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Director, Strategic Human Resources Business Partners – LCBO

Director, Strategic Human Resources Business Partners – LCBO

by Lisa Kosowicz
October 4, 2017


The LCBO is a non-share capital provincial crown corporation, accountable to the Ontario Provincial Minister of Finance. As one of the largest single purchasers of alcoholic beverages in the world, it generates significant revenue for the province and has a combined mandate of social responsibility and ethical profit generation.

With revenue of $5.89 billion in fiscal 2016 – 2017, approximately 9,300 full-time and casual employees (including management) and 660 stores serving communities across Ontario, the LCBO provides services to the citizens of Ontario and is a significant employer in the province of Ontario.

The beverage alcohol market in Ontario is becoming more competitive. The LCBO is now serving as the wholesaler to new business-to-business (B2B) customers, with a commitment to meeting the wholesale service needs of its clients quickly and efficiently. At the same time the LCBO must continuously improve its retail customer experience in order to compete successfully in this new environment.

LCBO’s customers and their expectations of the organization are also changing. Today’s consumers expect to have access to almost unlimited choice, available from anywhere, facilitated by on demand access. They want highly personalized content and recommendations from brands and peers, all wrapped in an inspiring and seamless omni-channel experience. In July 2016 the LCBO launched an e-Commerce channel, bringing a wealth of product selection to its customers.  Through the LCBO’s e-Commerce channel, its consumers can buy up to 5,000 different products from across Canada and 85 other countries online. Customers can choose to have their order sent to an LCBO store of their choosing for pick up, free of charge, or choose to have it delivered directly to their home, anywhere in Ontario.

Staff have become product knowledge experts trained to assist experienced and novice consumers on selections of products appropriate to their budgets and occasions.  Selected products are also now available for purchase at other retail outlets and grocers changing the traditional reliance of Ontario customers on the LCBO stores.

Another component to the LCBO mandate is its commercial sales and distribution channel. The LCBO distribution services are a key part of the alcohol sales system in the province. Any facility with a license to serve alcohol in the province works with the LCBO to purchase alcohol and wine either through the LCBO directly or as a licensee.   Grocery stores who are now authorized to sell selected beer, wine and cider products that are also supplied by the LCBO’s distribution system.

Recently, the provincial government announced the decision to create the CCBO as a subsidiary of the LCBO.  The 10 months roll out will require a number of responses to the provincial mandate as the exclusive retailer for Cannabis.  This change will also impact the corporate services, including Human Resources, of the LCBO.

The social responsibility mandate of the LCBO is significant. The LCBO is charged with ensuring safe sales to age appropriate consumers and to advocate for safe and responsible consumption of alcohol anywhere.  Any distribution innovation has to be evaluated against fulfilling this part of its mandate.

There is a complex group of stakeholders which monitor the performance of the LCBO on a number of dimensions. These stakeholders are not necessarily aligned so establishing a community of interest is important in meeting its objectives.  With the seismic changes occurring in the retail environment, the LCBO needs to continually balance the demands of customers, stakeholders, and the single shareholder (the province of Ontario), a challenge the organization has met well but which becomes even more complex as technology overtakes the retail landscape.

Currently the LCBO is undergoing an organization wide transformation initiative. The CEO has set the tone from the top, bringing the organization together to understand the need for major change. To assist him he has recruited new executives to his leadership team who have that transformative experience. The organization is “not o.k. with o.k.” as the LCBO transforms itself in a highly competitive retail market. While changes have been and are being made there is still more to do.

As the business is changing, the business of HR itself needs to change. The SVP of HR has taken the decision to support the organizational and cultural initiatives required to re-position the LCBO by reviewing and repositioning the entire HR function. He has defined the need to create a HR team that will support the organization through its multi-year transformational strategy and that will necessitate HR leaders for the future. HR is moving from a largely transactional and tactical function to a progressive, talent driven, strategic, value-added partner to the business.

As part of this transformation, the LCBO is in search of a Director, Strategic Human Resources Business Partners.  This is an exciting opportunity to join an organization that has demonstrated its ability to change and reinvent itself and is dedicated to providing superb levels of service.



Reports to: Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Location: Toronto

The Director, Strategic Human Resources Business Partners will lead a team of senior HR Business Partners who will provide strategic advice and support to business leaders across the organization.  The Director will also provide support and guidance to the SVP HR and the senior executives of the LCBO as the organization continues to transform itself

Specific responsibilities may include:

  • To provide strategic, value-based advice to various senior level executives up to and including the CEO and Executive team on how HR strategies can support and enhance business objectives, and to ensure HR functions are integrated with the strategic objectives of the business;
  • Ensure that current and future business needs are reflected in the development and implementation of HR strategies or plans and all the projects and deliverables are aligned with strategic enterprise objectives;
  • Contribute to the strategic direction and formulation of corporate-wide HR policies, procedures, systems and initiatives;
  • Partner with the senior team to provide strategic support and advice in the development of divisional workforce planning requirements;
  • Provide vision and leadership to a team of HR professionals as the LCBO HR function re-invents itself to better meet the needs of the organization;
  • Development of corporate HR strategies, policies and processes in alignment with corporate strategic direction and in compliance with legislation, audit requirements and provincial government directives, inclusive of HR governance, talent management, total rewards and employee relations.
  • Support senior leaders in addressing complex human capital challenges and employee issues
  • Partner with the HR leadership team to transform and modernize the HR division



The successful candidate will have related experience in senior leadership roles, with a track record of successful implementation of strategic change in a multi-stakeholder environment including public/private sectors.  Experience will also include demonstrable results in driving growth and innovation, with an understanding of various HR disciplines inclusive of talent acquisition, total rewards and compensation, organization design and planning, and employee and labour relations.

The successful candidate should have:

  • An undergraduate degree in relevant discipline; a Certified Human Resources Professional designation would be an asset;
  • Progressive (8+) years in a senior leadership role running various HR teams, including generalist HR experience.

In addition, their skills should include:

  • A seasoned leader, demonstrating a collaborative leadership style and an ability to inspire and develop high performing teams and role model leadership excellence across the organization;
  • Comfortable with ambiguity in a transforming organization; experience leading transformation and continuous improvement;
  • The ability to overcome obstacles, change direction when required and work with senior leaders who are accustomed to sophisticated HR partners;
  • Experience in a fast-paced commercial environment where the focus is on striving for excellence and delighting the customer;
  • Knowledge of “best in class” innovative HR solutions that focus on continuing to improve the way HR supports and delivers its services;
  • Strong influencing skills at C-suite level;
  • Ability to challenge the status quo to be curious to explore better ways to strengthen the HR function in service of the needs of customers, both internal and external to the LCBO.



  • Leads People: Enables others to achieve high performance and full potential.
  • Builds Relationships: Builds and maintains relationships to advance business goals and create a positive work environment.
  • Drives Profitability: Leverages resources and capitalizes on opportunities to maximize profit and ensure sustainable results.
  • Delivers Results: Aligns people, processes and strategies to execute business goals.
  • Enhances the Brand: Delights stakeholders and customers by driving strategies that enhance LCBO brands at every touch point; supports new ideas, curiosity and experimentation, champions change and helps others to adapt/implement change.
  • Acts with integrity: Demonstrates openness and honesty, builds trust, behaves consistently and acts in accordance with moral, ethical, professional and organization guidelines.
  • Collaborative: Can work effectively in teams/groups, contributing and collaborating; shares workload and rewards willingly with a broader group; builds trust with others; builds committed and collaborative teams.
  • Capacity to think and operate strategically: Sees potential future states; takes into account “big picture” issues; conceives theoretical constructs to model potential outcomes; intellectual agility.



A competitive compensation package will be provided which includes base salary, bonus and a generous benefits and pension plan.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AXDH-048558 Director, Strategic Human Resources Business Partners – LCBO - ON – Toronto and GTA

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.