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 Veolia Canada.
With a presence on five continents and counting a workforce of more than 179,000, Veolia is a leader in the design and deployment of environmental solutions for water, waste and energy management. For more than 163 years Veolia has worked with industries, cities and their residents to optimize the use of resources with the goal of improving the efficiency of economic, environmental and social systems. Veolia contributes to the development of accessible natural resources, their preservation and their renewal. The company counts close to 1200 employees in Canada, including 750 in Quebec.
We spoke with Samuel Paré, human resources advisor for Veolia Canada.
JOBBOOM What kinds of employment opportunities are available at Veolia?
Samuel Paré The majority of our employees work in the field, where they use our technologies to offer services of all kinds. Some of their daily tasks include industrial cleaning, transport of dangerous materials, soil decontamination, equipment maintenance, quality control in our laboratory and other responsibilities. On the administrative side, Veolia offers positions ranging from engineering to management, as well as logistics, sales, accounting and other specializations.
In Quebec, our employees work across 21 different locations and are grouped into teams that range in size from 10 to 150 people.
JOBBOOM What positions do you find are the most difficult to fill?
S.P. Certainly some positions are harder to fill than others; our challenge is to find and recruit employees that are both specialized and experienced, while also having a specific interest in our industry, which is relatively new. Our other big challenge is recruiting people to work on projects that are located in faraway regions, as is the case for the construction and operation of our two new biomass factories in Merritt and Fort St. James, British Columbia.
JOBBOOM What is the most important value at Veolia and how does it impact the recruitment process?
S.P. The most important value at Veolia is, without a doubt, the sense of service that we provide. At Veolia, “to serve” means that we use our know-how and our competencies to implement our projects in a precise, rapid and economical way, all without compromising security. During hiring interviews, we aim to identify candidates that share our commitment to these fundamental values and try to determine a candidate’s level of motivation in relation to the sectors in which we are active. Of course, having a positive attitude about our mission as a company helps future employees ensure that they are growing in the same direction as we are!
JOBBOOM What are some of the essential qualities that you look for in your employees?
S.P. Beyond hard skills, we are always looking for individuals who are motivated and creative self-starters – the kind of employees that, when presented with a problem or a project, come up with solutions. Veolia strives to fill our ranks with the best: those who have a positive attitude, an open spirit, are focused on health and security and who work well in teams. Due to the nature of our operations, a motivated, self-driven employee will be more aligned with our company mission and will ultimately deliver better results from their work – as we can testify, rejuvenating the world is no easy task!
JOBBOOM How does Veolia attract and retain talent?
S.P. From day one, we offer very competitive salaries. All new positions that become available are first advertised internally, and overall the possibilities for advancement are strong throughout the company. For example, it’s common to see employees from our operations division apply for management or supervisory positions; eventually, these same supervisors will apply for director of operations positions.
We provide our employees with access to several types of training programs, including advanced English language classes and management training. These programs contribute to improved efficiency at the company while supporting the professional growth of employees and increasing their employability in the larger market. Our employees also benefit from group insurance benefits and a competitive retirement program, as well as a stock ownership plan that incorporates contributions from the company.
JOBBOOM How would you describe the workplace atmosphere at Veolia?
S.P. When you arrive at Veolia, you immediately notice a convivial atmosphere where each individual is dedicated to pursuing solutions. Together, Veolia and our employees put an emphasis on teamwork and ease of communication.
Company name: Veolia
Sector of activity: Engineering, science and scientific techniques
No. of employees: Close to 179,000