Every month, Jobboom profiles an employer that is a leader in their industry to shed some light on the business cultures, staffing needs and recruitment methods of top organizations. This month we look at Lesters Foods.
For more than 85 years, Quebec-based Lesters Foods has specialized in the transformation of meat products. Operated by the Lester family for three generations, the company is renowned for their hotdogs and delicious smoked meat, which are distributed from coast to coast in Canada. Lesters has its headquarters and production facility in Laval, Quebec, where the company employs more than 250 people.
We spoke with David Bousquet, Director of Human Resources for Lesters Foods.
JOBBOOM What types of employment are available at Lesters?
David Bousquet At our production facilities, we primarily hire people to work in sanitation, production and quality control, as well as electromechanical specialists and supervisors who have experience in the food transformation industry. In terms of administration, we sometimes have positions to fill in our sales and accounting departments as well.
In addition to these areas, few people are aware that we also have a robust information technology department at Lesters. We currently employ eight workers in this area, a significant number for a company of our size. This team includes several web programmers who are helping our company make the pivot into the digital realm. Some examples of this ongoing transformation are that all of our vendors are now equipped with tablets, and we have installed a barcode scanning system throughout our factory so that we can closely monitor our inventory levels.
JOBBOOM What is the main quality that you look for in your employees?
D.B. I would say that we look for a sense of engagement with the company. We are looking for people who want to invest their time and energy in the organization and to grow with us as a result. Tellingly, more than a quarter of our employees have at least 15 years of service with Lesters.
The values of Lesters Foods are also reflected in our hiring practices. We seek out people who want to succeed as part of a team, who are results-oriented and who are passionate, curious and innovative.
JOBBOOM What makes people enjoy working at Lesters?
D.B. Above all else, Lesters is a family company. The values that define us are rooted deep in the DNA of the organization, and this is what makes the sense of belonging among our employees so strong. Our workers know that they can envision a long-term career with us, since people will always need to eat!
Besides this, the products that we manufacture are often associated with pleasure and festive events; Lesters products help people feel happy, which is a big source of pride for our employees. We also offer good salaries and benefits, including the ability to buy Lesters products at reduced prices.
JOBBOOM What kind of career possibilities are available for Lesters employees?
D.B. I could offer several examples of employees who began their careers in production, before moving rapidly on to other positions; today, some have become production supervisors here.
Supporting the career development of our employees is important to us, and we make it a point to be aware of each individual’s goals in order to help them achieve them. This includes offering training opportunities that will compliment their existing skills.
JOBBOOM How would you describe the working atmosphere at Lesters?
D.B. The sense of connection between our employees is very strong. After their first week of work, I often hear new employees say how impressed they are by the atmosphere at our company. They find the people to be warm and friendly, and newcomers feel welcome from the moment they arrive.
Throughout the year, we also organize many activities to thank our employees for their work, including a barbecue in the summer and our Christmas party. We want our staff to know that it is thanks to them that Lesters is a leader in the food industry.
JOBBOOM What are the strongest sources of motivation for your employees?
D.B. Our employees can sense that we want to bring our company to the next level, and that we aren’t afraid to invest in the future. We recently began a large-scale expansion project that will give Lesters Foods more production capacity and will help create new jobs. This type of investment shows our employees that the future of the company is truly in their hands.
While the company is celebrating 85 years in business, it’s not old in the strictest sense of the word! We see ourselves as a very modern organization. Our history is important, but it’s the future that we’re focused on, and it is where we are investing our efforts.