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: Aesus Packaging Systems.
We spoke with Mélina Wilson, director of human resources for Aesus.
Jobboom: Can you introduce our readers to Aesus packaging systems?
Mélina Wilson: Aesus was founded in 2003 after a merger between D.L. Tech Inc. (founded in 1995) and EDT (founded in 1997). The founders of these two companies had previously been partners or employees of other companies in the packaging industry. Today, Aesus is based in Pointe-Claire, Québec and employs more than 100 people.
The company has grown considerably in recent years. The majority of our clients are in the United States but we also work with companies in Canada and overseas, notably in Australia. We manufacture packaging machinery, including labelers, packers, filling machines, conveyors and corkers. This equipment supports the needs of our clients according to their respective needs – they are active in the food-service, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, to name a few.
Our machines are customized according to the needs of each individual client, and our company handles every step of the development process from A to Z. We start by acquiring the raw materials needed to build a finished machine and then handle the transformation, machining, manufacturing, electrical and mechanical assembly before delivering the finished machine to our quality control department. In addition to manufacturing, we also offer installation and startup services for the equipment: we start by performing tests of the machine at our factory in Pointe-Claire, and then deliver the machine to the client along with a service technician to handle the installation, programming and startup operations. This way, the technician can perform any adjustments that need to be made on the machine.
Jobboom : What are the core values of Aesus?
M.W : Without a doubt, teamwork is the most important value at our company. When our employees work together it adds so much value to what we do. We also prioritize respect, honesty, excellence and responsibility in the workplace.
From the very beginning of the hiring process, we look for people who enjoy working as part of a team. Our employees have an excellent rapport with each other, which allows them to constantly exchange their knowledge and improve our processes. Together, our employees pursue Aesus’ goal of delivering maximum client satisfaction, and this tradition has ingrained teamwork into our company culture. We feel strongly that the ideal solution to a problem will not come from one individual, but will come about as a result of collaboration between different departments.
Jobboom : How does Aesus give back to the community?
M.W : We work with several different foundations and children’s charities, which we support through financial donations. These initiatives are very important to us. As well, Daniel Lachapelle, the president of Aesus, is a member of Montréal’s West Island Chamber of Commerce.
Jobboom : What are your principal needs in terms of recruitment?
M.W : We regularly have openings in all of our departments in order to support upcoming projects or initiatives. We prioritize hiring for the long-term, because we take the time to train and integrate new employees in a manner that supports the long-term growth of the company.
To start with, we are currently looking for machinists to work CNC machines with digital controls (including milling machines and towers) in our production department. We offer both a day shift and an evening shift, and we are also hoping to create a night position. For these jobs were looking for candidates who have an intermediate level of experience in a similar domain. Otherwise, we’re interested in hiring junior level people with a desire to learn and who are open to new challenges, who we can train to enter our industry. Of course, this approach takes more time. But in any case we are always in need of people who are open to working in an environment that is constantly evolving.
On occasion, we also look for:
– Machinists who can work on our conventional, mechanically-controlled machines;
– Operators for our laser-cutter and press brake machines;
After the machining stage, machine parts are sent to the assembly department, where there are usually positions available for mechanical and electrical assemblers. For these positions, we require candidates to hold a professional or college-level diploma in electro-mechanics or a related field. Often, the skills required for these positions overlap, but we also have two very distinct departments that our assemblers eventually end up choosing between in order to become as efficient and productive as possible: mechanical assemblers will mount the machinery, and electrical assemblers will pass the wiring, install motors and other related tasks.
We also regularly have openings in our Quality Control department. This includes our validation team, which brings together experienced and specialized technicians to perform all the tests necessary to ensure that each machine is working properly before being sent out to the client.
Some of our technicians work on-site in Pointe-Claire, while other technicians make service calls to our clients’ workspaces to perform startup and maintenance tasks on machinery. Since these service techs are alone on the road, candidates for these positions must be experienced, autonomous self-starters.
We also have open positions in our offices, the most important of which are found in our engineering department. We have a team of engineers and mechanical technicians who design our machinery and produce technical drawings. We also have an electrical engineering department where engineers, technicians and logic controller programmers work on the wiring and cabling systems of our machines.
As well, we have a research and development department that is fundamental to our company. It’s essential that Aesus position itself as a leader in the industry and that means developing cutting-edge technical solutions to today’s problems. It also involves ensuring that our company is among the most efficient, productive and dynamic in the industry. To meet these goals we invest heavily in R&D, and as a result our research team is always giving 100% to push our technology forward.
Of course, we also have openings in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, sales and after-sales support.
In addition to these positions, we have opening for project managers – typically, these are engineers who collaborate with the engineering departments and production teams to realize the requirements of our clients. They really facilitate communication between Aesus and our customers.
Jobboom :What types of recruitment tools do you use?
M.W: Our primary vector for recruitment is our pool of current employees. When we have openings, we let our staff know right away to encourage the spread of the news via word-of-mouth, and to inspire those employees who are interested in new challenges.
Of course, we also post job openings on recruitment websites including Jobboom. We also work with specialized recruiting agencies to acquire hard-to-find talent on an as-needed basis.
Jobboom : What are some of the essential qualities you look for in your employees?
M.W: Our employees need to share the core values of Aesus: to be respectful, honest, and to enjoy working as part of a team. We’re looking for motivated people who are passionate about their work – people who want to advance the field and to act as mentors to our junior employees. It’s this kind of attitude that makes us a winning company!
We offer our employees a very clean and organized working environment. Accordingly, it’s essential that we hire people who will work to maintain this level of cleanliness, even on a factory floor.
Jobboom : What are your qualities as an employer? What differentiates Aesus?
M.W: We are extremely vigilant about health and safety issues, and we are continuously improving these processes. But beyond that, we aim to be as flexible and as human as possible. We understand that our employees work hard, but also that they have a life outside of work. It’s our job to provide the ideal work-life balance for them. We can’t accommodate every request, but we make the maximum effort to ensure that our employees are happy without negatively impacting the quality of our production.
For example, we’ve accommodated the needs of employees who have obligations regarding their children, or require flexible working hours. Employees can start earlier or later than the standard schedule if they prefer. During the summer months we also allow employees to work a Monday to Thursday workweek in order to enjoy longer weekends. This system has been in place for several years and is greatly appreciated by our employees.
Jobboom : What elements help you to attract and retain talent?
M.W : From the beginning of the recruitment process, we make it clear that we offer pleasant working conditions, which is a major attracting factor for candidates. As well, our flexibility and human approach to our employees are a big plus, not to mention our openness to improvement.
Jobboom : What kinds of opportunities for career advancement exist at Aesus?
M.W : We don’t base the possibility for advancement solely on an employee’s education or years of experience; rather we see the potential for an individual’s progress in a holistic sense. We invest in the individual, in what that person represents, and in what they do in order to provide the opportunity for advancement.
For example, some of our employees previously worked in reception or shipping and handling, but have since progressed professionally and become machinists. In that sense, they had neither the experience nor the training that one would normally associate with their positions, but they had managers who took the time to train them and shape their skills in such a way that they were able to evolve into their new roles. This process allows people to grow in the organization, transfer across departments if they desire, and to enjoy new challenges over time.