TORONTO — Hospitality professionals gathered at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel this week for the 11th Annual Tourism & Hospitality HR Forum, which was highlighted by general sessions, an HR Boot Camp and an Educator Symposium — all focused on the theme of Talent Management: Strategies For Business Success.

“The focus is about being ready for a changing workforce,” said Philip Mondor, SVP of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council upon welcoming guests to a plenary session about the evolving work environment. “The way we’ve done things in the past is not how we can work moving forward.”

The session discussion was led by Leah Simon and Katherine Ford, both employment and labour lawyers from Toronto’s Sherrard Kuzz LLP. The duo reviewed the Ontario Human Rights Code, while emphasizing the need to reassess employment standards to accommodate an aging workforce. “One of the most dramatic changes coming is the age of the workforce,” said Ford, who pointed out that one in four workers could be 55 or older by 2021. “There’s going to have to be a change in who we look to attract,” she said. Ford suggested companies should entertain ideas such as extending group benefits, demanding less work hours and offering a brighter work environment to accommodate the mature worker. “You’re going to want to be more creative to make sure your [staff] remain engaged,” she added.

Other sessions at the event addressed Canada’s changing demographics, the use of social media to tap into talent, tips on increasing productivity and profit and more.

The annual forum is hosted by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC).

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