Get to know the JRoss Retail Recruiters Team in Western Canada

Meet the people who deliver service that truly sets the bar higher.

Who we are

As Canada’s leading retail recruiters, we’re a proven team of professionals working from offices across the country, committed to helping great brands hire exceptional leaders.

We use our specialized knowledge of the industry we serve - retail - to help great brands find strong leaders who are motivated to be long-term contributors. Whether a search is for management, key support or executive roles, our team has the networks, the experience, and the desire to find the best retail professional for each opportunity.

What sets our team apart?

The common motivational thread for our retail recruiters is the strong personal satisfaction they get from positively impacting people’s lives. There’s no feeling in the world like helping candidates find the right positions and helping clients find the right candidates.

Recruiting has always been a people-driven industry. But now, in this time of COVID-19, we’ve found the personal relationships and networks we cultivate to be particularly powerful. In that vein, we thought you might want to learn more about the people who are working hard to find exceptional retail professionals like you for retail organizations across the country.

So we came up with a lightning round of questions to get them talking.

Meet the Retail Team in Western Canada:

Jackie Ross, Lead Recruiter, Vancouver
For Jackie’s full profile, click here.

With over 18 years of experience as co-founder of Canada’s leading recruiting agency focused on the service sector industries, Jackie is an invaluable advisor and resource for our clients and our team.

Her success comes from focusing on customer service, her deep industry knowledge, her entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to train and lead teams across Canada. As a Regional Manager in the apparel sector, Jackie was a natural networker. Her start as a recruiter came when she was asked to join Dumont and Associates and support the build-out of an apparel division for the agency. It seemed like it would be an incredible natural fit, and it was. Jackie was enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with a broad range of leading brands to help them acquire the key managerial talent so they could grow and succeed, and she’s never looked back.

What motivates and inspires you?

Working with Canada's, and the world's, leading brands. Helping them find the best managerial talent in the Canadian marketplace while helping inspiring leaders find meaningful employment that positively affects them and the lives of their families.

I’m inspired by the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the leaders in our industries – merchants who curate assortments, marketers who craft brand stories, chefs who take the culinary experience to a whole new level, and hoteliers who provide exceptional guest experiences. Every day I'm motivated to connect with more people, to learn more about what's driving our consumer facing industry forward, and to learn what their needs are for the future.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

I’m proud of building an agency with a tenured team of recruiters who are committed to the industries we serve, and who have the ability to work consultatively with our clients.

We’re a team of industry professionals who have collectively built strong networks and who place a high degree of value on those relationships. We’ve been able to assist both national and global brands expand their business in Canada, and we’ve helped launch entirely new retail industry sectors. We’ve collectively worked together to help thousands of people find meaningful employment and to help great companies hire fantastic leaders. All of those results have come from the great relationships we built with our community and through our networks, through supporting our associations and through other partnerships.

What are some of the biggest obstacles the industry is currently facing in terms of staffing?

In a very short period of time we’ve gone from historically low unemployment rates and acute labour shortages, to an abundant supply of talent. At no point in history has such a sudden switch from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven market occurred. We believe this will be the situation for the short to mid term, but this will not be the long term status quo.

Even now, it’s more difficult to entice those currently employed to consider making a move in these economic circumstances. Yet overall, there’s still an opportunity at this point for organizations to hire the best possible teams, to position themselves for future growth. Ultimately, we’re going to see a lot of talent exchange happening as retail professionals seek out roles with organizations they perceive as having the strongest potential to survive - and who have handled themselves with integrity and transparency, living up to their brand promises throughout this crisis. When the pandemic passes, that will prove to be very advantageous for those firms.

What’s the best advice you have for job seekers?

  • Get clear on what you want and research your target companies
  • Tailor your resume and application to each job
  • Create your online brand
  • Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts

What's proven to be the most effective method today for sourcing top talent?

Networking. Building and maintaining a network that will provide you with qualified referrals is the most effective way to source top talent. Great people want to work with great people. If you spend the time to connect with key leaders in the industry, they'll refer you to the best people in the market when you have positions available. If you want to be a great recruiter, you have to be a fantastic networker.

If you can give hiring managers some advice, what would it be?

With smaller teams dealing with a huge rise in applicants, it’s more important than ever to drive efficiencies and effectiveness in the hiring process. But it’s also about maintaining a great candidate experience. Candidates are often customers too, and how an organization conducts itself during the hiring process contributes to how people feel not just about its employer brand, but its commercial brand too. The tricky part of recruiting when there is an oversupply of available candidates is managing candidate volume and the candidate experience simultaneously. If you can keep the candidate volume down to a level that is manageable, then you can ensure their experience moving through your processes is a positive one. One of the ways to do that is to hyper-target only the most suitable candidates. This actually isn’t advice exclusive to a mid-pandemic world, it’s actually the same advice I’d give pre-pandemic: targeted recruiting makes sense in any economic climate.

What was your best hotel stay ever and why?

When I need to get away, I want to go to the Wickaninnish Inn, in Tofino on the very western tip of Vancouver Island. It’s situated in an incredibly beautiful setting on Chesterman Beach. It’s a luxurious Relais & Chateau property but it also feels unpretentious. It's family-owned and operated and you can just see the care and attention paid to every detail, including the best levels of personalized service. I always feel very grounded when I’m connected to the ocean and hike in the old growth forests.

What’s the advice you would give your younger self if you could go back in time?

Be bold. Be brave. Take calculated risks and really step up to the challenge.

Michelle Doucette, Recruiter, Vancouver
For Michelle’s full profile, click here.

While as a retail professional Michelle had always “been drawn to the people-side of the retail business”, it was her need to have work with flexible scheduling that made the decision for her. With a young child at home and a spouse with a variable shift schedule, recruiting was a good fit. It was in the industry she loved, working closely with and making an impact on people on a daily basis.

What motivates and inspires you? What makes you excited to get to your desk every day?

I’m motivated by the people I connect with. And I’m motivated by success. There’s nothing more rewarding than finding the client the perfect candidate for their position. And also have it be the perfect job for the candidate.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

Over the 12 years I’ve been at JRoss, I’ve made a lot of placements. Some people are still in those jobs. I’m excited about impacting people’s lives for the better and finding them great careers.

What are some of the biggest obstacles the industry is currently facing in terms of staffing?

The biggest challenge out there now is that there are more qualified people who are actively looking - both employed and unemployed - than available opportunities. Yet there are fewer opportunities to present to candidates, so often the challenge becomes helping our clients select just the right candidate from a larger than normal pool of qualified candidates. Our job is so much about having personal connections and networking; taking the time to genuinely connect. Over the past seven months, I’ve been checking in and sometimes having difficult conversations. But I know people will remember that I took that time to call.

What’s the best advice you have for job seekers?

  • Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from people
  • Keep contacting people
  • Build your network
  • Focus on jobs you really want. Suitable opportunities will come

What's proven to be the most effective method today for sourcing top talent?

LinkedIn is very effective. Look at the company pages for those you want to work with and connect with people who work there. LinkedIn is also great for professional development, with informational links and learning sessions. For more entry-level or junior leadership roles, job boards like Indeed are useful. Other than that, I just keep in touch with people out there, whether I have something or not. Introduce yourself and maintain relationships.

What’s the advice you would give your younger self if you could go back in time?

In business, try to think with my head and not with my heart. Sometimes you can feel very strongly about a situation. But when it comes down to it, it’s business. Recognize that and take the emotion out of the decision. Don’t take it personally.

Pamela Loupelle, Recruiter, Calgary
For Pamela’s full profile, click here.

2003 was an exciting time for Pamela. She had just returned to work after her second child and she began considering a transition from operations to recruiting. Having known Jackie a long time, Pamela considered her to be a valued, admired and respected colleague. So she jumped at the opportunity to help Jackie and her team grow the new company and bring people together.

What motivates and inspires you? What makes you excited to get to your desk every day?

I’m motivated by the connection I make with people, and having the opportunity to place a candidate in a job who is as excited as the client is about having them join their team.

What are some of the biggest obstacles the industry is currently facing in terms of staffing?

For retail, most hiring plans have been put on hold and the retailers who are hiring are being very careful. Many candidates are also uncertain of the industry and want to stay in their current roles. Depending on their comfort level, they may have decided they don’t want to navigate through the uncertainty. Taking specialized, highly specific requirements from clients who are being very careful, and then finding qualified candidates interested in exploring new opportunities is tricky.

What’s the best advice you have for job seekers?

  • Today doesn’t define tomorrow. Don’t give up hope or get discouraged
  • Get on LinkedIn - start posting articles, comments - people see your presence, take some of their free classes
  • Practice interviewing on social platforms. If you’ve never used Zoom and Skype, walk through that to get experience

What's proven to be the most effective method today for sourcing top talent?

I source candidates through cold calling, LinkedIn and referrals. Building relationships is more important than ever. If not today, I may have an opportunity for them in the future.

If you could give a hiring manager some advice, what would it be?

Reply to candidates. If someone has taken the time to send something, out of courtesy you should respond with something. Even when getting a note that just says “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything right now, but let’s connect.”, people on the other end appreciate it.

What’s the advice you would give your younger self if you could go back in time?

Find a mission, a purpose in life and never be scared to fail.

At JRoss, we’re as excited today as we've ever been about the opportunities in the retail industry. We continue to watch the transitions that are happening now and those still coming. Whether it be service innovation or digital transformation, we look forward to new and different ways retail organizations engage with customers. Those things continue to ignite our desire to help great brands find the best leaders they can – leaders like you - to make their organizations successful.

To meet our full team you can check out their profiles on our website.

To learn more on this and other retail trends and insights you can check out our blog.

Written by Patricia Viscount and Rob Fisher