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 Louis Garneau Sports Inc.
Louis Garneau Sports Inc. is an international leader in the design and manufacture of sports equipment and athletic clothing. Based in Quebec, the company develops innovative, high-quality products that meet the needs of professional athletes and amateur sport lovers alike.
We spoke with Audrey Towner, Human Resources counselor for Louis Garneau Sports.
JOBBOOM What kind of jobs are available at Louis Garneau Sports?
Audrey Towner In general, employment opportunities at Louis Garneau Sports are offered across two broad categories: production (including sewing, digital printing, sublimation and shipping) and design and sales (including product management, product design, after-sale service and customer care). We also maintain administrative positions in accounting and finance, human resources, communications, purchasing and other areas.
Most of our employees work at our company headquarters located in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures in the Quebec City region. We also employ around one hundred people in the United States, another hundred in Mexico, and ten in China.
JOBBOOM Which positions does the company need to fill most frequently?
A.T. We regularly have entry-level openings for employees in production. These positions involve sewing, shipping, cutting, transfer of materials and other tasks. Training for these positions is provided in-house so there are no particular qualifications that an applicant needs to have in order to apply. Because we are a growing company, we also regularly need people to fill retail positions at our boutiques, including store managers, sales associates and bicycle mechanics. We recently opened a warehouse store next to our headquarters that includes a café, museum, workshop and gym, so our need for new employees continues to grow.
JOBBOOM Which positions are the hardest to fill?
A.T. It can be difficult to find suitable candidates for product manager positions. The job requires a rare combination of skills: someone who is passionate about biking, who possesses experience in product development and the retail industry, and who also has a strong understanding of the needs of our customers.
We manufacture premium quality bicycles and athletic clothing for professional athletes as well as for families; for precision products like these, no detail can be overlooked or left to chance. From the initial design phase to the engineering of a product – a process that encompasses the development of graphic design elements and the sourcing of materials – every step must be carefully planned out and executed in order to deliver a product that meets our high standards.
Most of the candidates we meet have studied design or engineering, but ultimately, product management is a position for which no specific training or education can produce an ideal candidate. A successful candidate needs to demonstrate a good mix of relevant experience and a passion for cycling.
JOBBOOM What are some qualities that all employees of Louis Garneau Sports share?
A.T. In my opinion, the term “intrapraneur” describes a Louis Garneau Sports employee well. To a person, they embody all of the qualities that we look for when we hire someone: leadership, initiative, engagement and autonomy.
Because we need to continually adjust to the market and the industry, our work environment is constantly changing. As a result our employees need to be innovative and polyvalent while maintaining rigorous standards of quality. They also need to be comfortable working as part of a team to realize our goals as a company. People who want to work with us don’t necessarily need to be passionate about biking, but they do need to be driven by the values of sport: transcending the self, the pursuit of dreams and a passion for life. Above all else, at Louis Garneau, we sell pleasure!
JOBBOOM What do you feel are some of the main factors that attract new employees to Louis Garneau Sport?
A.T. I think that people are drawn to us because we are a well-known brand, but the fact that we are a Quebec-based company is also attractive to many candidates. Many prospective employees are referred to us by current employees, who are clearly excellent ambassadors for us!
Besides these factors, the dynamism of the industry that we are in is also a big attractor for people. We are driven by innovation, which suggests to candidates that working with us will be stimulating and inspiring.
A passion for sport and a focus on well-being are at the foundation of our company culture. This culture is reflected in the health and wellness programs that we offer for employees, including organized activities like spinning and Zumba, lunchtime biking, health conferences and a well-equipped physical training center that is available on-site. All of these perks are provided in addition to our core offer to our employees, which includes group health benefits, paid vacation and employee rebates on Louis Garneau Sports products.
JOBBOOM What kind of career possibilities are available for employees of Louis Garneau Sports?
A.T. We make it a point to consider each employee’s stated career objectives when we offer them new challenges within the company. Our commitment to the success of our employees is a big part of why it’s common to meet people who have been with the company for 10, 15 or even 20 years.
The career advancement of our employees is a key value at Louis Garneau Sports, and this is why we always offer open positions internally as well as externally. We also offer ongoing training for employees to help them move forward in their career, including access to language courses, IT training and other skill development programs. We also provide career coaching for our intermediate-level staff.
JOBBOOM How would you describe the working atmosphere at Louis Garneau Sports?
A.T. It’s a relaxed, dynamic and familial vibe. We host various activities, including bike trips and races, to bring employees from all departments closer together in an effort to promote the sense of family that we have developed. Many of our employees also get together outside of work to spend time together.
For the past eight years, we’ve organized the Grandfondo, a cycling challenge to raise funds for the charitable organization Les Petits Freres. Many of our employees participate in the event as competitors or volunteers. These kinds of activities teach us how to work together in a new context and remind us that every action we take as a company has an impact on the larger community. We’re proud to work for a company where the concept of community is important and is nurtured on a daily basis.
Pleasure is another key aspect of our company’s mission, and it is also essential to the spirit that we collectively bring to work every week. Our employees enjoy coming to work and realizing their aspirations, and they wear the clothes that our company creates with pride.
In this sense, our president Louis Garneau is a source of inspiration for all of us, because he knows better than anyone how to combine his passion for sport with his work. He’s also very accessible as a person. On top of participating in our lunchtime cycling outings or giving spinning classes, he takes the time to personally meet every new employee at our headquarters to put a face to their name, and holds an annual meeting to explain the direction and goals of the company moving forward.
Company name: Louis Garneau Sports Inc.
Year founded: 1983
No. of employees: 485