What We Learned at HRPA 2018

League had an absolute blast at HRPA 2018! From the convention floor, to our HR Fueling Station, to our exclusive events – we couldn’t get enough of the infectious energy of the HR leaders in attendance. If you scored an invite to one of our three engaging events we hope you had a great time and left with some valuable takeaways.

Here were some of our favourite pearls of wisdom from our keynote speakers:

“When you go out in the world there are energy-takers and energy-givers. Everyday you have to get up and decide which one you’re going to be.” – Hayley Wickenheiser 
Hayley Wickenheiser speaking at League event
Hayley Wickenheiser, Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, IOC Athletes’ Commission Member


You don’t propel your teammates to four Olympic gold-medals without learning a few things about leadership along the way. Hockey icon Hayley Wickenheiser shared her inspiring philosophy on leadership with a rapt room of HR leaders at our exclusive cocktail event.   

Key takeaways: 

  • Choose the right approach. Some situations call for leading from the front, others require you to lead from the back to let your teammates shine.
  • Recognize adversity as perseverance. Hayley’s team drew inspiration from a grueling mountain bike ride to overcome a daunting deficit in their Gold Medal game.
  • Run your team as a meritocracy. Regardless of prior accomplishments or reputation, whoever is performing the best will be given the biggest roles.
“An employee’s definition of a great workplace is that you trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with.” – Jose Tolovi Neto
Jose Tolovi Neto speaking at League event
Jose Tolovi Neto, Managing Partner, Great Place to Work Institute


Every year the Great Place to Work Institute ranks the best workplaces in Canada. Jose shared some of their criteria at our pre-HRPA breakfast, and gave our audience tips for improving their employee experience.  

Key takeaways: 

  • Health benefits are often taken for granted by Canadian employees, so HR leaders need to find innovative ways to increase their value.
  • Improve your ranking to increase your talent pool. Companies who rank in the top 25 best workplaces receive twice as many applications for open positions.  
  • Losing an employee costs an average of $20,000 to $40,000 dollars. The best workplaces in Canada enjoy 32% less voluntary turnover.  
“I look for employees who are like students in that they never feel too smart to learn. But they also need to be like teachers in that they’re never too busy to share knowledge.” – Ben Zifkin
Ben Zifkin spoke at League breakfast event
Ben Zifkin, CEO and Founder, Hubba


Successful entrepreneur and best-selling author of “The Rise of the Craft Brand”, Ben Zifkin spoke about Hubba’s unique recruitment and retention strategies at our client-appreciation event.

Key takeaways:

  • Hubba believes empathy is the top quality to look for in a successful candidate. They must understand others, be open minded, and be respectful.
  • Determine salary increases and promotions by market value, not current salary and title. If a junior person becomes a top performer they should be compensated accordingly.
  • Happy goodbyes. Hubba encourages all of their employees to leave after two years to pursue new ventures.

We had a great time at HRPA 2018 and can’t wait to go back next year. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with League and find out where we’ll be appearing next just subscribe to our newsletter

The League Booth at HRPA
The League Booth at HRPA
HR Leaders gather at Shangri-La Toronto
HR Leaders gather at Shangri-La Toronto for League event
Mike Serbinis, League CEO and Founder, introduces Hayley Wickenheiser
Mike Serbinis, League CEO and Founder, introduces Hayley Wickenheiser
Guests receiving relaxing chair massages
Guests receiving relaxing chair massages
Guests receiving aura photo
Guests were able to get their aura photographed

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