About Me

I am a daughter, sister, friend, leader, employee, and most of all, a dreamer. I studied Psychology with a specialization in Human Resources Management and a minor in German at the University of Waterloo. Currently, I am a Certified Human Resources Leader working in the technology industry and looking for a way to ignite passion in others' lives. My goal as an HR professional is to create happier workplaces and engage employees. Most importantly, I am passionate about people, my work, and life.

Contact Details

Joanna Woo
Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, Canada

Ideas & Insights



Head of People October 2021 - Present

Very similar to what I've done with other startups, but so much more rewarding. My creative insights around HR innovation are celebrated and encouraged.


Director of People and Culture September 2019 - September 2021

Pretty much what I did at Mappedin.

HelloFresh / Chefs Plate

Head of People April 2019 - August 2019

I failed miserably in this role. It's a pretty good story.


Director, People Operations February 2017 - April 2019

Start from scratch with HR. Do whatever it takes to enable others to do their best work.

Hackademy Canada

Director March 2016 - Present

I get to teach kids how to code. That's pretty amazing. Most of the time, we're playing with robots. Check us out at http://www.hackademy.ca.

D2L (Desire2Learn)

HR Programs and Data Specialist January 2015 - February 2017

Maintained and updated Dayforce HRIS system. Assisted in updating monthly HR analytics dashboard for senior leadership. Audited data carefully to ensure quality and accuracy. Assisted with ongoing administration and functionality of Dayforce HRIS system, including requirements gathering, basic configuration, testing, implementation, first level trouble shooting, and problem resolution. Assisted with document creation and training tools related to processes and use of the Dayforce HRIS. Served as a subject matter expert within HR as it pertains to process design. Created key HR reports using SQL.

Technical Recruitment Coordinator October 2012 - December 2014

Partnered with managers in Product Development, SaaS, and IT to develop and implement recruitment strategies. Supported recruitment activities through sourcing, screening, conducting technical phone interviews, scheduling interviews, and conducting background checks. Led and participated in recruitment initiatives as required. Responsible for employee time off tracking including all leave types.

Manulife Financial

Taleo Project Coordinator July 2012 - October 2012

Responded to inquiries/issues from candidates and users related to Taleo. Facilitated weekly conference calls with recruitment team in Asia. Supported design, configuration pre-work, and testing for Taleo 12 upgrade. Managed system access for all new hires and terminations on weekly basis. Conducted new recruiter Taleo training sessions. Supported preparation of training content, job aids, reference guides for launch of Taleo in Asia. Performed other tasks related to Taleo as assigned.

Recruitment Coordinator August 2011 - July 2012

Supported corporate recruiters managing paperwork for all hiring activities, preparing job postings, processing and monitoring candidate background checks through Kroll, coordinating interview logistics, and preparing offer letters / packages. Conducted phone screens as required. Conducted monthly virtual orientation sessions.

BlackBerry (Research In Motion)

Candidate Care Coordinator (Campus Recruitment) May 2011 - July 2011

Prepared and reviewed job postings for approval using Taleo, prepared employment offer letters and new hire offer packages, and validated returned new hire packages assisting 2 recruiters. Coordinated logistics for ~20 interviews on daily basis. Provided support to recruiters and organizational development team as required.

Home Depot

Human Resources Staffing Coordinator January 2010 - April 2011

Drafted weekly staffing schedules for 150-200 associates. Partnered with Hiring Managers in recruitment process, posting job postings on Kenexa, screening applicants, conducting interviews, and processing reference checks via BackCheck. Arranged training schedules and logistics for associates and managers. Provided support to HR Manager for safety- and benefits-related issues. Conducted monthly orientation sessions.

City of Kitchener

Recruitment Assistant (Intern) January 2009 - April 2009

Supported 2 managers, completing side projects and phone screens.


Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)

Certified Human Resources Leader July 2010


University of Waterloo

B.A. Degree in Honours Psychology, Specialization in Human Resources Management, Minor in German June 2009

Giving Back

Kitchener-Waterloo Area

Tech People Management P2P - Organizer

Technovation Challenge - Mentor

Year of Code Waterloo Region - HR Advisor, Volunteer Coordinator

Hackademy - Program Director, CodeCrafters

TEDxWaterloo - Volunteer Coordinator Lead, Mobile Apps Team (former), Social Media Lead (former)

EpCon, an EPIC conference - Vice President, Social Media Lead (former)

Canada 3.0 - Social Media Team

Ignite Waterloo - Planning Committee

University of Waterloo

Co-op Experience Advisory Committee - Employer Representative

PsychSoc - Alumni Panel Speaker

EngSoc - Resume Critiquer

Future Females Techmaker Conference - Workshop Leader

Arts Student Union - Director of Online Communications and Webmaster

PsychSoc - Vice President Communications

Arts Orientation Team - Arts Leader Co-ordinator

International Students' Office - English Tutor

Arts Last Lecture - Planning Committee

Arts Valedictorian - Selection Committee

Human Resources Professionals Association

HRPA Annual Conference - Social Media Coordinator

Grand Valley Chapter - Social Media Coordinator, Volunteer Interviewer, Co-Chair of Peer Networking Group for Students / New Grads (former)

Greater Toronto Area

ideaCity - Volunteer

Net Change Week - Social Media Team

re:Vision - Media Relations Team

Toronto Mensa - Promotions/Recruitment Committee and Facebook Group Admin


  • Joanna has a precise mind and attention to detail. She is a unique combination of being data-driven and people-focused: she loves sourcing and interpreting minute data, but she also cares deeply for her employees and wants to do what's right for them. She is a consistent contributor and champion for office culture and wants the best for her team.

    Kerry O'Brien, Learning Expert & Professional Development Strategist at Shopify Plus
  • Joanna is smart, driven and great to work with. Joanna has been essential to recruiting success at D2L, bringing experience, expertise and a proven ability to deliver. I have been privileged to collaborate with Joanna, benefiting from her advice, support and efforts. Joanna is an exemplary HR Professional, working to support, enable and amplify the engagement, productivity and capacity of an organization. I recommend Joanna without hesitation. Any organization would be lucky to have her.

    Sean Yo, Senior Product Manager at D2L
  • Joanna is bright, detailed oriented and technical. She is very quick at learning new systems and has strong work ethic. Her ability to trouble shoot, and think outside the box, make her a great asset.

    Amy Diamond, Senior Consultant, Talent Management Systems at BMO Financial Group
  • Joanna was a pleasure to work with at Manulife. I could trust her with our administrative request as she would get things done promplty, she had great attention to detail and a great sense of urgency. It was nice to be able to count on someone during our busy times!

    Nathalie Sahyouni, Talent Acquisition Consultant at Manulife Financial
  • Joanna is an extremely talented employee. She always goes above and beyond what is required of her. Joanna always meets timelines (actually usually beats them) ensuring everything is done correctly and on time. She demonstrates great team work and she works with the recruiters as a partnership with a common goal of making the process successful for Hiring Managers and candidates. Joanna has a very positive impact on helping me meet my timelines and making our Hiring Managers very happy with the service (partnership) they receive from Recruitment. I truly enjoy working with Joanna.

    Julie Robinson, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Manulife Financial
  • I have had the pleasure of working with Joanna as a part of the Candidate Care team, supporting Campus, at RIM. Joanna demonstrated strong technical abilities, attention to detail and drive to succeed that was an asset to the team. I wish Joanna all the best of success in her future endeavors.

    Cybil Lawson, National Talent Acquisition Manager at Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
  • Joanna is an excellent team player. We worked together as Recruitment Coordinators at RIM and it was a pleasure doing so. Joanna is someone who is always willing to help or assist others and she permeates a positive attitude. Many times I took notice of Joanna's proactive work style as well as her professional demeanor and client focus orientation. I would look forward to and enjoy any opportunity to work with her again and I believe she will have an exciting future ahead of her.

    Doug Smith, Human Resources Strategic Manager at Sterling Capital Brokers
  • Joanna and I were able to build a working relationship very quickly. She is pleasant, professional, well-organized, and demonstrates good attention to detail. When Joanna and I faced any complications or challenges she always kept a problem-solving attitude and maintained customer focus.

    Emily Lauzon, Recruiter at BlackBerry (former)
  • Joanna volunteered for the Faculty of Arts on many occasions. She is very dedicated, hard-working and reliable, not to mention enthusiastic! She will make an ecellent addition to any team.

    Sarah Lima, Manager, Operations at VeloCity
  • I am proud to say Joanna and I worked together in the organizing committee of TEDx Waterloo and that Joanna did an amazing job of staying on top of, and engaging the community through twitter, facebook and other social technology means. Often I would be go to respond to a question, or announce something important and would find that not only had Joanna done it already but that she had done it almost immediately. A fantastically responsive, engaging, and exciting individual I believe her efforts had a wonderfully positive impact on the success of TEDx Waterloo. I have no doubt that Joanna would be a wonderful addition to any team whether in a corporate setting, or a community one and hope to have the opportunity of working with her again in the future.

    Richard Harbridge, Partner Technology Strategist for Microsoft
  • I hired Joanna for a co-op placement through the University of Waterloo. She was hired to assist me (Manager, Employee Strategies) with Human Resources initiatives and programs. Examples would be researching of tri-city college and university recruiting (co-op and internship programs). She also researched advertising venues for recruitment purposes (as part of an attraction strategy). including on-line, non profit, professional websites and newspaper advertising.. She wrote summaries/documents of all her research. She developed a survey for on-line applicant tracking systems and assisted in research and documentation of the applicant tracking business case. She was reliable, and efficient, with solid communications skills and strong research capabilities.

    Tami Turner, Manager of Employee Strategies at City of Kitchener

Get In Touch.

I enjoy meeting new people so I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to get in touch with me.

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