Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2017):
- Labatt Breweries head office employees work out of the renovated historic Terminal Building in the centre of Queen's Quay on Toronto's waterfront -- designed by renowned architect Eberhand Zeidler, the office features hotel spaces for visiting employees, a beer training facility and a 20,000 square foot John Labatt Hall that offers table hockey, dart boards, multiple big screen televisions, various board games and gaming consoles and Muskoka chairs overlooking Lake Ontario
- One of North America's oldest and most recognized brewers, Labatt Breweries continues to grow and compete in an evolving industry, adding over 140 positions last year and recently expanding its popular product line through the acquisition of one of Ontario's most popular craft brewers
- Along with a range of attractive financial benefits such as new employee referral bonuses, discounts on a variety of products and services (from travel to fitness club memberships) and a defined contribution pension plan, Labatt Breweries also offers interested employees the popular Labatt Beer Mastercard that comes pre-loaded with two cases each month
Labatt drives success from the bottom up
Christie Cunningham was headed for a career as a mechanical engineer until she met a representative of Labatt Breweries of Canada at a recruiting session during her final year as a student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. She pulled a proverbial 180, joined the brewing giant after graduating in 2013 and has since specialized in logistics - the business of managing the flow of goods and services to the company's nationwide network of breweries and distribution centres.
"I'm not doing differential equations every day or sitting in front of a terminal doing computer aided design," says Cunningham, who is currently National Materials and Scheduling Manager at the company's Business Service Centre in Mississauga, Ont. "But I am using the analytical, problem-solving and leadership skills that I acquired while studying engineering."
She is also using skills acquired through Labatt's sophisticated and multi-faceted training programs. Recent graduates are recruited into a development program that can lead to a career in sales, brewing, logistics, human resources or information and business services. Each year a limited number of graduates are admitted to the Global Management Training program.
"Our talent programs set us apart as an employer of choice," says Agostino De Gasperis, Vice-President, People and Partnerships. "The Global Management Trainee program is the centerpiece. It's an accelerated development program for high potential talent coming right out of school."
Participants rotate through a number of positions in different divisions of the company and at different locations over a 10-month period. They're given the opportunity to work in breweries, warehouses, distribution centres and business centres and to manage parts of the operations in each facility. At the end of their rotation they receive a real business problem and they're expected to come up with an innovative solution.
"It's really important to work in the regions and to get first-hand experience at the field level. This way we learn to drive success from the bottom up," says Amanda Rohaly, Manager, People Continuity.
Labatt maintains a diverse and dynamic campus recruiting program, looking for talent at post-secondary institutions across the country. Besides attending information sessions and career fairs, the company's campus ambassadors routinely visit schools to promote their training and development programs and to explain them to career advisors.
The company frequently hires graduates of business programs and engineering schools, but also casts its net widely and recruits students with social science, liberal arts and humanities degrees. "We're looking for candidates with spirit, drive, ambition and the desire to make a difference," says Rohaly.
And new hires from professional schools frequently find themselves attracted to a totally unrelated field, thanks to the company's suite of development programs. Cunningham rotated through several of them, but found herself attracted to logistics and supply chain management.
"One of the great things about the development programs was how they challenged me immediately," says Cunningham. "In the end, logistics really spoke to me. I had the opportunity to apply engineering skills and I really loved being on the floor at a brewery or a distribution centre and seeing first-hand how things moved from point A to point B."
She has already held five positions in the company and currently oversees a team of 10 analysts, four in Mississauga and six in breweries across the country, who are responsible handling the flow of packaging and raw materials.
Cunningham has enjoyed a whirlwind start to her career. Her first full-time position involved managing a team of 60 truck drivers at a distribution centre, she says. "It's pretty crazy to think you could be doing that right out of school."
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 21, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):
- Labatt Breweries' environmental program focuses on two key components, measurement and employee engagement -- the company measures water, heat, electricity and CO2 output at each location, and as a result, reduced its water consumption by 40 percent since 2006, electricity use by 3 percent since 2006 and total operating waste by 66 percent since 2005
- As a major brewer and part-owner of the The Beer Store and Brewers Distributors Limited, Labatt Breweries helped develop one of the earliest and most successful recycling and re-use programs in Canada, with models replicated by both public and private sector entities -- The Beer Store is also one of the very few retailers to take back all the packaging it sells, including bottles, cans, cardboard, bottle caps, plastic rings and bags
- Labatt Breweries encourages employees to participate in an annual World Environment Day facility competition, which is designed to inspire ever more water conservation practices, including the "Find-Fix-Save" employee challenge to save water usage at work and the "Best of the Beards" competition to encourage water conservation at home
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 9, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Labatt Breweries manages a comprehensive 16-week internship for university students which includes participation in "beer school", to learn how the company's products are made, day-to-day tasks of each department, access to a dedicated intern speaker series and an end-of-term project presentation to senior managers
- Interns at Labatt Breweries are also assigned a mentor who is responsible for providing professional guidance, performance appraisals and support as they prepare for their final project presentation
- Labatt Breweries created an expansive 10-month Global Management Trainee Program for undergraduate students -- the program includes rotations through various business segments and access to senior leaders, such as company zone presidents, vice presidents and other senior-level employees
- Labatt Breweries maintains an active on-campus presence year-round through "Campus Champs" who facilitate participation and presence in hackathons, leadership panels, conferences, case competition sponsorships and career fair attendance
From beer school to mentors, Labatt is big on students
Hannah Simpson's journey from the classroom to the corporate world began when she spotted a posting for a job at Labatt Breweries of Canada while studying business at Western University in London, Ont. "I attended an information session on campus and they brought in senior leaders to talk to us," recalls Simpson, now a Specialty Portfolio Manager. "We got to hear about their experiences, which was really great."
Since then, she's found plenty more that she likes about the company. The interview process was an "interactive, unique experience" and not just sitting opposite a recruiter answering questions. There's the culture, which she describes as "fast-paced, strategic and informal."
Then there's the 10-month Global Management Training (GMT) Program in which a select group of new hires get to rotate through a number of different areas, including sales, marketing, operations, logistics and finance, before deciding which best fits their talents and aspirations.
That was an eye-opening experience for Simpson, who was part of the GMT class of 2015. "There's so much opportunity to work in different parts of the business as well as regions of the country, but sales and marketing were the areas I was interested in," says Simpson. She now sells Labatt products to high-end restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
Labatt is a leader and an innovator when to comes to recruiting young people just emerging from universities and colleges. "We believe it's really important to be on campuses and to put our name out there to make sure students know our employer brand," says Amanda Rohaly, Manager, People Continuity.
The company creates close ties with career counsellors at leading universities and hires on-campus student ambassadors to build connections with the next generation of graduates.
"Our campus ambassadors have the opportunity to learn about the company and to speak to fellow students about our culture," says Rohaly. "When students hear about Labatt from their peers, it speaks volumes. These ambassadors serve as a pipeline to our other programs."
Labatt also operates a comprehensive 16-week internship program for university students and last year hired 60 interns. Among other things, they participate in a "beer school" to see how the brewing process works and they are introduced to day-to-day tasks in various departments.
The company runs a speaker's series for interns, in which senior leaders share their experiences and stories from their careers, and each intern is assigned an end-of-term project which concludes a presentation to senior managers.
And they receive lots of help along the way. The company provides mentors who are responsible for offering guidance, performance appraisals and support as they prepare for their presentation.
"We want to find students early and work with them throughout their education," says Rohaly. "We do interviews during each internship to find candidates who can be converted to full-time hires or can enter our talent program."
Senior leaders routinely make themselves available to new recruits and that is a key component of the corporate culture at Labatt Breweries. "The culture here is very open door," says Simpson. "A lot of people in senior positions have been happy to speak to me about their careers. We have a very welcoming and personable group of leaders."