The difficulties in recruiting seasonal employees

Le recrutement difficile des employés saisonniers

From January to the end of march, les Serres Frank Zyromski are more than double their numbers, from 35 to 80 employees. Despite all solutions put in place, some positions are always filled.

Each fall, Louise St-Arnaud, owner and director of human resources of Serres Frank Zyromski, made feet and hands to find the workforce it will need in preparation for the production peak.

The horticultural company, based in Rivière-Rouge, in Laurentides, annually produces 8 to 10 million cuttings of ornamental plants, such as geraniums, begonias and other flowers that will be on the market in the spring.

“As our jobs are seasonal, it was a challenge to retention. Many employees do not come back. It is necessary, therefore, to proceed to new hires each year, ” says Louise St-Arnaud.

An essential aid to

Because of the paucity of staff, the employer had put in place a wide range of solutions. He draws, especially in the area of new retirees who have left the city to the countryside.

“We hired a few of them, except that they are not willing to work during the weekend. They help us to fill some part-time positions so that it operates seven days a week.

The plants need care every day. ”

Like other agricultural producers, the company has not had other choice than to turn to temporary foreign workers. The first year, in 2018, it has hired three from Guatemala. This year, it hosted 12.

“This is an aid which we cannot do without, especially as these employees are willing to work 50 to 60 hours per week. But they do not fill all our needs because of the language barrier. For some tasks, it is necessary to be able to read documents that are in French. ”

Share of its employees

Ms. St-Arnaud has also sought to establish partnerships with companies of the region for the exchange of seasonal workers. The approach has not borne fruit, the SMES are in competition with other employers of Mont-Tremblant and its ski resort, the high season coincides with hers. It will perhaps be new to the experience. The sharing of employees between seasonal businesses, it is a solution that the horticultural industry wants to see spread.

“This is a good way to extend periods of employment that the workers remain in our industry,” says Martine Matteau, executive director of HortiCompétences, the sectoral committee on labour in ornamental horticulture. The challenge is to know the additional jobs in the region. ”

The sector of ornamental horticulture in Quebec

  • 6 000 companies
  • more than 40 000 workers
  • 58% : Share of employers for whom employee retention is a challenge, according to the sectoral diagnosis of HortiCompétences.

Source : Federation of interdisciplinary ornamental horticulture Québec (Québec green)

Pair seasonal jobs

A draft of the share of labour comes to be launched in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Thanks to the Network ALIRA (Alliance-Interaction-hr-Atypical), the companies of the region will be able to access a bank of available candidates who already occupy a seasonal position. In anticipation of their high season, they will be able to seek workers from other companies who find themselves without a job during their low season.

This pilot project, implemented by the organization in employability Group Inter-Action Work (GIAT) in collaboration with the Corporation for innovation and development in Alma–Lac-Saint-Jean-est and the Boom 2, has received a financial support of $ 500,000 from the ministry of Labour, Employment and social Solidarity.

The program will run until 2022 and is expected to reach 1350 workers and 580 companies.

This initiative has been welcomed by the construction Site on the Seasonality that brings together the five sectoral committees of the labor sectors of tourism, agricultural production, forest management, fisheries, marine and ornamental horticulture.

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