Fall 2010 Issue

FRESH Ideas – Registration Now Open for 9th Annual Tourism HR Forum

Registration is now open for the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)’s ninth annual Tourism HR Forum.  Presented with co-hosts, the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the national event will be held at the Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort from November 15 – 17, 2010.  With the theme, “FRESH Ideas: New Opportunities - Developing a Dynamic Workforce”, the forum will provide insight into meeting challenges around labour shortages by tackling topics such as the use of technology for recruitment and retention and the advantages of becoming an Employer of Choice.  Registration and the full program are available now on the HR Forum website.

The HR Forum provides a valuable networking and learning opportunity for tourism managers, human resource specialists, corporate trainers, association representatives, educators, and students from all across Canada.  Participants benefit from the chance to discuss and explore solutions to current and future HR issues that are, or will be, facing the Canadian tourism sector.  Delegates will be exposed to fresh ideas and will leave the Forum with new ideas for building a dynamic workplace and practical tools for addressing projected future labour shortages in their business or workplace. Read More...


Provincial Employer of Choice Programs Join National Program to Help Employers Attract and Retain Top Staff

Employee-rated employer of choiceThe CTHRC Employer of Choice (EOC) program was developed to recognize tourism sector businesses that had exemplary HR practices in place and to provide feedback to businesses wishing to develop their HR strategies.  Employees at EOC businesses know that their actions and opinions matter, which inspires excellent performance in the workplace.

Concurrent to the CTHRC employee-rated EOC program, the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) developed its own EOC program to facilitate effective attraction and retention of top employees at the provincial level.  The Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC) subsequently adapted the AHLA EOC program for its own industry.  Both provincial programs were piloted in 2009 and the launch of the full programs took place in the spring of 2010. Read More...


Measuring Progress Using the Employer of Choice Program

Conexus Arts Centre management uses the national employee-rated EOC to gauge how they measure up in the eyes of their employees.

The Conexus Arts Centre in Regina is committed to creating a dynamic workplace.

The multi-faceted centre consists of a vibrant events and catering department as well as a performing arts theatre.  Without the income generated by events and catering, the theatre would not be able to showcase the variety of local, national, and international artists and performers that it does.

Customer service is the foundation that supports not only catering and events but the entire centre.  “In order to provide superior customer service, we need the commitment of our entire team,” says Pat Beanland, Personnel Manager at the Centre.

For employees to feel committed to an organization, they need to have a stake in it.  The Conexus Arts Centre management made it a priority to encourage a sense of ownership among staff by improving internal communication, staff feedback, and team building.  Once the changes were in place, the management wanted a reliable tool to measure the results of the endeavour.  “We thought the Employer of Choice (EOC) program would be a great opportunity to see if our efforts were effective,” says Beanland. Read More...


With a New Country Comes New Challenges and New Opportunities

OTEC partners with ACCES Employment to provide innovative training solutions for new Canadians.

While many new Canadians have completed post-secondary education and training and have years of experience in their fields, they may not possess the soft skills required to impress prospective employers or to integrate successfully into the Canadian workplace.

Since 2005, the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) has been working with ACCES Employment to deliver Ready-to-Work training to ACCES clients.  ACCES Employment is a Toronto firm that helps internationally-trained job seekers find employment and integrate into the Canadian workplace.  They offer a suite of programs geared toward professionals in the Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Financial Services, Information Technology, and Engineering fields. 

When the Canadian Workplace Essentials (CWE) program was released in 2009, OTEC successfully implemented the program with ACCES Employment.  The CWE is a modular program designed to provide a clear understanding of the values and attitudes that Canadian employers seek, ultimately helping new Canadians secure employment in the Canadian tourism industry. Read More...


What Are Your Employees Worth?

The CTHRC Research Team needs your help to find out.

As an employer, you can’t change economic or labour market trends, but you CAN change the way you respond to these issues.  To attract, recruit, and retain skilled workers for peak performance in your workplace, you need to show your employees that your compensation package is competitive.

The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) and our provincial partners are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2010 Canadian Tourism Sector Compensation Study.

We encourage all businesses to participate in the survey on benefits and HR practices by November 30th.  The survey takes between 10 – 15 minutes to complete and once finished, you will be asked to submit compensation data for your business/organization either online or using an Excel spreadsheet.  All resulting data will be made freely available but individual information is kept anonymous and used only in aggregate form. Read More...


Best Practices and Proven Diversity Strategies

The CTHRC’s Good Employer Practices compendium highlights tourism businesses that seek out internationally trained workers.

With a potential labour shortage in the near future, drawing on a variety of labour pools is becoming an important HR strategy.  “International workers in the hotel industry come with exceptional training and high standards,” says Olga Millns, People and Culture Manager at The Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel.  The Coast Hotel is one of 12 businesses highlighted in the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)’s Good Employer Practices compendium.  Each case study describes how tourism businesses across Canada have applied their diversity practices to recruit, integrate, and retain internationally trained workers (ITWs).  “We realize how lucky we are to have [ITWs],” says Millns, “and we know that we have to become much more intentional in our diversity practices.”

The compendium highlights the experiences of tourism employers from across Canada in using a variety of immigration and labour mobility programs.  Businesses profiled are from both rural and urban settings and a variety of tourism industry groups are represented, including accommodations, transportation, food and beverage services, and recreation and entertainment. Read More...


Professional Development, Satisfied Customers, and Fair Fares

emerit-certified Taxicab/Limousine driver Jim Currie shares his keys to success in the tourism industry.

Jim Currie knows Halifax like the back of his hand.  Born and raised in the city, Currie’s family roots stretch back for generations and he has links to major historical events such as the Halifax Explosion of 1917.  His love for his country, province, and city is palpable – who better to welcome visitors from all around the world? 

Thirteen years ago, Currie started Tours by Towncar, providing friendly and reliable taxi and limousine services as well as tours of Halifax and the surrounding areas.  Currie’s experience in the industry stretches back to the 1980s when he learned to drive taxis and earned his license by the age of 19.  “As soon as I got my license, I wanted to prove that I was an honest, low-maintenance, and dependable driver,” he says.  “I sought regular clients and I worked hard for good references so I could get consistent work.” Red More...