HRM: CEO is a newly-created position for Randstad Canada, how does it feel to take on the role?
MEJ: It’s exciting, very exciting actually. You know, I’m still on my first job – I joined Randstad right out of school and I’ve been here 14 years so I’ve seen the company evolve from a small SME to what it is now. When I joined we were about 50 or 60 employees, now there are more than 900 of us.
It’s definitely been an exciting journey – I’ve seen the company go through acquisitions, growth, downturn – and then out of it – and now I’m excited to have a chance to influence and bring it to the next level.
Randstad is the market leader in Canada so it makes it even more exciting as the industry is also young and being a market leader allows us to not only look after our own interests but to hopefully make a difference in the marketplace as well – that’s really our ambition here.
HRM: Are there any ambitions or plans that you’re keen to implement?
MEJ: One of the things that we’re really excited about is the launch of a program called Shaping Your Future – our objective is to take 100 of our own temporary employees who haven’t graduated from high school and send them back to school.
We’re partnering with technical schools so very often it’s just a matter of one year or two years going back to school for them to get a technical designation – it could be welding, it could be mechanics, it could be a basic office certification.
They’re very short in terms of the time you need to spend at school to get those sorts of certifications and they’re actually high in demand and very well payed jobs so we’re trying to convince employees that an extra year is going to make a huge difference in their living and we’re also helping to fill the skills gap by essentially offering to supply the availability of people in the marketplace.
HRM: As the Liberal government takes power, what changes do you predict will affect employers in coming years?
Last month, Randstad Canada named Marc-Étienne Julien as its inaugural CEO – here, HRM caught up the Quebec-based business expert to find out more about overseeing the country’s leading HR services provider.