Pierre Leroux is passionate about innovation, creation and human resources. His unifying vision of these different spheres has led us to meet several times in recent years. Formerly Saputo's executive VP of HR, Pierre has since embarked on, among other things, the co-creation of an executive research firm. Curious to know why he was interested in a highly competitive business sector and somewhat questioned now, and most importantly, interested to know more about the creation of his new position of community manager (a first in Quebec in office according to my research), I had some questions to ask him ...
Pierre, can you tell us about your career?
After a hesitation to undertake studies in psychology, I finally opt for the administration of business with a specialization in human resources management.
My career started in sales management at the level of a retail business and then, characterizing myself as a businessman for whom the human aspect of organizations is paramount, I join the HR department.
This experience and, in particular, a position where I managed to take a 180 degree turn in the management of labor relations for an establishment, shows me that I have a real passion for this sector and that my belief in the importance of frank and open communication with people and showing respect helps to create a positive and effective work environment.
Following a few experiences as HR Director, I join a family company where I first work to create / strengthen the organizational culture, then to promote, structure, contribute to the development of the organization, that is, finally, become a global leader in its sector and an example, in my opinion, of strong organizational culture, based on respect and development of people and sustainable performance.
Then, while still retaining the responsibility of the HR department, I am fortunate to touch all aspects of the company, being responsible for manufacturing operations, R & D, quality assurance, corporate marketing and legal affairs, for finally play the role of vp. executive for this company.
After 22 years in this company, I decided to make a career change and, my helping entrepreneur side, I dedicate myself to investment, strategic and HR consulting for start-up, development or turnaround companies.
It is in this context that I participate, among other things, in the start-up of an executive research firm.
What is your vision of human resources?
For me, of course, the HR function is an essential, strategic wheel, just like the other departments of an organization.
HR professionals should be true business partners in a company.
I have noticed, unfortunately, since the beginning of my career, that is, over 30 years, that this same existential question is on the agenda within the profession.
I consider that the transactional role of the function too often overshadows the "human" role it plays or should play.
All companies, regardless of their sector of activity, generally have access to the same financial and material resources.
Thus, the way in which they can stand out depends on the people, their commitment, their motivation to surpass themselves, which invariably depends on the management of communication and information, the organizational culture that must favor openly both the development and performance of the company as the development and involvement of people.
While this responsibility rests, first and foremost, with the President or CEO of the company, the HR lead should play a guiding role at this level.
He must inspire, promote, defend this culture by his words, his actions, his convictions.
To do this, the HR manager must first be a true business partner.
He must know his company, his competitors, the challenges and opportunities thoroughly.
He must be passionate about his business sector as well as his passion for humans and to promote their development and commitment.
He must also be an integrator; that is, breaking up silos within companies to create a co-creative environment where everyone "rushes in the same direction".
In this context, he must not hesitate to promote projects in which HR people collaborate with colleagues from other sectors.
The whole employer-branding issue is one example where people from HR could or should work with the marketing team, etc.
Sometimes I think ... wish? ... that within the organizations, the HR department is divided into two distinct sectors: the transactional part and the "human" part ... But, well, that could be the subject another question ...
You have co-created Millésime, executive search firm. What motivated you to get started in this sector of activity?
The passion to find the right fit between a person and the needs of an organization.
Also, after working for several years on the client side, my partner, Chloé Teasdale, and I wanted to present a distinctive, quality and complete offer.
That's why, in addition to offering a professional executive search service, and also executive assistants, through our subsidiary L'Indispensable, we are always looking to innovate and find new ones. ways to support our clients, to provide them with complementary services related to the staffing and talent attraction process, to enable them to meet or exceed their business objectives.
We believe in the importance of unity with our customers. We commit ourselves as if we were an employee.
Finally, we also wanted to offer a more eloquent business relationship with the candidates.
You are currently recruiting a community manager of candidates. Can you tell us more? What motivated the creation of this position?
The main criticism that executives and professionals make about our industry, when they are looking for a job or thinking about it, is the lack of support that is addressed to them.
Obviously, for a recruiter, the priority is to meet the needs of the client by identifying and presenting quality candidates within a reasonable time.
Thus, the efforts are oriented in this direction, which leaves less time to meet people who are in process of looking for a new job but who are not possible candidates for the current mandates.
This often creates frustration for them and, in a way, for recruiters who would like to be able to support these people more.
Thus, as we believe, at Millésime, that it is necessary and important to create and develop close relationships, to take the time to meet, advise and support these candidates in their approach, we have created a position whose incumbent will have as a specific mandate to maintain such relations.
Our passion for "fit" between the person and the needs of the client is closely linked to our passion to help executives achieve their professional goals.
This is why this person will be able to meet individuals with these people to identify and understand their career goals and to support them in their research.
Whether for resume writing / translation, social media profile creation or management, personal branding, career guidance, interviewing, our community candidate manager, directly and through regular collaborators, will be hard at work!
There is a tendency to say that the business models of executive search firms will have to evolve with the use of new tools (social networks, sourcing, etc.) and the development of head hunters in-house. What do you think ?
It is true that, as in many industries, technology is shaking things up a lot. It is also a fact that organizations are constantly analyzing their staffing process.
With respect to this last point, companies have always sought to make their recruitment practices more efficient and position themselves according to economic cycles, difficulties or opportunities in their sector of activity, social trends -economic, etc ...
For example, although some companies are considering establishing an internal headhunting service or increasing internal resources, others are thinking about whether to outsource.
As a result, over time, the situation, from a macro point of view, remains generally stable from a firm's point of view.
In fact, it is the health of the economy that has an impact on our industry.
As for the impact of technology, in fact, when you think about it, the reasons why companies use external recruiters do not change: lack of time, need for specialized expertise, need for confidentiality, lack of resources, etc ...
So, even though a company has access to a network like LinkedIn, for example, you still have to take the time to do the research, to select, to call people in interviews and to do them.
Thus, the same problem still exists for the company, but with different means or tools.
This being said, it is essential for a firm to understand, integrate and use these new technologies effectively in order to remain competitive and to be able to offer a quality service in the shortest time possible for its clients.
The creation of this post is in my opinion a great way to start the year - that I wish you beautiful besides! I hope that it will finally be turned to the sincere respect of candidates, whether in business, office or agency. Before looking for innovation and creativity, let's start by valuing our internal and external resources. Everyone is talking about it, it's time to act!