Lanaudière companies are adapting to remain competitive

Unemployment

To attract candidates, EBI and Premier Tech show flexibility in terms of working conditions, but without getting into favoritism.

While labor shortages are rife and affect most professional areas, Lanaudière companies must implement initiatives to continue operating. Two of them agreed to speak with our journalist to talk about the new realities they must face in this highly competitive job market.

For Premier Tech in Joliette and EBI in Berthierville, the situation is the same: several positions need to be filled. The first, which operates in several areas ranging from horticulture to information technology, including automation of bagging machines, water and the environment, is looking for collaborators in the areas of production and engineering. However, according to Stéphane Lamarre, Premier Tech’s senior director of operations – Water and Environment, this type of work is less attractive to young people. “More manual jobs, which require factory work, are less valued by young people, unlike previous generations,” he notes, adding that this trend was already visible before the pandemic.

EBI is mainly looking for drivers and operators for waste management. “Our needs are equivalent to one SME per year in terms of manpower”, specifies Nicolas Perrino, the company’s director of public relations. This is explained by the fact that EBI is a company that integrates several activities, either in the collection of waste or in the production of compost and renewable natural gas. “But it is in the areas of transport, excavation and sorting that the needs are really present”, he indicates.

Stephane Lamarre

©Photo courtesy – The Action

Stéphane Lamarre, Senior Director of Operations at Premier Tech – Water and Environment.

adaptations

The pandemic has in no way slowed down the activities of the two companies, which are considered essential. So they adapted their approaches to attract more employees. To do this, Premier Tech uses all possible tools. She posts her job offers on her website, makes announcements on her social media and can also seek help from recruiting companies if needed. “We are in all communication channels to ensure that we reach all generations”, explains Stéphane Lamarre.

EBI relies on the experience of its internal human resources team for recruitment. However, scarcity has slightly changed the employer’s approach to candidates. Whereas before the company presented its needs to candidates, Nicolas Perrino explains that now recruiters must adopt a “salesperson” style: “You have to do the opposite. We have to present what we offer and explain why they should apply to us.”

The recruitment task remains difficult as there is strong competition in the job market. “Everyone competes to have the best employees and, for that, it is necessary to have the best working conditions”, emphasizes Perrino. Thus, the EBI modified its employment remuneration conditions by increasing the employer’s contribution to the RRSP. Premier Tech also puts a lot of effort into attracting and retaining its people, which is paying off. “Our workforce is very stable. When we integrate someone into the team, we always want to keep them”, says Stéphane Lamarre.

Companies also say they are flexible to the demands of candidates. However, despite the competition present in the market, they do not accept any conditions that could harm equity between new employees and those already present. On the other hand, Mr. Lamarre acknowledges that Premier Tech had to adapt to increase onboarding and training time for some employees who did not yet have all the skills for the job. “This slowed down the company’s growth a bit, but the situation was still under control and the customers didn’t have any problems”, concludes the COO.

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