Security guard, kitchen help, longshoremen, technical workers, crane operators, waiters… There is no shortage of job openings in Prince Rupert. In this village of 12,000 inhabitants located on the shores of the North Pacific, two hours by boat from Alaska, the port is in an economic boom, to the point that businesses are struggling to find the labour they need.
This is the case for Ray-Mont Logistics. This company that specializes in large-scale transport of goods makes many arguments in favour of convincing its workers to go to work in British Columbia. “While Montreal and Vancouver are very promising urban centres, it is true that it is much more complicated to attract our employees to this First Nations territory, isolated from everything,” says Olivier Charron, vice president and human resources director. “It has to be taken as a parenthesis in your professional life. And when the value of this experience is promoted, the staff is interested.”
Career development a bonus
The primary source of motivation for workers is the salary. “We have applied a remote work bonus, and the remuneration is clearly higher for those who go to work in Prince Rupert,” says Olivier Charron, as much as double, or even a little more, than a salary in Montreal. “It can become a worthwhile adventure! It must also be said that this is a beautiful city, and we promote the argument of getting back to basics,” continues Mr. Charron. “Cutting yourself off from the pace of the city and spending a few months in Prince Rupert can allow a new start.”
Without making it an automatic bonus, Ray-Mont Logistics favours the promotion of employees who try the experience. “The people who agree to come develop in return in the hierarchy and have new responsibilities.”
Buying a house to accommodate newcomers, learning or improving English, educating children for those who come with their family, looking for a job for their spouse, etc. – “By making the effort, Ray-Mont Logistics benefits from a highly loyal workforce and is able to fill its needs. The company also benefits from a new effect that it frankly had not expected: word of mouth!”, declares Olivier Charron. “Our employees who return home are so delighted with the experience that they promote it very well and encourage their colleagues to do the same. They praise the climate, the tranquillity, the landscapes, the salaries…”
Despite everything, there are such needs in Prince Rupert that the company operates its terminal on a just-in-time bases. Recruiting the workforce remains an ongoing challenge.