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 Bonduelle Ameriques.
Bonduelle Ameriques is an affiliate of French multinational corporation Bonduelle. With more than 3000 employees across North America, Bonduelle currently operates four production facilities in Quebec, all of which are located in the Monteregie region. These facilities are as close as possible to the land where fruits and vegetables are grown to ensure the maximum freshness of Bonduelle products.
The company transforms fresh fruit and vegetables into frozen offerings and conserves, as well as a selection of sauces, baked beans, vegetable mixes and soups. In addition to producing for large distribution brands, the American affiliate of Bonduelle sells vegetables under their own brands, including Arctic Garden and Graves in Canada. The company operates under the Bonduelle banner elsewhere in Canada, as well as in the United States, Argentina and Brazil.
We spoke with Evelyne Chicoine, Human Resources advisor for Bonduelle Ameriques.
JOBBOOM What types of employment are available at Bonduelle Ameriques?
E.C. Bonduelle Ameriques offers a wide range of enticing positions that encompass the entire food transformation process, from pasture to plate! The majority of our workforce works in our factories, handling the transformation of foods, operating equipment and driving forklifts; we also have supervisors and departmental directors in these areas.
We also offer a number of specialized positions in agro-industrial operations, for which we hire many people who have been trained at the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire in Saint-Hyacinthe, or who have studied food science and technology in university. These people provide their expertise in agronomy, quality assurance and presentation.
Because we utilize a lot of machinery during our processes, we also hire people who are specialized in electricity and electromechanical operations. Finally, at our headquarters we employ many people who are variously specialized in finance, marketing, IT, supply chain and other administrative tasks.
JOBBOOM What positions are the most difficult to fill?
E.C. Positions that require a specialization in production, handling or the operation of machinery are definitely the most difficult to fill, simply because all industries are seeking out these candidates.
Often, these specialists are more attracted to positions in a city such as Sorel, as opposed to Bedford or Saint-Denis, which is where our factories are located. That being said, it’s very pleasant to work in the country, without traffic!
The other challenge we face when recruiting for our factories is the seasonal nature of some of our operations. Our busy season starts in June, when many people are ready for vacation, and ends in December. During this time it’s Mother Nature who dictates the pace of our work!
JOBBOOM What is the most important value at Bonduelle and how does this affect your employees?
E.C. I would say that one of our strongest values is a concern for people’s well-being. This concern is reflected in our production of vegetable-based foods that promote healthy living, the process of which is guided by principles of sustainable development and social responsibility.
We are also committed to creating jobs in the communities where we operate and ensuring stability and security for our employees, part of which involves providing a welcoming environment where employees can develop their skills and grow as individuals.
For example, we have a program in place to reward a “zero accident” track record at all of our production facilities; we have already given a cheque in the amount of $47,500 to one of our factories that has operated for six years without an accident. The employees of the factory collectively decided to invest part of the award into upgrading a park situated near the factory, which is a great example of the values that we try to express every day.
JOBBOOM What are some essential qualities that you look for in an employee?
E.C. At Bonduelle Ameriques, we feel that a candidate’s life skills are just as important as required competencies and specializations. We are looking for candidates that share our values and this is demonstrated through creativity, collaboration and working well as part of a team.
Our business is growing rapidly; on average, we make an acquisition every three years. Our employees are at the heart of our success and it’s thanks to their creativity and collaborative spirit that we have been able to improve our processes and make them more efficient. Together, we are always looking ahead to imagine new solutions to problems.
JOBBOOM How do you attract and retain talent?
E.C. Our strength lies in the fact that we work closely with the people we hire. We help them to grow, to thrive, to develop their skills and to manage their passion for their job, all of which sets the stage for a long career with Bonduelle.
We offer training and tuition reimbursement for employees who want to pursue their studies part-time, as well as a seniority-recognition program which provides a special bonus for each five-year term of service that an employee completes with us. Bonduelle also provides employees with full insurance benefits and administers an employee assistance program.
JOBBOOM How would you describe the workplace ambience at Bonduelle?
E.C. The President of Groupe Bonduelle in France, Christophe Bonduelle, is leading the sixth generation of the Bonduelle family in running the business. This familial ambiance reaches all the way to Quebec! Our employees’ workweeks are filled with collaboration, warmth, pleasure and dynamism…
Each employee knows how to contribute to the team while still retaining the right to innovate as an individual. This is in addition to the pride that our employees feel knowing that they are providing essential products of the highest quality to our customers, while working for a company that is naturally close to the Earth, as we all are.