Team Capacity

In This Section

Talent Processes

2.0 Pit Stop #2: Recruitment

Talent Processes

3.0 Pit Stop #3: Mentorship

Talent Processes

4.2 Growth and Development

2.0 Pit Stop #2: Recruitment

Welcome to Recruitment!

Now that you have determined the need to hire your leader, you need to recruit them and fill the role.

You should first start by asking yourself where you will source and recruit your talent from.

Based on this, you can implement the right mechanisms to ensure that all individuals are set up for success within your recruitment process.

2.1 Reflection Moment: How Will I Recruit to Fill This Role?

You can and should first turn inwards if you have an internal pool of candidates that meet the qualifications required. If not, you will need to source the candidate through external channels.

2.2 Internally Source Candidates: Questions to Ask Yourself to Select the Right Individual

1.  What qualifies an internal candidate to be a successful leader in this role?

2.  Are the skills and criteria I am looking for achievable by all internal candidates?

3. What process am I engaging in to fill this role internally? Is this process equally available to everyone?

  • Appointment: Are all qualified candidates being considered before a leader is appointed?
  • Nomination: Am I ensuring that all leaders who nominate a candidate have equal say?
  • Selection: Am I considering all qualified candidates instead of just relying on those who apply?

4.  Am I ensuring that the leader will bring in diverse perspectives currently not present on my leadership team?

5.  Am I ensuring to use a uniform and consistent interview guide that assesses all candidates equally?

2.3.a Externally Source Candidates: Job Descriptions and Employment Postings

The first point of contact for a prospective candidate with an organization is through the Job Description and Employment Posting. This sets the tone and establishes your brand perception as an organization.

leading practices:
  • Develop a page on your organization website and/or career portal dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion and your commitments
  • Dedicate an individual of your team to establish relationships with priority-group-based organizations to build a long-term pipeline of candidates
  • Go beyond job postings and attend / contribute to events from community-based organizations
  • Work cohesively with the marketing and public relations individual(s) of your organization to ensure your organization’s external brand image communicates your values on diversity
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Simplify language on job postings so it is clear and easy to understand
  2. Remove gender-coded words from job descriptions and postings
  3. Align the desired candidate qualifications and experiences to only those necessary to complete the role’s tasks. Consider the value of metrics that may create a barrier for specific priority groups, such as years of work experience or formal education
  4. Promote accessibility by posting to various channels. Ensure that the employment posting site is easy to navigate and simple to understand
  5. Conduct outreach to priority-group-based talent organizations and job boards to promote your organization’s opportunities
  6. Establish partnerships with organizations that work to advance candidates for priority groups

2.3.b Externally Source Candidates: Applicant Screening

Applicant Screening is a critical step through which candidates enter or are unable to enter the recruitment pipeline and subsequent next steps.

leading practices:
  • Implement resume screening tools that remove personal identifiers within each application, to prevent bias from hiring manager(s)
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Remove personal identifiers from candidate applications that are not required or related to the role
  2. Develop criteria to ensure consistent screening across all recruiters per role
  3. Assess applications for skills stated in the job description, and focus on the “must-have’s”

2.3.c Externally Source Candidates: Candidate Interviewing

The interviewing process is what determines which candidates receive an employment opportunity in your organization, and can be heavily influenced by biases.

leading practices:
  • Ensure that hiring panels consist of diverse interviewers of varying intersectional backgrounds, so that candidates can see themselves reflected in the organization
  • Encourage post-interview debrief conversations amongst all interviewers to discuss each candidate with uniform criteria and ensure each candidate is assessed equally
  • Provide regular unconscious bias training, guides to identifying personal bias within the recruitment process, and progress tracking to interviewers as part of a comprehensive approach to bias reduction
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Develop interview questions that are objective, relevant, and focus on core competencies required for the role
  2. Adopt a standardized interview process for each role, with a standard duration, set of questions, and objective criteria to identify a successful candidate
  3. Ensure that interview questions are focused on the role and would not put certain candidates at a disadvantage due to intersectional factors
  4. Ensure all interviews are conducted at minimum in pairs of interviewers, in order to prevent personal bias from one interviewer in impacting the final decision

2.3.d Externally Source Candidates: Candidate Experience

Whether a candidate receives an offer or not, the candidate experience during recruitment is critical to ensuring the candidate feels comfortable and has a lasting positive impression of your organization.

leading practices:
  • Provide candidates with verbal and personal feedback if they are not selected for a role, to support their development and recruitment journey
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Understand that all candidates hold unique needs that may not be easily or comfortably articulated. As an organization, adopt a proactive mindset to anticipate candidate needs and remove pressure from a candidate to disclose
  2. Provide candidates with the option of requesting accommodations if required
  3. Share resources, such as an Interview Success Guide, with candidates to provide clarity on the interview process and how to best prepare

2.3.e Externally Source Candidates: Hiring Manager Enablement

It is important to ensure that your hiring manager is educated and aware on their role to mitigating bias during the recruitment process.

leading practices:
  • Engage all hiring managers in bias training, as well as anti-racism and anti-discrimination training, on a regular basis
  • Involve senior leadership by dedicating a Recruitment Champion, who receives updates from hiring managers on a minimum quarterly basis and is able to escalate any concerns from the group and provide resources
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Implement mechanisms to receive feedback from candidates to ensure continuous improvement of your recruitment process
  2. Ensure hiring managers meet internally on a regular basis to review and discuss processes with each other and address questions
  3. Create an interview guide for each role, so that all hiring managers are able to assess for each role equally and feel well-equipped to succeed

2.3.f Externally Source Candidates: Compensation and Total Rewards

When recruiting and providing an offer to a candidate, your organization must play a role in pay equity and reducing pay discrepancies.

leading practices:
  • Explicitly state salary expectations or ranges for a leadership role within job description and/or during interview to avoid discrepancies in candidate expectations and negotiations
  • Analyze existing pay across demographics within workforce to determine any discrepancies exist
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Ensure pay equity practices are up to date and implement regular reviewing period on a minimum annual basis
  2. Implement formal reward/recognition system that enables employees to recognize each other for their hard work through monetary and non-monetary means
  3. Implement a regular performance evaluation period, during which salary decisions are made

Recruitment: Regional and Industry Considerations

Industry: Banking and Financial Services

Research from Bloomberg in 2020 indicates that Canada’s banking industry falls behind Canadian national progress with regards to EDI. At most Canadian banks, over 33% of staff identify as non-white, yet only 10% of senior executive roles and 8% of non-executive board positions are held by Racialized, Black and/or People of Colour individuals. 

Recruit intentionally and with EDI in mind. Historically, Canadian banks and financial institutions have recruited from the same pools of talent, hindering the advancement of priority group talent.

Consider the following:

  • At the campus recruitment levels, student bodies within target schools are often not as diverse and pose financial barriers for diverse talent to enter. Seek partnerships with historically diverse educational institutions rather than focusing specifically on traditional target schools
  • Facilitate employment opportunities focused on specific priority groups, to cater to their needs. Ensure that recruiters and interviewers leading the change identify with these priority groups
Region: Northern Canada

Organizations operating in Northern Canada often find it difficult to attract and recruit talent from priority groups, as the majority of talent tend to live in metropolitan, urban areas.

Consider the following:

  • State opportunities for flexible working arrangements in job descriptions where possible, to expand the talent pool outside of the closest physical community. Flexible work can include remote working or hybrid working
  • Increase partnerships with community-based employment organizations, which offer job boards, resources and/or candidate matching with priority group talent
Industry: Food Services

According to Restaurants Canada, EDI considerations bring economic, operational, and morale benefits to the business. The food services sector is a leader in providing opportunities to priority group candidates.

Consider the following:

  • Remove areas of the job application that require a candidate to disclose the country in which they obtained their experience
  • Use competency-based measures to assess or showcase a candidate’s skills (job-related testing, behavioural interview questions, scenarios, etc.)
  • Recognize the value of on-the-job training

Scenario: Checkpoint 1

Welcome to your Talent Processes Scenario: Checkpoint 1!
After reading about Recruitment practices in Pit Stop #2, Karan went back to his HR team to learn about how the organization currently recruits leaders. Karan learns that the organization does not have a formalized recruitment process as there was no time to establish one while the start-up was growing. Currently, all applicants for leadership roles come through referrals, as this is the easiest way for the organization to quickly hire.

What actions should Karan take to improve the recruitment process? Select all that apply.

3.0 Pit Stop #3: Mentorship

Welcome to Mentorship!

Now that you have hired your leader, your next step is to help them grow within your organization.

Mentorship fosters a sense of belonging and ensures your leaders are able to learn from others on how to be successful within their role.

It is critical that mentorship is offered equally to everyone, and that the mentor opportunities cater to the unique identities of all leaders.

3.1 Mentorship: Formal Mentorship Opportunities

Formal mentorship opportunities are organization-developed programs that provide employees with the tools to enhance their leadership capabilities.

leading practices:
  • Focus specific mentorship programs / events on allyship to encourage leaders to support co-workers who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and/or gender and sexually diverse individuals
  • Facilitate mentor training on how to become an impactful mentor and champion for leaders
  • Encourage senior leaders and board members to open space in their schedules to allow for mentorship opportunities for the next generation of leaders
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Establish formal mentorship programs within your organization to support high-potential and board-ready talent in receiving active feedback and coaching to achieve senior leadership positions
  2. Allow mentorship programs to be sponsored by senior leaders to ensure that junior leaders are receiving visibility and benefit from expansion of their network
  3. Advise mentors to encourage mentees of priority groups and empower them to apply for leadership roles
  4. Provide equal mentorship opportunities to all leaders to remove influence of informal mentorship mechanisms
  5. Mentorship program activities should be inclusionary in nature. All mentees should receive an invitation and options to ensure the activity is not “traditionally exclusionary” (e.g. team-building events rather than golfing or hockey games, dinner at a restaurant rather than drinks after work)

Mentorship: Regional and Industry Considerations

Industry: Technology

The 2020 People of Colour in Tech report demonstrated that less than 5% of the workforce for large technology companies are composed of Black, Latinx and “Aboriginal” and/or Indigenous tech professionals. Employees of Colour find it difficult to access mentors, and Black employees reported it 62% more difficult to find a mentor than white respondents.

Priority group employees in the technology sector often do not see many leaders who look like them, and struggle to progress within the organization due to a lack of exposure.

Consider the following:

  • Design mentorship programs keeping in mind career progression, to enable priority group employees to achieve leadership positions
  • Host priority-group specific technology mentorship events, such as Black Professionals in Tech
  • Partner with community-based organizations to provide mentorship to young professionals looking to enter the technology industry
Region: Atlantic Canada

According to a 2022 report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, women are well represented in employment in Atlantic Canada, consisting of approximately 50% of the workforce. Racialized, Black and/or People of Colour however only account for about 1 in 20 workers. The report also indicated that Black employees specifically are less likely to be promoted to manager and leader roles.

Consider the following:

  • Provide mentorship opportunities specific to diverse talent and leaders new to Atlantic Canada to help them expand their local network, and reduce social isolation that often arises from not being a local
  • Ensure mentors can provide education and learning for those learning French, if required by the role
  • Provide training on intersectionality to mentors, so they are able to support diverse talent

4.2 Growth & Development

4.2 Training and Development: Growth and Development

In addition to training, there are several other ways your organization can support the growth and development of your leaders.

leading practices:
  • Host cultural competency workshops for leaders, in partnership with priority-group-based organizations
  • Assign internal coaches to leaders who can work with them to action their growth and development goals
Specific actions to follow:
  1. Establish professional development programs to help leaders achieve their professional goals
  2. Promote a culture of continuous learning and development through internal communications and messaging from senior leadership

Training and Development: Regional and Industry Considerations

Industry: Fisheries and Oceans

The ocean sector is lagging behind in attracting a diverse labour force as opportunities in this industry are not highly visible due to their niche, technical training and hiring processes.

To improve inclusion of women and/or non-binary individuals within the sector, consider the following:

  • Improve education and awareness that a career in the ocean sector is viable and accessible; partner with women and/or non-binary individuals, allies, and employers
  • Sponsor women and/or non-binary individuals to pursue leadership roles within the organizations and encourage them to offer diverse perspectives on company management and talent attraction
  • To pursue work as newcomers without prior connections to this field, women and/or non-binary individuals would benefit from additional resources, financial aid (gender issues can complicate pursuit of first-time loans), assets (support to purchase a boat/equipment, obtain a license), access to well-advertised education/financial opportunities, networking and mentorship
Industry: Healthcare

According to a report from Osler, in 2021, only 15% of Executive Officers and 17% of Board Members identified as a woman in the Life Sciences Industry, ranking as the smallest percentage from 13 industries.

Diversity in healthcare is important to ensure equitable healthcare outcomes for staff and patients as well.

Consider the following:

  • Provide training to staff to understand the importance of accommodation to meet priority group healthcare needs
  • Dedicate leaders to oversee training and partnerships for priority group healthcare education

Scenario: Checkpoint 2

Welcome to your Talent Processes Scenario: Checkpoint 2!
After reviewing Training and Development at Pit Stop #4, Karan goes to investigate the role requirements the organization has set out for leaders. He realizes that the organization asks each leader to have a specific food license certification which costs approximately $2300 to obtain. The organization currently expects all new leaders to obtain and hold this certification prior to joining.

Karan is reflecting on what he has learned so far and is not sure if this mandatory certification is an inclusive practice. What should Karan do?

Women are often less likely to enter competitions, including those for new roles, than men due to gendered expectations. To mitigate this:

Offer an “opt-out” option for selection for leadership roles, so that all qualified candidates are automatically within the pool of candidates. Candidates can choose to exclude themselves if they like, rather than putting the accountability on employees to raise their hand

Affinity bias often exists in the recruitment process, where decision-makers tend to connect with employees who are similar to themselves. This serves as a barrier for many priority groups.

  • Ensure that selection committees consist of diverse individuals, in terms of professional stature and personal identity
  • Maintain consistent assessment process for all candidates, including those who are referrals, so that each candidate is evaluated equally

Racialized, Black, and/or People of Colour candidates often feel more comfortable applying for positions with employers who visibly demonstrate their values towards equity, diversity and inclusion.

Explicitly highlight your organization’s value statement for equity, diversity and inclusion within job descriptions

Considerations for Intermediate / Advanced Organizations

Engage with alternative screening tools such as personality assessments, which are skills-based and free of identifiers. This will support the development of a more diverse workforce.

2SLGBTQ+ and/or gender and sexually diverse individuals can have non-traditional education or gaps in experience due to factors such as family conflict. This can reduce their likelihood of call-backs for an interview.

  • Focus on the skills required for the role, not preferred educational or employment experiences
  • Avoid rejecting candidates or removing them from the pipeline due to employment or experiential gaps

Large Organization:

Scotiabank and Plum

Scotiabank recognized the need to remove barriers from its talent acquisition process, specifically during applicant screening. The organization made the bold decision to remove resumes entirely from its process, and pilot this initiative within its Digital Factory team.

The organization decided to partner with Plum, a talent assessment platform that measures a candidate’s personality, social intelligence and problem-solving capabilities. Candidates received a match score, which indicated all of the roles that they would be a strong fit for.

As a result of this initiative, Scotiabank saw a 60% increase of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour candidates within its hiring intake, and a 50% increase of women within its hiring cohort.

Newcomers to Canada often face challenges in seeking employment due to an emphasis on Canadian experience from employers.

  • Focus on skills the candidate demonstrates over experiences, as determining what is a “strong” experience can lead to individual subjectivity and bias

Candidates with visible or invisible disabilities often feel hesitant to disclose and request accommodation, due to the risk of it impacting their ability to successfully achieve the position.

  • Ensure your accommodation process follows your employer duty to accommodate as per provincial legislation
  • Maintain confidentiality of accommodation information provided by the candidate: only share this information with those necessary to support the accommodation request
  • Publicly state your organization’s commitment to accommodations and candidate information confidentiality throughout the recruitment process

Ensure the built environment accommodates for candidates who require additional support. This can include:

  • Physical accommodations to enter and navigate your workspace
  • Clear signage and language to promote accessibility

Ensure that alternative communication options are available for candidates. This can include:

  • Subtitles and text translation options
  • Translators to accommodate language barriers
  • Alternative testing and evaluation processes to traditional verbal interviews, such as gamification and skill-testing exercises

Reach out to potential job candidates via proactive recruitment efforts, such as through universities, community groups, non-English language media, and other specialty outlets and military liaison offices

Racialized, Black, and/or People of Colour candidates, as well as “Aboriginal” and/or Indigenous candidates tend to remove personal identifiers from their application if they fear discrimination during the process.

  • Leverage resume screening technologies where possible to support and enable hiring managers in removing personal bias from the decision-making process
  • Remove external searching from screening process to avoid bias from arising due to a candidate’s personal details, such as photos
  • Educate Hiring Managers on ethical recruiting practices

Considerations for Intermediate / Advanced Organizations

  • To encourage pay equity, include the starting salary and information about overall compensation within the job posting
  • Avoid asking a candidate for their salary history or expectations as this can lead to bias and pay discrepancies, based on a candidate’s comfort in discussion pay
    • Women of Colour are often less likely and comfortable to request pay that fairly compensates their efforts and talents, leading to pay discrepancies and inequities

Small/Medium Organization

McMaster Museum

McMaster Museum of Art launched a curatorial mentorship program, pairing Black, Indigenous and People of Colour art professionals with a senior curator.

Through this mentorship program, senior museum staff can guide the mentee through key activities to help them become leaders within the arts community.

Considerations for Intermediate / Advanced Organizations

Cater mentorship programs for specific priority groups to allow junior staff to see leaders “who look like them” and with whom they can relate

Traditional, institutional systems often do not address the growth needs for Indigenous employees.

Elders in Residence is a program that can be developed where Indigenous leaders can provide counsel to employees from a holistic Indigenous perspective

Designations required by roles are often not accessible to all individuals, either for financial or non-financial reasons.

  • Determine if your leaders had access to designations or trainings that would enable them to be successful. If not, offer the development opportunities to them, free of cost
  • Provide time dedicated to learning so that leaders who are also caregivers are able to integrate training activities into their schedule and balance other priorities

Large Organization:

HP Canada

HP Canada recognized the opportunity to increase visibility and promotion of female and underrepresented talent in technical and leadership roles.

The organization launched its Catalyst@HP program, where senior-level executives serve as Sponsors and commit to the growth and career advancement of their mentees. Each mentee is enrolled in an 18-month program focused on learning and development to gain key skills to succeed in leadership roles.

Since the first launch of the program, HP Canada has seen 78% of mentees from the program be promoted to new roles in the organization.

Considerations for Intermediate / Advanced Organizations

  • Develop customized learning plans for specific leadership roles to ensure that the upskilling is relevant to roles
  • Provide coverage and reimbursement for employees to pursue professional designations that they may not have had access to previously
  • Engage Executive Coaches to support the creation of growth and development programs
  • Customize training offerings to priority groups, by engaging with community-based organizations who are subject matter professionals in specific topics

Large Organization Case Study:

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC)

As part of LHSC’s Healthy Equity Strategy, the organization established a partnership with Atlohsa Family Healing Services in 2020. This partnership enables LHSC to offer an Indigenous Healing Services Advisor and provide a Sacred Space for Traditional Health Practices, Ceremony and Traditional Teaching.

This initiative was launched in response to two of the Truth and Reconciliations Commission’s Calls to action under healthcare.



Microaggression is defined as: “A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group” – Source: Merriam Webster



Unlearning is defined as: “To make an effort to forget your usual way of doing something so that you can learn a new and sometimes better way” – Source: Cambridge Dictionary



Intersectionality is defined as: A framework for understanding how different aspects of a person’s social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, physical appearance, etc.) combine to create unique modes of discrimination and privilege. Intersectionality identifies advantages and disadvantages that are felt by people due to this combination of factors – Source: Kimberlé Crenshaw, TIME



Privilege is defined as: “The unfair and unearned advantages individuals are granted for having, or being perceived to have, social identities that align with those deemed to be superior according to societal rules and norms. It is often experienced as an absence of barriers related to a particular social identity (e.g., White privilege, straight privilege)” – Source: Egale


Safe Space

Safe Space is defined as: “A place intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations” – Source: Merriam-Webster

Safe spaces allow individuals to feel comfortable having brave and honest conversations.


Emotional Tax

Emotional Tax is defined as: “The combination of feeling different from peers at work because of gender, race, and/or ethnicity, being on guard against experiences of bias, and experiencing the associated effects on health, well-being, and ability to thrive at work” – Source: Catalyst



Tokenism is defined as: “Performative policies that ostensibly promote diversity or equality (placing women or diverse groups in leadership positions), but do not truly have a positive impact on the workplace. Tokenism isn’t progressive, and it especially causes harm to tokenized individuals, causing extra pressure to succeed due to being perceived as representative of a group and often leaving them in an alienating work environment” – Source: Catalyst


Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is defined as: “An environment that encourages, recognizes and rewards individuals for their contributions and ideas by making individuals feel safe when taking interpersonal risks. A lack of psychological safety at work can inhibit team learning and lead to in-groups, groupthink and blind spots” – Source: Gartner