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 La Vie en Rose.
La Vie en Rose is the leading provider of lingerie and swimwear in Canada, with more than 2500 employees in nine provinces. The company also has a strong presence internationally, counting stores in 18 countries.
We spoke with Lyne Raymond, CRHA, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at La Vie en Rose.
JOBBOOM What are the major types of employment available at La Vie en Rose?
Lyne Raymond Around 90 percent of our employees work in-store as sales associates, assistant managers, and managers. The other 10 percent of our workforce is made up of employees at our headquarters (175 employees) and our distribution center (50 employees). These people work in design, importing, product buying, marketing, IT, accounting, finance, human resources and other specializations.
JOBBOOM What positions are the most difficult to fill?
L.R. IT professionals, including ecommerce specialists, programmers and developers are the hardest to recruit, as the skills they possess are rare and in high demand. Certain in-store positions are also difficult to fill, depending on the region.
In general, however, we find it relatively easy to recruit new people, thanks to our good reputation. We always seem to be able to find that rare gem of an employee!
JOBBOOM What are some essential qualities you look for in an employee?
L.R. All of our employees are passionate people, who have a desire to innovate and to enjoy themselves at work.
Above all else, we look for candidates who enjoy working with customers and who have a strong desire to learn. Many of our employees weren’t sure which career path to embark on after finishing school, before realizing that they had an interest in sales and customer service. These individuals have the ideal profile for us in that they are passionate about their work and we can offer them many great opportunities to advance their careers.
JOBBOOM What kind of career path is possible for an employee at La Vie en Rose?
L.R. We provides many opportunities for employees to grow with the company; in fact, 12 percent of employees who work at La Vie en Rose’s headquarters began their careers in in-store positions. So it’s easy for our staff to envision a career path within the organization.
For example, one of our Regional Sales Managers has been with us for nearly 20 years. She started as a part-time sales associate while she was still in school; she enjoyed the job, the products and working with clients so much that she decided to continue her career with us! She switched over to full-time, eventually became Assistant Manager, then Manager, and now Regional Manager of Sales. Her path shows just how far a passionate person can go.
We also accept interns for in-store positions, as well as in our marketing, design and human resources departments. If the internship goes well, there is the possibility that we will hire the person after they’ve completed their time as an intern.
JOBBOOM What values are important to the company culture at La Vie en Rose?
L.R. At a high level, we strive to promote respect, quality, solidarity, flexibility, the desire to innovate, and passion.
These are the values that we make sure to recognize in candidates before hiring. Passion is easy to identify in a person: their dynamism, the path they’ve taken in life so far, and they way they work all indicate their level of passion. During interviews, we will often ask younger candidates what role they played during a team activity or project, as this can often indicate what kind of employee they will become in the future.
One thing I love about our company is that we have faith in our young people! Our managers enjoy training people who have little or no experience, since young people are often highly motivated, innovative individuals who bring new ideas to the table.
JOBBOOM How do you distinguish yourselves as a company in terms of working conditions?
L.R. Our sales associates can receive commissions, special bonuses for most sales made in one hour, and motivational extras. Managers are eligible for a bonus program based on sales and productivity at their stores.
A group insurance plan is also available for full-time employees. We also offer referral bonuses, a recognition program to award employees for many years of service, discounts on La Vie en Rose products and other benefits.
All of our in-store employees can also become members of the Diamond Club, which is a program to promote excellence among our staff. Each month, Diamond Club members accumulate points that can be redeemed for a gift at the end of each quarter. Over the course of a year, those that save up enough points can receive a diamond valued at between $500 and $1000. Our employees love this program – it’s a big motivator for them!
Employees at our headquarters benefit from paid personal holidays, a group insurance plan, training programs, tuition reimbursement are more.
JOBBOOM What makes people happy to work at La Vie en Rose?
L.R. I think the fact that we are the leader in the Canadian lingerie and swimwear market speaks volumes about the excellent reputation and impressive growth of La Vie en Rose.
Even though it has been difficult for companies in the retail market in recent years, our business is extremely healthy. We acquired the Bikini Village chain last spring and also had a record sales year in 2015. We are always working on new projects and never stop innovating; this is a big source of pride for our employees.
Besides that, we are focused on taking care of our personnel. I regularly travel to visit our stores across Canada, and I always find a respectful, family-like atmosphere when I arrive. Our managers at all levels are passionate women who believe in our values and pass them on to their employees.
Company name: Boutique La Vie en Rose, Inc.
Sector of activity: Sales, purchasing and customer service
No. of employees: 2500