attitude, “a full-time job”

The balance of power has changed. Employers are under the impression that they are now the ones interviewing candidates… if they deign to show up. Walk through a job interview.

Posted at 5:00 am

Nathaelle Morissette

Nathaelle Morissette
The press

Salsa lessons that prevent one candidate from working Monday night, the impossibility of being on time for another on Sunday, an alarm clock that doesn’t go off when a prospective employee is called to a meeting…in the afternoon, and finally a young man who, at the time of the interview, was conspicuous by his absence without ever giving a message.

When Marion Fournier, new owner of the restaurant Le 267 in Vieux-Longeuil, welcomed The press at her facility under construction—to allow us to attend her job interviews—she seemed far from suspecting that her sunny early June afternoon would not be as fruitful as she had anticipated.

Of course, she had already tasted the new reality of recruitment, which requires a lot of time from the employer. He has to call a candidate as soon as he receives his CV and then keep in constant contact with him. ” It is a work Full-time,” she says bluntly.


Marion Fournier recruiting staff. She needs more than 20 employees for her new restaurant.

and mme Fournier had heard several “horror stories” told by his restaurateur friends, so much so that certain events that had occurred since the beginning of his hiring process even seemed commonplace to him. “I’ve hired three chefs … I only have one left,” she said before her interview session began, a few weeks before the opening date she set. .

The restaurateur also did not expect that all young people would ask her to work from Monday to Friday. “And yes, I had No performances ‘ she also admitted, trying to bury the aggressive sound of the drills.

“We also have people who won’t answer calls and will carry on if no phone number is provided. But it’s really not the majority, I’m pleasantly surprised. ‘ she adds confidently despite everything.

bad surprises

But this afternoon had other surprises in store for him, this time bad ones. Mme Fournier, who decided to make the leap into hospitality by opening the first location of a brand new concept pioneered by Pacini, had hired 12 people to date. To drive his restaurant – which carries three brands Tok-Tok (Korean hot dogs), Smokissime (sandwiches with smoked meat for dipping in a sauce) and Queues de Castor – Mme Fournier needs more than 20 employees.

As on the previous days, the round of introductions started quite well. The first candidate, 23-year-old Melanie, arrived early. The conversation is conducted on a bench outside the restaurant, only to escape the dust and noise of a place that seemed far from ready to welcome customers anytime soon.


Marion Fournier in an interview with Mélanie, 23 years old

“I’m always smiling,” she says spontaneously when someone notices her cheerful appearance. With her hair up in a bun and white sneakers on her feet, the candidate, who has taken care of her appearance, enthusiastically answers questions from those who could become her boss. The exchange takes place in a cheerful tone. Mme Fournier sells his salad and emphasizes the importance of having fun at work. She convinces.

Mélanie wants to work part-time because she has enrolled in an aesthetics course. Is she ready to go back to work this weekend? “Yes, no problem,” she said, scoring points with her interviewer.

She describes herself as flexible, but immediately adds that she is not available on Monday evenings. “This is my latin salsa dance class. However, this request did not raise Marion Fournier’s eyebrows.

When she gets up from the park bench, the restaurateur draws a smiley on the application letter. Will she call you back? ” Yes ! She is really very dynamic, she replies as soon as the candidate has left. As an employer I am privileged, I am aware of that. »


Marion Fournier leaves satisfied with her interview with Mélanie.

Caught up by reality

But a few minutes later, the reality of recruitment catches up with them. We’ll never see the second candidate called at 2 p.m. On several occasions, while waiting for him in the sun on the sidewalk, Fournier consulted his text messages. Nothing.

“If she doesn’t bother to call me, it’s a bad omen,” she says, barely hiding her disappointment. The ghost candidate ends up calling 15 minutes after her scheduled interview. Her phone was dead, she explains in a hoarse voice. The wake up alarm did not sound.

“I have a bad one feeling “, shows Julie, right arm of Mme Fournier, present to greet the candidates. “I’ll give the runner a chance,” adds the boss, who has agreed to meet the young woman later in the evening.

The scene is repeated about 30 minutes later. The third aspirant is conspicuous by his absence. We will learn later that he will never give a sign of life.

Heaven, the final contestant of the day, shows up with a friend who’s also interested in a summer job. Marion Fournier decides to do the interviews indoors after the workers have left. The 17-year-old says he gave up his livelihood because the boss didn’t keep to schedules. At 267 he is willing to work a few nights a week until a maximum of 9:30pm.

His friend, who was asked about him, barely concealed his nervousness. Her legs bouncing frantically under the table gave her away. The young woman, who worked at McDonald’s and Burger King, cannot be reached on Sundays.

Despite everything, they made a good impression on Fournier. However, she remains hesitant as they have shown little openness to working weekends.

It should be noted that all the interviewed candidates showed more enthusiasm when they learned about the presence of a photo booth in the restaurant (Photo booth) or by offering him the opportunity to make deliveries with an electric bicycle only for the salary offered. The hourly rate ranges from $15 to $17 plus tips, which can sometimes be worth $4 more per hour. They were called to a briefing to be held a few weeks later. Everyone had assured their presence. The opening was scheduled for June 20th.

A month later…

Almost a month later, on the eve of January 1stah In July, Le 267 was not yet able to welcome its first customers. Work delays and connection problems are on the list of factors that explain the situation. None of the candidates The press met with Fournier didn’t come to the briefing, although everyone had signed up. They gave him no sign of life either. On the phone, Marion Fournier does not hide her fear of losing other employees in a hurry to raise money for the summer.

I try to keep them motivated. I brought something to clean up. I know it gets messy afterwards, but at least I give them lessons, they get a salary. I stay close

Marion Fournier, owner of 267

Mme Fournier also asked some to give away vouchers for a raffle. The experiment seems to have been conclusive. “I write you. I keep you informed. »

If the new owner acted instinctively, her strategy for retaining her team appears to be the right one, according to Céline Morellon, human resource specialist and president of the Value Leaders advisory group.

“In such a situation, when we cannot pay them directly, the best tactic is constant contact, not only between the boss and the employees, but also between the employees. »

“We must never deviate from the mission of our organization in our contacts with them. Then they won’t want to let go between them,” she adds.

Reattached a few days ago, Mme Fournier finally announces that it can open on Monday July 11th. It recently lost two employees, “coups de coeur”, who started working elsewhere. At the moment she has 25 people on her team. “I can still have surprises,” she says clearly. At the opening, I will see here how many employees I still have. »

“We can’t recruit like we used to”


The balance of power has shifted in favor of workers, and it’s up to employers to adapt, argues Céline Morellon, president of the advisory group Value Leaders.

“The more the media talks about labor shortages, the worse it is in interviews. Workers know they have the big end of the stick, they know they are needed and that if that employer says no, another will say yes. It’s as simple as that,” sums up Céline Morellon, HR specialist and President of the Leaders de Valeurs advisory group.

The manufacturing industry and service companies such as restaurants and hairdressers are particularly affected by this situation, she explains.

Now that the balance of power has shifted and candidates are aware that they are needed more than ever, what should employers do if they want to be successful with their “recruitment operation”?

“It’s up to them to rethink,” she explains to the entrepreneurs she meets. We can no longer recruit the way we recruited back then. It’s over, it’s dead.”


Expecting a letter of recommendation or motivation with your CV and rejecting applications does not work. You get a resume, you’re happy.

Celine Morellon, President of Value Leaders Advisory Group

“You take the time to analyze it and hit your world straight away,” she adds. We can no longer afford recruitment processes that last three, four or five days. When people send a resume, they send it to four different places, first come, first served. »

The interview should also reflect the image of the company. “If your corporate atmosphere is festive and joyful, the funFestive, happy and that should be the job interview funillustrates Mme morellon If your conversational atmosphere is more rigorous and direct, you will find players who appreciate that, it just has to match what they will experience the next day and the day after. »

Another important point: Céline Morellon advises that companies need to start recruiting early, knowing that labor is scarce and sometimes no application is received for an advertised position. In this context, she does not hesitate to criticize “the lack of foresight” of several organizations.

“It’s happening at airports right now, it’s happening everywhere,” she observes. Organizations are unable to project themselves far enough. They all began recruiting for the summer in March. It was last December when we had to start showing and proclaiming our colors. »

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