Amid the labor shortages, Walmart Canada reportedly managed the feat of recruiting as many as 300 workers to open its new Marché Central store in Montreal.
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At least management swears, adding as a bonus, that it’s interviewed more than 3,000 candidates, all interested in filling one of the dozens of positions the American retail giant has advertised.
Francis Llarena, manager of this new 13,300 square foot department store, is very proud of the result. “We worked hard. We’ve been recruiting since March. More than 3,000 candidates have been interviewed and we continue to do so today.
Hundreds of candidates
The information is surprising in these times when not a day goes by without a Quebec corporate leader speaking up and complaining about the shortage of workers, the lack of interest from candidates or the difficulty of retaining them once hired .
Retail is particularly vocal here. For example, the Quebec Retail Trade Council has held conferences, seminars and training sessions over the years to analyze the situation and try to overcome this difficulty. However, yesterday the organization chose to remain discreet and not respond to our request for interviews on the subject.
In the center, the vice president of Walmart in Quebec, Cyrille Ballereau, accompanied (on his right) by Brad Evans, director of the Montreal territory, and (on his left) by Francis Llarena, manager of the new Walmart store in Quebec Central Market. They are surrounded by some of the 300 employees recently hired to open Walmart’s 73rd store in Quebec. Chantal Poirier / JdeM
Doesn’t Walmart suffer from labor shortages? “Listen. “We advertised the positions and gave everyone a chance,” replied Cyrille Ballereau, vice president of operations at Walmart in Quebec. I don’t know what the others are saying, but for our part, we’ve managed to fill all of our positions occupy, although we recognized that recruitment might be more difficult elsewhere, in the case of this store.
After “more than 3,000 interviews,” just over 300 candidates from around 40 national origins were hired and trained in time for the opening of this new Walmart department store, the first to open in Quebec in ten years.
At the helm of this new liner, Francis Llarena says the organization’s great flexibility to adapt to staff availability may partly explain its success.
“We have shifts in the morning, during the day, in the evening, at night, during the week and at the weekend. We adapt with variable working hours, with short and long shifts. We really have a wide range of opportunities for candidates who want to join us.”
For competitive reasons, Walmart refuses to disclose the salaries offered to its “partners”. “We always pay above minimum wage, and that salary varies based on responsibility,” the vice president said, confident that salary alone doesn’t explain the Bentonville retailer’s appeal.
In addition to salary and reasonable hours, Walmart would offer many other benefits to its employees. “In addition to the pleasant opening hours and our low prices every day, all our employees benefit from a 10% discount on their purchases, for example. In addition, they share in the profits of the store, they have a stock program at their disposal, not to mention the telemedicine program for themselves or their family.”
And then there’s the ever-present opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. “I’m a good example. I arrived in the country with my wife and my four suitcases. I started in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in March 2002 as an employee in the hardware department.” This opportunity to experience the same career advancement, Cyrille Ballereau ensures, is offered to all 14,000 Walmart employees in the province .