How to hire and retain talent like Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

It’s impossible to grow your business If you don’t have the right people. Here’s how to hire, advance, and hang on to star performers

PROFIT 500: Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies
two women talking while working on a whiteboard


Companies don’t just need a good product and financing to flourish; they also have to attract and retain talented employees to keep the businesses growing. For that reason, the PROFIT 500 guide sought the input of successful Canadian entrepreneurs about their human resources practices. As with the other topics, the responses were varied.  Yet similarities did appear. A number of businesses offer performance incentives in one form or another to employees. Whether it’s profit-sharing or bonuses, these serve to align the growth of the company with the compensation of the workers.

The challenges faced by the companies on the list were notable for their consistency. Business after business reported that finding the right people was difficult. Whether it was due to the skills required for the position, the compensation on offer vs. larger competitors or the company’s location, the entrepreneurs surveyed repeatedly mentioned how tough it is to hire the talent they need.

Here are some of the insights provided by the Profit 500 businesses on how they hire and keep the people necessary for a successful business.

“Hiring the right people is key. After many years we have learned that hiring to fit our culture is the most important thing period. I am very upfront in the interview process and let everyone know that we promote a “drama free” work environment and work life balance is mandatory. We also want everyone to enjoy coming to work and if they don’t enjoy coming to work anymore, they need to find something they enjoy, even if it means leaving the company.”
—Worden Displays, Drew Warden, President

“One poplar policy is that we allow a significant amount of flexibility for our staff. Within a certain time range we “don’t care” when you start or stop your work day; just pick consistent hours and work the required weekly hours. For example, we have staff that work 7-3; 9-5, 8-4…. whatever works best for them in their respective lives.”
—Raintree Capital, D.R. (Nick) Fournier, CEO

“We generally have very low employee turnover, so when we do seek out new employees it is generally because someone was promoted. As such, new prospective employees can clearly see that there are career opportunities and prospects for the future.”
—Provisus Wealth Management, Chris Ambridge, CEO

These tips are just a small flavour of what’s in the full PROFIT 500 guide. For the complete list of companies that made the cut, check out this link. The whole PROFIT 500 package can be accessed here, and includes rankings, profiles and comments from keynote speaker Amber MacArthur and panelists such as Kirstine Stewart and Harley Finkelstein from Shopify.