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Fall 2003 Edition- September 2003 Volume 3

In Conversation With... Lynn Turner, RPR
IPM's 2002/2003 Member of the Year

Members of IPM's Associations have frequently seen Lynn Turner's name in tributes to the National Board of Directors over the past few years. Most recently, Lynn Turner, RPR, was voted 2002-2003 Member of the Year by the National Board for her exceptional contributions to the success of IPM's four associations.

In addition to her full-time position as Manager of DMS Recruiting for OAO Technology Solutions (Canada) Inc. based in Calgary, Lynn volunteers a great deal of her time to IPM as well as other interests in the community.

A native of British Columbia, Lynn has vast experience in both the private and public sectors in BC and Alberta.

Members Quarterly (MQ): How did you start your career in HR?

Lynn Turner, RPR
OAS Technology
LT: My very first "real" job was as a Keypunch Operator for BC Television in Vancouver. From there, I worked my way to Personnel Manager before leaving to go to Noranda Metal Industries Ltd. As Personnel Manager at Noranda, we provided HR services to two plant locations in BC and Washington State. My responsibilities included recruitment and hiring, administration of benefit plans, resolution of grievances, negotiations of union contracts and implementation of safety programs. My years at Noranda provided the foundation for future roles and activities in which I am still involved over twenty years later.

MQ: Your next position lead to a role in Employment Standards. Where did you go from there?

LT: I started as an Industrial Relations Officer at the Employment Standards Branch for the Province of BC, I then became Training and Education Officer and ultimately Deputy Director. My duties included all those of a senior manager plus I was involved in resolving workplace disputes, chairing Employment Standards hearings as well as representing the province on inter-provincial labour issues. I transferred to the Industrial Relations Council where I mediated outstanding bargaining issues between management and unions and became BC's first female Labour Mediator.

MQ: Having reached a milestone as BC's first female Labour Mediator, what motivated you in your next career move?

LT: My passion for adult education and working with people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds inspired me to pursue formal Instructor training, Employment Counseling certification and Life Skills Coach certification. I worked mostly freelance and then became Program Coordinator for YES (Youth Employment Skills) Canada working on a pilot program that assisted post-graduate university and college students find meaningful work related to their education.

MQ: Your background in Adult Education and belief in lifelong learning helped you after your move to Alberta. What happened next?

LT: When I was about 20 years old, I had a dream about moving to Calgary. I decided to make that dream a reality and in 1997, I moved to Calgary. I didn't know anyone in Calgary, however my adult education certifications and my love of training soon allowed me to land positions with Alberta Business & Educational Services (ABES) and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). I taught soft skills courses such as Master Student, Conflict Resolution, Job Finding and Communication skills and before too long I was offered the role of Coordinator for the Computer Administration Program at ABES. In that role, I assisted students in starting rewarding careers in the IT industry. I also developed a broad network of colleagues in the employer community. Recruitment and placement of candidates is a most rewarding experience that I have enjoyed for years. This brought me to my present position as Manager of DMS Recruiting for OAO Technology Solutions (Canada) Inc. I also still teach part-time at ABES 2000 which keeps me involved with the employer community and also allows me to assist and mentor some of the up and coming IT stars of the future.

MQ: In addition to your employment history, you have a strong commitment to volunteering for a number of organizations. What groups have you assisted?

LT: In BC, my major involvement was with the Vancouver SPCA and the Red Cross. Since moving to Calgary, I first became involved with Youth Justice programs and became the first Chairperson of the Chinook Youth Justice Committee. I also served as Secretary of the Board of the Calgary Youth Justice Society and was a board member for PIMA (Partners in Mentoring Abilities) for one year. I joined the IPM Associations' National Board of Directors as a volunteer, then became Regional Director two years ago. I am also currently the President of the Hetherington Estate Condominium Board.

Calgary is known as the "Volunteer Capital of Canada". I love the spirit of the people here and I learn so much from each new experience and I meet so many truly interesting people. If I can make a personal contribution, I see that as a bonus.

MQ: Your various volunteer roles demonstrate a keen personal interest not solely for the purpose of networking for business. Where do you find the time to do all this?

LT: My present position at OAO Technology Solutions is demanding and is subject to tight deadlines. I often work evenings and weekends over the regular workweek. I am a strong believer that if I can contribute to organizations and associations that interest me, I can organize my personal schedule to devote sufficient time to each. At present, I have two primary commitments that I plan to maintain -- IPM's Associations and Hetherington Estate Condo Board. I also still have ties with the Youth Justice programs and have, in fact, just volunteered to work a Casino night to help raise funds for youth programs.

I am proud to be a member of the IPM Associations, and am truly honoured to receive this award. The need for life-long learning is now a fact of life and IPM provides cutting-edge training, skills development and community networking at a very affordable price. Years ago a friend quoted an expression he had learned from a mentor of his: If you're not making dust, you're eating it!" At different times in my life, I have remembered and found courage in those words.

MQ: In addition to seeing great progress with the various projects, what other factors seem to motivate you in your volunteer activities?

LT: First, I love to work with people and secondly, it is such a learning experience! The skills learned from the various roles I have held in recruitment, education, administration and human resources management help me in dealing with volunteers, staff and the community as a whole in every organization. For example, I have had the opportunity to meet and network with National Board members of IPM's Associations across the country. This has given me tremendous insight into the issues and interests that my counterparts experience elsewhere as well as giving us the ability to share new ideas that we can implement in our own regions. I have met some wonderful folks through my volunteer roles, some of whom have become great friends. I find this extremely rewarding.

MQ: With this heavy a personal and business agenda, do you have time for your own personal interests and hobbies?

LT: I fit in some time for personal interests such as yoga, gardening, walking, theatre and cooking. Yoga gives me the strength, conditioning and peace of mind that I use to fulfill other commitments; gardening is seasonal and soulful; walking is soothing and relaxing; theatre is entertaining and cooking and being with friends is pure pleasure.

Member's Quarterly Staff Writer

Coaching: Can it help your organization?
To Make It Work For You, Know Why You Need It.

The popularity of executive coaching, defined in this context as the use of outside consulting expertise to maximize a key individual's potential within an organization, continues to grow in today's changing marketplace. In this first of several articles on this subject, we will begin to examine what constitutes an effective coaching program and why organizations have embraced this relatively new human resources tool.

The concept of "coaching" in business surfaced with wider application only during the late 80's, most prevalently in Silicon Valley and the broader West Coast of the United States. During this time, the combination of the war for talent, and the realization that successful retention strategies for key employees meant more than monetary incentives, contributed to companies looking for a human resources edge in order to attract and retain key contributors.

Fundamentals for Coaching Success: This author's experience indicates that the following three fundamentals are key for a coaching program to have a high success rate:

1)CONFIDENTIALITY & TRUST must exist between the employee receiving the coaching service, the coach, and the company sponsor. This relationship is essential in order for the coaching client to embrace the need for feedback, and to truly see the long-term developmental potential that the coaching program can unleash.

2)WHO SHOULD RECEIVE COACHING - The underlying theme of "retention for key employees" has the most dramatic impact. Remedial, disciplinary, or day-to-day lack of management direction are less effective rationales to initiate coaching. The benefits to the coaching client need to be as clear as the potential benefits to the organization. If the primary rationale for initiating coaching is to make a problem go away, you might want to consider a more cost-effective method to achieve that organizational goal. Reserve your coaching initiatives for the high achievers or emerging talents of the organization.

3)FOCUS ON THE WHOLE PERSON, not just the position's title. This allows the coaching client to examine all of the factors that contribute to their ability to perform at the highest level within the organization. The approach of examining the coaching client's contribution outside of the work environment allows for long-term continuous growth and development. In this way, the coaching program can avoid many of the "quick fix" solutions commonly associated with "motivational speaker" type seminars or referrals.

Why are organizations turning to outside coaching expertise? First, not all organizations have embraced coaching. Second, their reasons for using coaching vary considerably, even though almost everyone could indeed benefit from a "personal coach". Having had many opportunities to observe both the various needs and benefits of coaching within an organization that practices career management, illustrated below are some of the more likely examples of when an organization may turn to outside coaching expertise. These situations are classified as follows:

1)The "Fast Track" Promotion.. Through a combination of outstanding performance and "being in the right place at the right time," many Executives find themselves struggling with what happens next.

2)The "Lonely C.E.O."... The most Senior Executives have few options as to where to go for advice. Often, it may be inappropriate to confide in his or her Board, and everyone else is an employee.

3)The "Technical Star" who lacks people skills... The best and brightest technical person takes over the project one day, and becomes the VP of Engineering the next, often without the proper training or experience to back up their newfound responsibilities.

Rob Notman is President of KWA Partners in Ottawa.

So You Want to be a Recruiter?
What does recruiting have to do with people?

Having been in the business of recruiting for the past seven years, I find it very interesting when talking to people who say "I wouldn't mind doing what you do."

Generally, I ask why. Most of the time the response I get is, "Well, I like working with people." Depending on my mood, I pose the question, "What does recruiting have to do with people?" I mean, isn't recruiting a really cleverly disguised sales job? After all, in my business you are either selling a job to a candidate or selling a candidate to your client.

So, what does recruiting have to do with people? Is it not in fact the culmination of the candidate's experience and knowledge, their talent and their abilities that we try to promote when considering them for an opportunity?

Well if you really want to be a recruiter, there is a lot more work that goes into the job than just selling, although selling is a big part of it.

Recruiters can really act as a gauge to the labour market to candidates who are looking for work. To be a successful recruiter, it takes time and patience and a lot of knowledge. A good recruiter should know what's going on around them all the time. What new business is coming to town? Who is downsizing? Who is hiring? Who is merging? What industry is booming? What are some of the spinoff industries affected by a boom or a bust? Who is the new CEO in town and where did they come from? Who placed them? Remember, no matter how large you think your city is, it really is pretty small and just about everyone knows someone!

Recruiters (especially headhunters - I know all you HR people are cringing right now) are notorious for their networking abilities. If they don't know Who, then they certainly know Who would know... and they are not afraid to ask. Don't forget to talk to the people you think may not know anyone... chances are they do! Even business events that seem like a waste of time are usually the events where you have the chance to mingle and chat about what is going on and who is doing what with whom in your business world.

There are so many recruiting styles out there that you need to be comfortable with the one you use. Most organizations have a formalized recruiting structure and expect HR recruiters to follow it. But there is nothing to stop you from finding a style and making it work for you. Some recruiters follow the 20-minute rule; others prefer the point based system; still others prefer the formalized close ended question and answer; and let us not forget the beloved Behavioural Based Interviewing technique. This comfort zone can come in the form of the questions you ask. There are questions you can ask that will give you more information about a person then just the surface response.

So, there are three main requirements for being a recruiter:
1. Arm yourself with information, even if it is trivial;
2. Build yourself a strong network of people who are "in the know";
3. Find your recruiting style.

Recruiting is much more involved than "I like to work with people". I like to think there is an art to recruiting and your potential candidates are your subject.

Shalini Richards, RPR, CMP, CHRP. SR-HR Consulting. She can be reached at

Workplace Today® Used as Top Management Resource
A tool for the managers of today and tomorrow

IPM's Workplace Today® journal continues to be recognized as a top Canadian management resource, being quoted in a recent management textbook.

Several excerpts from the journal appear in Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour: Key Concepts, Skills & Best Practices (First Canadian Edition), published by the prestigious management publisher McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

"We're thrilled to appear in this distinguished textbook," says Laurel Hyatt, managing editor of Workplace Today®. "When McGraw-Hill approached us for permission to reprint excerpts from the journal, we of course said yes. But we never dreamed we would figure so prominently in the book."

Two articles from the journal--on stress and ethics--directly face the introductions to two of the book's chapters. As well, a table from a Workplace Today® article on diversity appears as an illustration. Information from other issues of the journal was cited in the endnotes, being used as a key resource by the authors.

"Our approach in the journal is to give very hands-on advice to managers. But underlying every article are the big-picture issues occurring in today's workplace," Hyatt says. "To have our material used to illustrate management theories in an academic book is a great honour."

The book authors are Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki, professors at Arizona State University, and Nina Cole, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management at Toronto's Ryerson University.

Workplace Today® now available exclusively online. Visit for subscription information.


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