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 Pelican International.
Pelican International is a world leader in the design and manufacture of kayaks, canoes, SUP boards, pedalboats and fishing boats. For more than 45 years, Pelican has focused on innovation and the development of cutting-edge technology to connect outdoor enthusiasts with durable, affordable and high-quality products.
We sat down with Marie-Josée Valois, Director of Human Resources for Pelican International.
JOBBOOM What kinds of employment opportunities are available at Pelican?
Marie-Josée Valois On the professional side, we hire mechanical engineers, supervisors, purchasers, product managers and logisitics specialists. At our factory we regularly hire workers to join our production and operations teams.
JOBBOOM What are the greatest challenges you face in terms of recruitment?
M.-J. V. Recruitment is a challenge in and of itself, but I would say that positions in our production facility are the hardest to fill. These are physical jobs, and we are looking for people who are reliable, capable of closely following the procedures, and who have a strong sense of loyalty. It’s a combination that can be difficult to find!
Besides that, since Pelican is a manufacturing and exporting business, product development is an area that is very important for us. Our marketing, product management and production management teams are expanding quickly. Around 75 employees have joined us in the past year or so, and we project that we will have another hundred positions become available in the near future.
JOBBOOM What are some of the essential qualities you look for in your employees?
M.-J. V. Above all, we are looking for people who love to work as part of a team. It’s an important value for the company, since all departments work collaboratively by necessity.
Our employees must also be prepared to get involved and get hands-on in order to contribute to the success of the company. This is an element that we work hard to identify when looking at a candidate’s past work experience. Also, because we work in the sporting field, having an interest in the outdoors is always a plus!
JOBBOOM In your view, what is the strongest source of motivation for your employees?
M.-J. V. We are a dynamic company that is focused on innovation, so there is always something interesting happening here. We have one of the largest research and development teams in the industry, and we pay close attention to what our customers have to say. We are the world’s number one producer of kayaks and our products are distributed in 52 countries. Knowing this is stimulating for our employees and makes them very proud to work here.
JOBBOOM How would you describe the working environment at Pelican?
M.-J. V. We have a tight-knit team that is very warm and welcoming. The process of integrating a new employee begins with introducing them to their new colleagues in all of our departments, even if they won’t necessarily be working together. It’s important for us to promote pleasant interactions between individuals at the company.
In this spirit, we organize several annual events to give our employees the chance to get to know each other better. For example, this past autumn we held a barbeque to thank employees for their hard work during the last boating season.
Of course, because we work in the sporting industry, we also encourage our employees to partake in sports and outdoor activities. Friendly games of hockey and soccer are organized on a regular basis, and we signed two teams up for the Émilie-Mondor Classique, a foot race that takes place in Mascouche.
JOBBOOM How does Pelican International distinguish itself in terms of working conditions?
M.-J. V. In addition to a competitive benefits plan that includes group health insurance and a collective RRSP, our employees can buy products directly from our company. We even organize a day where they can try out company products to get a real feel for the results of their hard work!
Besides these benefits, the fact that we’re based in Laval is an important attractor for our employees. It’s a city that offers a high quality of life for families, and our team includes many young professionals. As much as possible, we make it a point to offer a flexible schedule in order to promote a healthy work-life balance for our employees.
JOBBOOM What kind of career possibilities do you offer to your employees?
M.-J. V. We are continuously launching new projects that expose our employees to new and interesting challenges. Some of our employees have over 30 years of service with the company; these are passionate people who know that they are a part of something special, who have the opportunity to advance change and to see the results of their efforts. I believe this is what keeps them at Pelican. Our employees aren’t simply a link in a chain, they are involved in every step of the process.
JOBBOOM What does the future hold for Pelican International?
M.-J. V. The next year is shaping up to be very busy! Our clients are doing well and our orders from them are at a high point. We intend to pursue growth opportunities and to continue hiring in all of our sections. Our main challenge then is to identify the players who will make great additions to our team and who will help us reach our objectives!