CONNECT 2016 Recap: The Agile Approach To Talent Acquisition

WilsonHCG’s annual CONNECT Recruitment Forum, that took place on October 28th in Toronto, certainly lived up to its promise of providing innovative and insightful discussions. The event brought together Toronto’s top HR, talent acquisition, and technology professionals for an engaging meeting on agile HR and digital transformation. The 2016 event, The Agile Approach to Talent Acquisition, was hosted by Scotiabank at their Scotiabank Conference Centre in the heart of the financial district in downtown Toronto. Talented guest speakers eagerly shared the year’s successes and lessons learned in applying agile process methodology to the latest trends in recruitment, onboarding and performance management.

One of the highlights of the event included a thought provoking fireside chat featuring WilsonHCG’s EVP of Global Strategy and Scotiabank’s VP of Digital Enablement Kevin Stewart. The two had a collaborative discussion on the intersection of customer focus and digital strategy. Kevin had a great comment about how Scotiabank's way forward isn't to be thought of as a financial services company that uses technology, but rather as a technology company that operates in the financial services market – representative of a paradigm shift industry giants should be open to. The two also discussed how taking an agile approach isn't exclusive to the talent acquisition process, but should also be applied to onboarding, talent management, and offboarding as well.


Scotiabank’s own recruitment leaders, Natalie Hickes and Lucy Ribeiro shared successes from Scotia’s groundbreaking, Digital Factory; an internal technology hub that just celebrated its 1-year anniversary. Through all of its success, The Digital Factory is tangible proof of how agile delivers unique value to all areas of the business.

A live panel was moderated by Kim Pope, WilsonHCG’s EVP of Global Client Solutions, where industry leaders debated and discussed the unique benefits of agile process methodology specifically related to candidate engagement and talent acquisition. This “Future of Work” panel touched on related topics including the gig economy, mobile recruitment, and company culture.


A live Twitter stream and overwhelming audience participation made the event fly by, while also sparking many conversations during breaks and networking downtime.




If you were unable to attend CONNECT 2016, but are curious how you can apply agile methodologies to your own talent acquisition function, take a look at some of these key takeaways:

1. Process

Don't over engineer your recruitment process, or have a "lite" process available.

2. Know Your Strategic End Game

Start a recruiting project with the end in mind and think about the desired outcomes. If your organization is caught up in a transactional mindset, you have a bigger job to do. Behaviors need to adjust and buy-in is key.

3. What are your positioning statements

Talent pools are even more critical than they were previously. Establish what your positioning statements will be to quickly hook and hold suitable talent. 

4. Communication

Communication plans are even more critical; understanding what happens, when it should happen, and who owns the various tasks. This will empower you to accomplish your goals more effectively. 

5. The network of things

And of course, there's the network of things. This gives organizations the ability to unite teams, technology, and organizational structure through agile methodologies. In turn, this enables people to streamline projects, resulting in organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation.


From cowboy hats to cutting edge technology, this year’s CONNECT forum had something for all of its attendees (including a delicious hot breakfast). We would like to send a special thank you to everyone who participated in this event and for sharing their knowledge, industry expertise, and experiences!

Stay tuned for more content on agile talent acquisition best practices, as well as future events through our Global CHRO and HR Director Network.

[AT A GLANCE] Agile Strategies, Including Innovation, Speed And  Cross-Functional Teams, Can Play An Important Role In Your Company. Learn more!

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Angela Bateman and Madeleine Stevenson

Madeleine Stevenson joined WilsonCTS in 2012 and have since acquired more than three years of experience in positions on the coordination team, in Managed Service Provider (MSP) recruitment and now with contingency talent solutions. My biggest accomplishment would be turning candidates into clients through tailored communication and relationship building. Angela Bateman works in People and Culture as well as being a Care Specialist for WilsonHCG.