to explore solutions that will help both retain and attract an engaged and skilled workforce across the range of roles needed to ensure the continued vibrancy of retail in Canada. 

“The pandemic has forever changed both consumers’ expectations of retailers, and how retail teams work so they can continue to delight shoppers.  RCC, together with our HR member networking groups, has been analyzing the corresponding HR trends and opportunities so that we can collectively consider creative solutions to the current talent concerns,” shares Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “Everyone is excited for this year’s conference, which will be the first time in three years this dynamic group of HR professionals will be able to meet, face-to-face. There really is nothing like our in-person Retail Human Resources Conference to learn, reconnect with friends, get re-energized, and find fresh ideas for tackling retail HR challenges.”

The main stage program will include sessions that explore the employee experience, the power of belonging, change leadership, boosting retention and minimizing turnover, as well as talent attraction.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Tanja Fratangeli, Chief People Officer, IKEA Canada
  • Tiffani Bova, Global Growth Evangelist, Salesforce
  • Martine Lamoureaux, Head of Talent and Culture, Ardene
  • Alex Snelling, Chief People Office, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada
  • Marie-Laurence Godon, Manager of Culture & Engagement, Ardene
  • Stephen Friedman, Adjunct Professor of Organization Studies, Schulich School of Business at York University
  •  Fil D’Urbano, Chief Leadership and Mindfulness Officer, Ardene

In addition to the main stage program, focused breakout sessions will allow attendees to  mingle with colleagues, experts, and exhibitors so that, at the end of the day, everyone can come away from the conference with tangible strategies they will use within their organizations to develop new competencies and navigate the sweeping changes in retail workplaces.

Early bird discounted rates are in effect until March 20, 2023.  Retail organizations are invited to register their teams to receive a 20% discount on groups of 5 or more.

For information on exhibiting, sponsorship or registration please contact Retail Council of Canada at events@retailcouncil.org.

*Partner content. To work with Retail Insider, email: craig@retail-insider.com


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