** This opportunity is now successfully closed**

Position Title: Corporate Director, Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning
Organization: Covenant Health
Reports To: Chief Human Resources Officer
Location: Edmonton, AB

Covenant Health:

Leading with an innovative and compassionate response to community needs.

With a focus on serving the most vulnerable and marginalized in society, Covenant Health provides high quality care across the full range of healthcare services in 12 communities across Alberta. A leader and key partner in the Alberta healthcare system, Covenant Health is driven by innovation and compassion to meet the needs of individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.

As one of Canada’s largest Catholic healthcare providers, Covenant Health is committed to diversity and inclusion, serving, employing and celebrating people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. We honour the legacy of our Catholic health ministry by fulfilling our ethical commitments and creatively giving life to our mission in the places we are called to serve. This includes building connections to and understanding the changing needs of our communities, advocating for opportunities to optimize care and address unmet needs.

With a workforce comprising approximately 11,000 staff, 730 volunteers and 2,410 physicians who either designate a Covenant site as their primary location for practice, or have privileges, Covenant Health provides a range of healthcare in communities across Alberta, including acute care services in two of Edmonton’s busiest hospitals. The Misericordia and Grey Nuns Community Hospitals account for nearly one quarter of the Emergency department visits in the Edmonton Zone and about 30 percent of the bed base in the zone.

In addition to acute care, mental health, addiction, continuing care, assisted living, hospice, rehabilitation, respite care and seniors’ housing round out the complement of services Covenant provides across the province. Covenant Health provides 1 in 4 provincially funded palliative and hospice beds in Alberta, supporting palliative needs in urban and rural communities. Covenant’s Villa Caritas is a unique acute mental health facility specializing in caring for seniors with complex mental and medical health issues.

Covenant Health is proud to be awarded designations with: Alberta’s Top 75 Employers,  Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture, the World’s Most Ethical Companies, and a Canadian Compassionate Company.

Position Purpose:

Unprecedented workforce challenges currently exist in Canada within the healthcare sector including, but not limited to, a shortage of qualified talent, an aging workforce, and burnout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The search for exceptional talent across all position levels is difficult and ensuring that new incoming employees are on-boarded, trained, developed, and feel fulfillment in their new jobs are critical components of solving these workforce challenges in Canada.

As part of the solution, Covenant Health understands that it is crucial to have a comprehensive workforce planning and talent attraction strategy and recognizes the importance of hiring a visionary Corporate Director of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning.

The Corporate Director of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning must be a strategic and passionate leader who can transform the recruitment function, practices, and strategy in order to meet the rising demands on the healthcare system as well as combat the workforce challenges the sector faces. An ideal candidate will thrive on the opportunity to reimagine and lead change as it relates to talent acquisition and workforce planning in healthcare. As a result, this will enable the organization to continue to provide outstanding patient care while achieving its business objectives and remain a great place to work.

As a member of the HR Leadership Team, the Director of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Strategy contributes to the overall HR strategy with deep understanding of the needs of all businesses and functions within the Covenant Healthcare family. The incumbent acts as the principal advisor to the Chief Human Resources Officer on all aspects of Talent Acquisition and strategic Workforce Planning.

The Director will lead and develop innovative strategies and services to support workforce agility aligned to business strategies. As the lead of the Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning & Strategy teams, the Director will work to anticipate and define the future talent needs of the organization, assess the organization’s  readiness to compete in the future and establish talent strategies to shape our talent investments for the future. They will be responsible for partnering with senior leadership to lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive workforce strategy and to design and guide the implantation of an organization wide roadmap to grow and mature our TA practices. The Director will work in a consultative and strategic manner, leveraging SME’s across the HR portfolio and throughout the organisation to build effective timelines, plans, and workforce strategies (i.e., location, hiring types, level, etc.) for short-term and long-term workforce solutions. They will work closely with the Reporting and Analytics team to deliver meaningful insights and forecasts to the business. The incumbent will utilise a systems-thinking approach to craft thoughtful and progressive solutions to support the Covenant’s people and programs.

With a foundation of results-oriented business acumen, the Director will have the strategic skill set and experience to analyze business process, seek out gaps and support strategic initiatives on behalf of their clients. The incumbent has the ability, experience, and initiative to understand the business needs, analyze issues and influence solutions and outcomes. The Director is self-driven and has the capability and confidence to interface effectively with senior leaders, members of the HR team, and multiple stakeholders throughout the Covenant driving the implementation of critical talent and learning initiatives focused always on outcomes for the organization.

Key Responsibilities:


  • Provide leadership, guidance, coaching and mentorship to a team of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning professionals ensuring the teams are equipped with the right skills, tools, talents and perspectives necessary to develop high impact business relationships and deliver innovative programming.
  • Define, establish and implement department goals and objectives.
  • Partner with HR leadership team to ensure efforts are coordinated across all HR functions to deliver a seamless internal client experience.
  • Serve as an unbiased consultant to the business to develop company-wide Talent, Acquisition and Workforce strategies and programs.
  • Lead the facilitation of meetings, focus groups, and other working sessions to help solve difficult problems, align disparate viewpoints, and build capabilities.
  • Facilitate senior leader meetings where significant organizational alignment is at the heart of what needs to be accomplished.
  • Operates effectively within a matrix reporting relationship across the organization, partnering with other subject matter/educational resources to achieve collective objectives.

Organizational Talent Acquisition & Workforce Strategy

  • Lead the development of a renewed Workforce Strategy and Talent Acquisition Strategic Roadmap by working with senior leaders and HR leadership to drive the achievement of the overall Covenant strategy.
  • Create and facilitate best in class workforce planning and management practice in the design, build and management of an end-to-end workforce planning function including workforce analytics structure, governance, and reporting.
  • Work to anticipate and define the current and future talent needs of the organization, assess our readiness to compete in the future and establish talent strategies to shape our talent investments for the future.
  • Responsible for partnering with senior leadership to support the build and implementation of workforce plans and related hiring strategies in accordance with Covenants short- and long-term business Strategy.
  • Consult with managers on recruitment practices and gather market intelligence on industry trends to develop effective sourcing strategies.
  • Design & execute a talent attraction branding strategy in collaboration with the Communications & Marketing team.
  • Stay informed of trends and innovative sourcing strategies and platforms, recruiting techniques and trends to attract and compete for top talent locally, nationally and across the globe.
  • Understand the strategies of our business and the impact of emerging technology, market shifts, and workforce changes to identify talent needs for the future and establish a strategy to ensure the right mix of talent, technologies, and employment models to reach our goals.
  • Measure and improve key business metrics (e.g., time-to-fill, internal talent mobility, quality of hire, overall monthly hires, etc.)
  • Identify opportunities to increase the diversity of the candidate pool by partnering with internal and external organizations that support the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, Business or related field. Educational and experience equivalencies may be considered
  • Registered Professional Recruiter (RPR) is an asset.
  • Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designation
  • 15 years of directly related HR management and leadership experience in a unionized environment with proven career growth path.
  • 8-10 years full-life cycle Corporate Recruitment / Talent Acquisition experience in a progressive, fast-paced, unionised environment, with demonstrated experience in developing effective candidate experiences, leading strategic initiatives related to HR, workforce planning, resource management and/or project management.
  • A strategic visionary leader who can formulate and drive organizational change.
  • Ability to lead significant organization-wide initiatives aligned to strategic priorities
  • Ability to work directly and independently with the board of directors and senior leadership team, including delivering presentations, facilitating discussions, and provide consulting support
  • Proven track record of establishing credibility and trust through a strong consultative approach and execution.
  • Current knowledge of talent acquisition and workforce planning best practices, emerging issues, and legislation.
  • Demonstrated expertise in building and maintaining KPIs as well as reporting and providing various workforce metrics as it relates to new hires, retention, turnover, sources of hire, etc.
  • An ability to craft compelling insights and messages for stakeholders on progress against strategy and plan.
  • Excellent analytical and data visualization skills, including advanced skills in Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Consultative mindset, ability to navigate ambiguous circumstances and complex structures.
  • An innovative approach to problem solving.
  • Excellent project management, writing, and oral communication skills are required.
  • Strong preference for those with Healthcare-industry or related experience; experience in international recruitment.

About Pender & Howe:

Covenant Health has retained Pender & Howe to lead the recruitment initiative for the Corporate Director, Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning position. Pender & Howe is a boutique retained executive search firm specializing in collaborating with human capital leaders, governing boards and CxOs in identifying exceptional leaders.

Corporate Director, Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning search is led by Glenn Lesko (he/him). For consideration, please email a copy of your CV in confidence to:

Glenn Lesko (Partner) –  [email protected]

We thank all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.