Island Taylored Meats Corp., 978 Queens Road, Montague
Island Taylored Meats Corp. was founded by husband and wife team Marty and Dianne Taylor in 1990. The farm-based business has been located for 20 years just outside of Montague.
About 28 different flavours of fresh sausages and smoked meats are produced on-site and sold in a store-front which is walking distance from the family home.
Island Taylored Meats Corp. sells their products at farmers’ markets, school lunch programs, and they also do custom orders. They supply four or five farmers’ markets and chain stores, and sell at special events and functions across the Island. They also cater to restaurants and hotels year-round.
“It’s a year-round, fast-paced working environment,” says Dianne. “The sausages and smoked meats are produced on-site in our production area.”
Future hiring needs
In the fall of 2016, Marty and Dianne are planning to open another storefront location in the Charlottetown area that will be open year-round.
“We will also be expanding our production line to meet the demands of the new Charlottetown storefront,” says Dianne.
“We will be hiring storefront staff, cash counter clerks, and sliced meat cutter operators for full-time, year-round employment.
“We need reliable staff able to cook sausages who have good math skills and can deal well with the public, which is extremely important in business.”
- Assistant managers
- Production line workers
- Store front clerks
- Meat cutter operators
About the staff
“On the production site, we have six full-time employees and five part-time employees, year round,” says Dianne. “Nine more employees work the farmer’s markets, barbequing and serving sausages for the public.”
Staff turnover rate
“Some of the existing staff has been with us long-term. As well, we had family work with us.”
“It was awful last year,” says Dianne. “We hired 22 people who didn’t work out for various reasons. It was a nightmare and expensive for the company.”
Is there a need for bilingual staff?
“It would be an asset but it’s not a requirement.”
Education is important but Dianne is willing to hire and train the right person who is willing to work full-time, year round.
“It’s full-time year-round work,” says Dianne. “It’s not a nine-to-five job. Staff has to be willing to work flexible hours and overtime.”
She says there is a lot of standing, the work is fast paced, and it can be physically demanding. “It can be mentally draining at the farmers’ market where the employees work in a small space, barbequing sausages, and serving the public. We have an awesome farmers’ market staff who can work under what can be a stressful situation at times.”
Challenging jobs to fill
“It’s challenging to hire people for year-round, full-time work,” says Dianne. “The most challenging positions to hire are managers and assistant managers because of the responsibilities involved.”
How do you advertise open positions?
“When we advertised on the Job Bank, most applications were from overseas,” says Dianne. “Through the Job Bank, we were able to hire two great young fellows willing to work year-round.”
What is the hiring procedure?
“I very seldom check references,” says Dianne. People usually provide a good reference, so it doesn’t give a true picture of the person.
“During the interview, I generally get an impression about the person and if she or he will work out or not.
“I also look for time lapses on the resumé. It’s a red flag if a person has worked several places over a short period of time or has long gaps in their employment history. I question how long they stayed at a job and why they left.
“As well, I check out their facebook page for red flags.”
At what point in the hiring process are wages discussed?
Dianne does the interviewing and hiring. Near the end of the interview, she determines if the person is going to be hired. At this point, she discusses the wages.
“We offer above minimum wage with a pay increase after two to three months,” says Dianne.
On the job training
“We offer safety training and food safety training, which can take two to three months to complete.”
Transferable skills that would suit the positions
“We are open to hiring mature workers, because we find they are reliable, have good work ethics, and have good common sense needed on the job,” says Dianne.
“Last year, we hired a mature worker and it worked out great because of their previous work experience.
“Last year, we also hired a young man with transferable skills from working in the blueberry industry that enabled him to meet the physical demands of working in production.”
Are you willing to do informational interviews?
Three typical interview questions
- Are you willing to work flexible hours and overtime?
- Are you willing to work full-time, year round?
- Are you comfortable handling raw meat products?
Best way to get your foot in the door
Drop by with a resumé.
How to stand out during the hiring process
“I look for an outgoing personality who would work well with the other staff and has good math skills.”
When working for the company, what are the keys to successful employment?
- Be a good team player
- Don’t say “that’s not my job”
- Outgoing personality
- Show up for work and be on time
“Yes, there are advancement opportunities.”