Vice President of People - Canada

Human resources Toronto, Ontario


Position at H+K Canada

Role Overview

Hill+Knowlton Strategies is looking for a strategic, passionate leader to join a dynamic and growing global People + Culture team. We are seeking an experienced People + Culture (Human Resources) Vice President to provide leadership, coaching, strategic thinking and problem solving to all elements of the People function across our dynamic and fast-growing Canada offices. This market includes 200+ colleagues across six offices: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Calgary and Vancouver. In this role you will develop and support a wide range of initiatives and provide leadership and consultation to our business leaders, supporting managers and employees. You will build trusted relationships with senior leaders, collaborate with colleagues in every office, and develop and execute strategies to attract, energize, develop and retain the best talent for H+K. As such, you will guide and manage the overall provision of People + Culture services, policies and programs. This role reports to the Global Chief People Officer, with a dotted line to the COO Canada.  It will be based in Toronto.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage the activities and performance of the People + Culture and Talent functions and team nationally.
  • Partner with senior leaders on People initiatives and needs for the region including recruiting, staffing, onboarding, diversity + inclusion, succession planning, retention, organizational development, employee relations, discipline, terminations, learning, culture, and performance management and training tactics.
  • Ensure legal compliance with all applicable employment laws within local market offices, and work with internal and external counsel, as necessary.
  • Personally lead or partner with senior leaders on strategic and/or senior level recruiting across multiple offices. Initiate and manage external search partner relationships as needed, after careful consideration.
  • Lead local communications efforts on People matters, and amplify global communications efforts throughout the regions and offices.
  • Bring to life the national leadership goals of being recognized publicly and internally as a good place to work – one in which we live our values, and to create condition in which every employee can thrive.
  • Be an active participant in the Global People Team, bringing forward opportunities to enhance our employees’ experience, processes, systems, and beyond. Occasionally lead or co-lead special projects with global peers and colleagues, and our Parent company – WPP.
  • Act as a local champion and sponsor of diversity, equity and inclusion programs, strategies and policies – both nationally and within the global organization. Embed our national and global DEI commitments into our Talent team’s work/approach.
  • Contribute to the development, implementation and adoption of global initiatives, policies and tools, including applicant tracking and onboarding (Jobvite), performance management and learning (Cornerstone) and HRIS (Talent Tree)
  • Manage employee engagement surveys’ (Perceptyx) administration, analysis and action planning.
  • Facilitate employee transfers within region and globally, including overseeing immigration policies and processes.
  • Develop and maintain relevant employee handbooks, in coordination with WPP People leaders.
  • Develop, implement and maintain a compensation structure to ensure competitiveness, compliance with government regulations, and support growth and career opportunities.
  • Work with senior management and finance to review and calibrate promotion, hiring and compensation strategies.
  • Partner with payroll and finance on systems and policies, helping to identify and implement best in class processes.
  • Oversee the administration of employee benefit programs as directed by WPP, ensuring competitiveness and compliance with government regulations.
  • Drive and provide analysis and reporting of key people + culture metrics, including employee retention, engagement, diversity and compensation.
  • Act as a local and global champion of H+K’s culture programs, including diversity, mentoring, mobility, and beyond.


  • University degree or college diploma in a related field
  • Minimum of 10 years progressive People business partner experience including employee relations, organizational effectiveness, diversity + inclusion, learning + development and talent management. Compensation and benefits experience is a strong plus.
  • CHRL or CHRO designation preferred
  • Multi-location HR experience is essential, preferably within a services organization
  • Working knowledge of country employment laws and requirements.
  • Proven experience in development and implementation of HR initiatives.
  • Strong consultative style with proven experience supporting business leaders.
  • Strong business acumen; understand the key financial drivers and dynamics related to growth and commercialization.
  • Strong executive presence, excellent decision-making skills and the ability to work with discretion to create effective business solutions.
  • Able to travel domestically and internationally as required by the needs of the business.
  • Self-motivated, confident individual who is comfortable operating with minimal direction and thrives in a dynamic environment as a leader influencing change and organizational effectiveness.
  • Highly organized with a strong attention to detail, clarity, accuracy and conciseness.
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams).
  • Able to work with a high level of confidentiality and discretion
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to coach and influence a variety of personalities.


Hill+Knowlton Strategies is an international public relations company with over 85 offices around the world.

We believe that every corporation, every brand, every client has a public and today’s public is more powerful than ever before. They have the power to topple CEO’s, reshape corporate and brand strategy, kill products and create unicorns. Today’s public demands truth, transparency and the highest behavioral standards. 

Our client obsession means constantly evolving new products + services to help brands and the public communicate. Always in beta.

At H+K our belief is that the agency is a canvas for everyone to write their own story. This job description is written at a moment in time; whatever role you take at H+K we expect you to evolve that role; it should be different tomorrow than it is today and set new standards in the industry.

Join our team and harness the power of the public.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of their race, creed, color, age, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, national origin, or ancestry.