Talent War: The Arrival of the Metaverse

Talent War: The Arrival of the Metaverse

Meta is coming…are you prepared to protect your team and defend your people?

Meta has announced that they have plans to open up a hub in downtown Toronto, and of course, this means they’ll bring with them about 2,500 job opportunities…

…this also means that the arrival of the Metaverse inevitably brings some business owners a sense of peril.

Those 2,500 hires will be talent drawn away from their pre-existing roles in Canadian companies and be propelled toward enticing new employment opportunities.

So, just as King Leonidas fearlessly led his Spartan army to the Battle of Thermopylae against Xerxes and the Persian army….Canadian business owners will soon have to suit up and be proactive to keep their team well trained, aligned, and dedicated. It’s the only way businesses can hold strong and retain their top talent during the Meta invasion.

How do I retain my best people?

You can retain your people by being prepared for the arrival of Meta; this means you need to implement the best modern HR strategies TODAY!

To retain your top tech talent during the Meta invasion, look to the Spartans for inspiration, and take a look at your current practices for:

Recruiting – Spartans were extremely picky about allowing the healthiest of offspring to join their ranks; they knew that they needed the best team in order to succeed, and understood what traits, skills, and qualities were necessary.

What we can learn – Know your Ideal Employee Profile…and stick to it! Having an IEP is just one of many recruiting game-changers that will help with your Talent Acquisition strategy. Whether you find them through a job posting or through an Employee Referral, you’ll know what traits and skills you’re looking for.

Training – Spartans were all about constant training, with clear promotions in their ranks and goals to be met…they were constantly advancing their ranks.

What we can learn – Upgrade your team constantly, encourage a growth mindset, and the development of new skills. Have clear tiers to help them achieve and have a plan in place to track their progress…this is why modern performance reviews and new hire onboarding playbooks are essential.

Culture – Spartans were always culturally aligned and strong. They were focused and had a code of conduct…most importantly, they stood by their values and their people and never surrendered. 
What we can learn – Ensure that your employees are all aligned and understand the company values and goals. Employees must all fit with your company culture, and if your culture is unclear to them, remember that they will define it for themselves…a fierce leader would never let that happen!

Our Takeaway

The Spartans didn’t give in to the demand of Xerxes, and they fought for what they believed in.

While we strongly discourage gory battles and kicking your opponents into a pit, we believe that the Spartans truly understood their culture, the importance of having the best people on their team, and constant training, and that is a key takeaway here.

The Spartans were the O.G’s of teamwork and preparedness. We highly recommend drawing inspiration from them when preparing your team for the arrival of Meta…and that means improving your modern HR strategies in order to attract and retain a force (team) to be reckoned with!

If your team is aligned, just like King Leonidas’ 300 army, they’ll conduct themselves well, share the same values, and make decisions based on what they know and believe in.

Think of your team organizing a Phalanx to defend your people when Meta arrives…if everybody is aligned and invested in what they’re fighting for, you’ll hold strong.

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Remember: a small, intentionally built team of A-players with aligned values can achieve a LOT against an invading force.

And, if you’re like Castle HR, you don’t need a team of 300, so that’s the good news…however,  the challenge with that is you need to be exact on the hires you make now and fiercely defend them from being taken – an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of reaction.

If you need help aligning your team and preparing for Meta’s arrival, Castle HR is here to help.

For Sparta!


Book a call with us to learn how we’re helping companies
attract superstar talent, increase productivity,
and score a ridiculous retention rate.

70 Percentage

increase in new
hire quality

59 Percentage

less
turnover

21% - Castle HR

more
profitable

HR Trends 2022: 5 Human Resources Trends to Watch Out For

Employees resting hands on a table, listening to a teammate sharing an idea.

HR Trends 2022: 5 Human Resources Trends to Watch Out For

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, work and life have significantly changed in the last few years, bringing forth new HR trends. While many anticipated that 2021 would mark the ‘return to the workplace’, we’re now two years into the pandemic and we’ve learned to expect the unexpected; many workplaces have opted to have their staff work remotely indefinitely, or at least give them the option to do so!

With more employees working from home than ever before, the employee experience has drastically transformed. Employers continue to roll out plans to address the needs of their employees in 2022. 

Here are 5 biggest HR trends that will shape the workplace in 2022:

1. The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation refers to the 33 million Americans who quit their jobs amid the pandemic due to late shift changes, tough working conditions, or low wages. The growing popularity of anti-work has made it difficult for employers to recruit talent, but has shifted the focus to refreshing and improving how companies operated before.

With that said, attracting and retaining employees will be one of the biggest HR trends of 2022. Employers are adopting digital transformation in HR, improving working conditions, increasing communication, and compensating their employees for what they deserve. 

2. Employee Well-being Benefits

Mental health and wellness have become a top priority for most employees. A new HR trend in 2022 is that businesses are becoming more aware of the importance of relieving stress and assessing employee well-being, including mental, physical, and financial health.

Some companies are offering mental health seminars, yoga sessions, or meditation breaks to ensure their employees are well. Employers will continue to pay more attention to their workers and their human needs, which will in turn, improve performance and satisfaction in the workplace.

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3. Hybrid and Remote Work

One of the biggest HR trends arising from the pandemic is more flexibility around where, how, and when people work. Since employees have made the transition to remote work, they have reported their physical and mental well-being has actually improved. Employees have enjoyed working from home so much that they would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office.

Moving forward, employers need to consider their employees’ interest in remote or hybrid work as they strive to offer better workplace experiences and understand how this can improve safety and productivity within their companies as well.

4. Four Day Workweek

The four-day workweek debate is back! Employees have learned to be extra productive while working from home by using their extra time to improve their work, spend time with family, and pursue their hobbies. Workers are asking for more flexibility, and many feel a four day workweek is adequate. Some companies may adopt this schedule to recruit talent during what continues to be a historic labor shortage, and this HR trend will continue throughout 2022. 

5. Diversity and Inclusion

Throughout the pandemic, many organizations have made heavier commitments to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. This HR transformation trend empowers employees to proudly be a part of their company. In 2022, and many more years to come, diversity and inclusion will be crucial factors for employees. Digital platforms also give employees the technology they need to tell their stories. 

Looking for a fractional HR team to help you recruit employees and build your dream company? Book a call today!


Book a call with us to learn how we’re helping companies
attract superstar talent, increase productivity,
and score a ridiculous retention rate.

70 Percentage

increase in new
hire quality

59 Percentage

less
turnover

21% - Castle HR

more
profitable

Best Practices for Employment Contracts

Copy of employment contract on a desk

Best Practices for Employment Contracts

When hiring a new member to the team, it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement and overlook the necessity of creating an employment contract. An employment contract is usually entered into between an employer and executives, physicians, engineers, or other highly skilled employees. Employment contracts are essential to protect your company and create secure, legal agreements. 

So, what should be included in employment contracts to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of their employment? Follow this employment contract template for your next hire.

Scope of Employment

The first thing you want to include in your employment contract is what the job entails. This includes the employee’s job title, responsibilities, and location of employment. If specific terms have been negotiated between the employer and employee, they will be mentioned here. For example, how many hours the employee can work from home a week or goals to be reached in a certain time frame. 

Compensation

Compensation terms need to be clearly stated, especially when the employee is being compensated by bonus pay or commission on top of base salary. The employment contract should also include conditions that need to be met for raises or bonuses.

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Benefits

Health benefits such as health insurance or life insurance, 401k or other investment plans, stock options, and signing bonuses are additional key factors to include in the contract. You should also address time off, vacation, and sick day policies. For example, employment contracts should cover how time off is accrued and the number of vacation days employees can take per year, including sick leave.

Termination Conditions

Employment contracts are typically terminated upon some violation of the agreement between the employer and employee. In other cases, the agreement may have a set term of employment, meaning there is a set date where employment ends. The employment contract should also state what the employee or employer can do that will result in termination. For instance, can employees be fired if they commit a felony or misdemeanors such as theft or embezzlement? Or can the employee terminate the contract with the employer if the company violates any rules of the agreement or files for bankruptcy? Additionally, the contract should state terms of severance for wrongful termination. 

Confidentiality and Privacy

The employment agreement should include what the employer and employee can disclose to the public. Confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements require additional signatures that may be project-specific and prevent the employee from working with a competitor. You might also want to include terms on what employees can say about the company on social media. 

Are you an employer searching for help to draft an employment contract in Canada? Contact Castle HR to ramp up the onboarding process and protect your company!


Book a call with us to learn how we’re helping companies
attract superstar talent, increase productivity,
and score a ridiculous retention rate.

70 Percentage

increase in new
hire quality

59 Percentage

less
turnover

21% - Castle HR

more
profitable

What You Need To Know About Bill 27

What You Need To Know About Bill 27

The Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) is changing. What does that mean for business owners?

Notably, the ESA is evolving – in light of how the pandemic affected workers – to include more worker-friendly measures. We’ll go through the highlights in this article, but if you’re curious to see the full content of the proposed Bill 27, you can find it here.

Although Bill 27 has not passed into law just yet, it’s good to be prepared. Better to have a plan in your back pocket and not need it, than to find yourself scrambling after the fact.

(We’ll update this space when new details emerge. Stay tuned!)


What is the Working for Workers Act?

The Working For Workers Act is the government’s newest legislation to amend the ESA, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”), and other laws to make them more worker-friendly. Along with the changes to the ESA, the bill introduces new penalties when fees are illegally collected from foreign workers trying to come to Canada, and provides internationally-trained professionals easier access to obtain their certification to practice in Canada. 

Yet it is the amendments to the ESA that are garnering the most attention. As Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced in his press release, “Our government is working for workers. To do so, we must act swiftly and decisively to put workers in the driver’s seat and begin rebalancing the scales.”

Can any delivery driver now use our bathroom?

The first time Bill 27 made headlines was actually for a proposed change to OHSA. During the pandemic, food delivery drivers – many of whom operated through third-party apps such as UberEats and Skip The Dishes – became the lifeblood of the restaurant industry. Despite working long shifts for several hours, those drivers were often not allowed to use the washrooms in the restaurants where they picked up food for an app customer.

The new law states that “the owner of a workplace shall ensure that access to a washroom is provided, on request, to a worker who is present at the workplace to deliver anything to the workplace, or to collect anything from the workplace for delivery elsewhere.” The only exceptions are if there is a health and safety issue, if the washroom is in or can only be accessed through a home, or if it would be unreasonable or impractical to do so.

If your workers order lunch (or snacks!) to the office, this could be relevant for you.

Are non-competition clauses now illegal?

crop businessman signing contract in office
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Bill 27 states that “no employer shall enter into an employment contract or other agreement with an employee that is, or that includes a non-compete agreement.” So essentially – yes. It goes on to add that any non-competition agreements with employees already in place are void.

While that may come as a surprise to employers, it mostly solidifies what the courts have said for years: that in recent decades, employers have held significant power in the employment relationship and that they should not prohibit former employees from being free to make a living. 

For a non-competition clause in an employment contract to be enforceable before Bill 27, it must be very limited in the geographic area and duration in which it prevents a former employee from competing. After Bill 27 (if it passes into law) a non-competition agreement will be unenforceable except in rare circumstances involving the sale of an entire business.

Without non-compete clauses, what’s to stop former employees from poaching our business?

While non-competition clauses may be out, there are still ways that employers can protect their interests after employees decide to move on. 

An employer may not be able to stop a former employee from working with the competition, but they can stop them from poaching staff, clients, or stealing confidential information. Non-solicitation clauses in an employment contract can still prevent former employees from poaching any staff, key contacts, or existing clients.

These clauses should also be written carefully though, as something too broad may not hold up in litigation. For example, ‘any clients of the business’ may be impossible to enforce, but the more specific ‘any clients known to the employee within the previous 12 months’ provides that former employee a much clearer picture of what conduct will be offside. 

Employers can also use of confidentiality clauses. These too must be carefully written to ensure that an employer retains all rights to confidential information from within their workplace, and they can also mandate that the employer owns anything that the employee created during their term of employment. When that employee leaves, they are not allowed to take any confidential information with them, including trade secrets, customer lists, etc. 

If these contract topics are important to you, speak with an employment lawyer for specific advice.

 “This law is designed to protect employees from overwork and burnout. At first glance this might seem one-sided for employees, but preventing burnout benefits businesses in a big way too.”

What is the ‘Right To Disconnect?’

white apple iphone on wooden table
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

The other key feature of Bill 27 was also the biggest headline-grabber of all the proposed changes. The Bill introduces a ‘right to disconnect’ – similar to what currently exists in several European countries – where employers will be unable to communicate with employees outside of working hours. More specifically, this is defined as “not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or the sending or reviewing of other messages, so as to be free from the performance of work.”

So what does that mean? The law will require employers with 25 or more employees to draft a workplace policy outlining employees’ right to disconnect shortly after Bill 27 becomes law. This will mean that employers cannot expect employees to work all hours, or to be responsive when they are not on the clock.

For employees who have spent the better part of the last 2 years unexpectedly working from home, the news represents a welcome reprieve. Some employers have had high expectations of their teams, and employees have expressed a pressure to put in extra hours through the pandemic. This law is designed to protect employees from overwork and burnout. At first glance this might seem one-sided for employees, but preventing burnout benefits businesses in a big way too.

How will we implement “disconnecting” into our business?

On this point, we don’t have full details on what this right to disconnect will entail. Typically, the Ministry of Labour will put out a sample policy for HR experts to use as a guideline when designing customized policies for a workplace. We’ll be first in line when that happens!

This one is of particular interest to us at Castle HR, where we have built our business on offering our employees flexible working hours. We understood – even before the pandemic – that employees have lives, and may choose to do their work on their own schedule instead of 9-5.

Even with our flexible working hours, we remind our team regularly that they have no obligation to respond outside of their working hours unless it is an absolute emergency. We take our downtime seriously, and firmly believe that no one should have to interrupt it for something could have easily waited until the next business day.

We may have to alter some habits or policies to adjust, but the intent of this part of Bill 27 is certainly aligned with the spirit of our existing culture. If one person is doing their work in the evening and another prefers mornings, that gap might be well served by strategic “do not disturb” settings so that no one feels bad about what time of day they send an email.

Like with any major change in employment law, our job is to help you stay compliant. Our role as outsourced HR professionals is to help you both follow the law and stay ahead of the latest trends. Set up a time below to speak with one of our experts. 


Book a call with us to learn how we’re helping companies
attract superstar talent, increase productivity,
and score a ridiculous retention rate.

70 Percentage

increase in new
hire quality

59 Percentage

less
turnover

21% - Castle HR

more
profitable