In order to get to understand their reality better - I asked a few questions to Caro (VP of Operations), Marie-Claude (Boutique Coordinator) & Camille (Bistro Manager & intern on the HR team) to learn a little more about recruiting, to find out their favorite little anecdotes, the challenges they've faced over the years & a few examples of good memories they've had!
What is involved in hiring for the high season?
Caro - It's a lot of work for only a few intensive weeks! People don't think about all the work that goes into it - planning and estimating staffing needs, writing job postings, phone interviews, followed by numerous return calls (Camille confirms that her phone has become her best friend in the last few weeks), then having group interviews and finally gathering information on the people hired for only 7-8 week contracts - phew!
Marie-Claude - It's literally a marathon that goes on for several weeks. You get in touch with so many people, you meet some great people and some funny ones too! It gives you such a taste for summer! - I also corroborate everything Caro wrote above. 😋
Camille - Recruiting for the agrotourism site requires a lot of work on many levels such as planning in estimating our needs. Human contact is also a key element of recruitment, observing the qualities, personalities of each person and seeing what makes them stand out (I love doing this). This also leads to checking which position could be a good fit for them based on the characteristics of the positions. It takes a lot of organization and communication in the HR team to make it all work (!!) I think the three of us complement each other well, that's what makes our team so beautiful and efficient. X
Of course, I suspected that recruiting so many beautiful people for the our high season brought some challenges – the girls brought up a few that they've come across over the years.
For example, Caro mentioned that the philosophy of work has changed a lot over the years: "We notice that candidates don't want to work full-time as much anymore (or simply don't need to), which makes recruiting more complex. In fact, we now have to hire more part-time employees to cover the same number of hours.
The HR team has to constantly be very nimble at managing schedules to do this, even when it's time for interviews - it's not always easy to find a time with everyone that works with our schedule & theirs, but Camille confirms that she always gets it right in the end!
Another big challenge for Marie-Claude is making sure that she recruits and hires the right number of employees for each department. Needs can vary from year to year, which makes it more complex.
While there are some challenges that girls may face during the recruitment process, this time of year is also full of sweet moments, some more humorous than others! Here are a few anecdotes from Caro, Marie-Claude & Camille:
Caro - When we go through the job applications and some candidates have personalized their CVs with our colors (mauve, lilac) or add little lavender flowers to their cover letter, it always makes me smile!
Marie - There are lots of them (!!) I love it when brothers/sisters, cousins, bffs apply together and go to group interviews together! It's so much family spirit! I also cringe every time I contact a candidate and hear the parents in the background cheering for their child during the phone interview!
Cam - I can't tell you how many times my heart breaks when talking to a candidate or just looking at their resume (!!) There are so many cute moments. Like young candidates applying for their first job and mentioning such cute details. For example, "I've been making my own toast since I was 2 years old" or "I love to cook pokebols" No, but?! My heart was in my mouth, literally.
Finally, the "candy" part of recruiting - What are you looking forward to the most?
Caro - Definitely the group interviews! It's one of my favorite parts of the year because I feel like the HR team gets to spend some quality time with interested candidates. It's a frenzy for the HR girl in me, as it's a chance to get to know them in a hurry, as sometimes I'm not the one who was their first point of contact in phone interviews. In terms of candidate experience, the experience allows for a quick understanding of what a summer job at La Maison entails. This is definitely an asset for young candidates who are at their first interview experience, definitely less awkward & more inclusive process!
Marie - Group interviews too! I like to walk around between each group interview to observe the candidates and see their personalities at work. I love analyzing people hihihi
Cam - I'm so excited to be able to participate in the group interviews for the first time to put a face to the people I talked to on the phone and get to know them even more. Some of them will be our summer team and we will be sharing our daily lives with them, it is so valuable to be able to meet them. Also, I am really looking forward to the training night (!!) It is a special moment for me every year. You get to meet some of the team and get to know the new ones. This evening allows us to create bonds, to see the dynamics in the teams, to get to know each other and to see the fruits of our labor. It is so gratifying and beautiful to see.
Year after year, we pinch ourselves to see how much people want to come and work with us - in interviews, several mentioned to Camille that they had already come to visit us in the fields and enjoyed the experience so much that they would like to live it for an entire summer (sorry?!). It is a real pride for the HR team to see that some employees come back season after season and that they want their brothers, sisters or friends to work for us (we are in the 3rd generation of Lalancette this year!!!). To see deep friendships being created between employees in our House and then to see them organize roadtrips together, & to maintain the link even once the season is over, is precious.
By the way, if you'd like to join the big family, we're still accepting your beautiful applications right here! Thank you so much for making our House bloom so beautifully! X