Retail Sector – Head of People and Culture


About the Company

With a passion for great coffee, Pilot Coffee Roasters was founded in 2009 with the goal of introducing specialty coffee to Toronto. With its first location and original roastery located in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, Pilot was built around its core values of sourcing ethical, Direct Trade coffee and building transparency in the process from farm to cup.

Pilot operated as a specialty café and roastery, supplying coffee, equipment, training, technical support and consulting services for new café owners across the city. Two years later, a second café was opened on the Ossington strip in Toronto’s west end, and by 2013, having outgrown the original location, the roastery operations moved to its current headquarters at 50 Wagstaff Drive.

Pilot’s dedication to quality, education and state-of-the-art facilities propelled it to earn a number of accolades over the last 12 years including a place on the GROWTH 500 list (Canada’s fastest-growing companies), several design awards, and achieving Great Place to Work Certification. With a growing presence in Toronto’s specialty coffee scene came new and exciting opportunities. More cafés were opened in Toronto’s downtown core, new Direct Trade partnerships were developed, a cold brew production department was introduced, quickly establishing Pilot Cold Brew™ as a leader in the category, and a growing eCommerce presence emerged.

Pilot Coffee Roasters is a full-service roastery, wholesaler and cafe operator with multiple locations across Toronto. Pilot’s coffee can be purchased directly on its online store, at one of its own branded cafés, through its extensive wholesale partner network across Canada, or in a growing number of specialty grocery stores.

As the company has grown and evolved, so too has its consumer and wholesale partner’s needs. In 2021 Pilot released new sustainable and fully bilingual packaging to better align with the company’s values and developed a virtual coffee education platform so that customers can continue to expand their skills and coffee knowledge.

Pilot’s passion for great coffee and commitment to quality remains at the heart of everything it does.

Scope of the Position

The Head of People & Culture will be responsible for designing and cultivating an agile, scalable work environment that attracts, organizes, motivates and retains the Company’s human capital. This will include guiding and supporting the business on all HR matters to meet its strategic goals for profitability and growth.

The Head of People & Culture will act as an organizational architect and business partner to the Company’s senior leadership team leading the development and implementation of best-in-class HR policies, programs and procedures to serve the business in becoming a “Best in Class” employer of choice.

Functional Tasks

  • Drive a Best in Class HR Organization
  • Establish/refine benchmarks for organizational effectiveness, employee performance, training and career development, health and benefits, employee relations.
  • Lead the development of, effectively manage and integrate HR policies and programs including performance reviews, succession planning, career development, performance management, goal setting and reviews, training and mentoring, employee benefits, employee handbook etc.
  • Work with the senior leadership team to develop and refine employee incentive programs, succession planning and attraction and retention programs.
  • Lead, build and inspire a best-in-class HR team to support the successful delivery of the Company’s strategic growth plans, vision and mission.
  • Create and manage employee compensation, recognition and awards programs, processes, systems and initiatives in a manner that facilitates the growth and scaling of the business.
  • Drive initiatives to accelerate integration of new employees, align workforce around goals and priorities, and instil a “one company” culture; monitor and measure employee compliance and engagement.
  • Establish/foster a values based HR culture centered around innovation, respect, continuous improvement and diversity and inclusion.
  • Work with the senior leadership team to establish and effectively communicate Company values to drive culture of service, professionalism, and performance excellence.
  • Develop HR strategies to identify and address competency, knowledge, talent and performance gaps.
  • Develop recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain top talent across all roles in the organization.
  • Establish employee performance metrics, career development and succession plans
  • Assess and upgrade current training programs; launch management mentoring initiative to support employee growth and development, as appropriate.
  • Develop and manage a broadly-based talent management and development program, focusing on career development and succession planning; benchmark talent against external competition
  • Create performance evaluation standards; establish and drive compliance for timely performance reviews
  • Develop and lead an employee engagement plan including, field employee surveys to assess and monitor employee engagement on key initiatives, e.g. safety, culture, diversity and inclusion.
  • Manage employee relations from onboarding, disputes, terminations, health and safety, employee training, and employee related legal compliance.

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Monthly eNPS scores
  • Monthly employee turnover
  • Key deliverables on HR projects (monthly)
  • Other deliverables as may be determined

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of Head of People & Culture at Pilot Coffee Roasters:

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far-reaching ideas.

Planning & Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined, and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down a large task into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.

Leading Change
Recognizes when change is necessary; Challenges the status quo and champions new initiatives; Acts as a catalyst to change and stimulates others to change; Develops an effective action plan to implement change and monitors results.

Team Skills
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.

Makes an immediate positive impression upon others. Has presence and commands respect. Comes across with force and quickly establishes credibility. Accurately predicts the effects of own words and actions. Makes an immediate positive impression upon others.

Problem Solving
Draws parallels across situations and contexts. Divides problems into their individual elements. Develops several explanations or alternatives. Separates the core of a problem from its symptoms and can identify cause and effect.

Expresses ideas in a clear, fluent and concise manner. Written and oral arguments are compelling and responsive to the needs of the audience. Comprehends communications from others and responds appropriately.

Interpersonal Understanding & Sensitivity
Accurately predicts others’ reactions to events. Displays concern and respect for individuals’ feelings and opinions. Understands others’ attitudes, interests and needs. Takes time to listen to others’ problems.

Preferred Experience and Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables:

  • 10 years + of strategic progressive HR and functional leadership experience.
  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree with a focus on business, OD or HR with a CHRP/CHRL designation.
  • Proven track-record and experience partnering with the business and senior leadership team to influence and effect change.
  • Experience working in fast-paced, entrepreneurial and growth-oriented environments; Retail sector experience preferred.
  • Experience with the judicious introduction of talent management and HR processes to help businesses scale and mature.
  • A self-directed bias for action and ‘can do attitude’ contributing both as a strategic and operational partner.
  • Agile and adaptable with an innate ability to thrive and bring order and clarity in an environment of ambiguity and change.
  • Experience and comfort working with a diverse workforce which includes office, retail and production staff.
  • A strong business orientation and business enabler with a record of building and nurturing a values-based culture focused on innovation, continuous learning and development as well as diversity and inclusion.
  • Skilled in organization design and demonstrated experience leading culture and organizational change initiatives.

Remuneration & Benefits
• Highly competitive compensation package structured to the needs of the successful candidate.


Pilot Coffee Roasters is committed to building and fostering an environment where everyone feels included, valued and heard. We aim to provide a barrier free experience for those looking to join our team and we welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people from gender and sexually diverse communities and / or people with intersectional identities. Accommodations are available on request for people taking part in aspects of the recruitment process. People requiring accommodation(s) during the recruitment process, can notify their recruiter directly.

If interested, please contact:

StoneWood Group
Sal Rocco
[email protected]

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