Royalty Hardwoods Ltd., Poole’s Corner
Royalty Hardwoods Ltd. has been a symbol of prosperity in Poole’s Corner near Montague since 1994. Under new ownership and a new management team, including Don Poley of Stratford as General Manager and Tyson Peters of Brookfield as Production Manager, Royalty Hardwoods is on a fast track to high volume production as a PEI “Grown Here Made here” company.
Don Poley grew up in an entrepreneurial home. His father and brother-in-law owned a family-run construction company where Don was first introduced to sales and project management. He has been employed in sales and management within the manufacturing and construction trades for many years.
Don was also trained through the Purchasing Management Association of Canada in 2000 and was employed by ASD as purchasing manager for a manufacturing facility located in Poole’s Corner.
“The industry has been good to me,” says Don. “I went into sales with the construction business because my father was one of the best sales people in the world, and I learned from the best.
“We are rebuilding Royalty Hardwoods Ltd. by producing high quality, cost effective products and focusing on hardwood flooring, staircase and architectural mouldings for national and international markets.”
The company offers:
- Manufacturing value-added hardwood and softwood products
- Product line includes flooring, staircase components, mouldings, siding and kiln-dried wood products
- Suppliers to dealers worldwide
About the staff
There are eight full-time, year-round staff.
- General Manager
- Office Administrator
- Production Manager
- Production Line Workers
Wages and benefits
“We plan to increase wages as we grow with our employees and their experience,” says Don. “We offer full health plans and year-end bonuses based on profitability.”
Is there a need for bilingual staff?
“We have a couple of French-speaking employees,” says Don. “The need for bilingual staff would depend on the growth of international markets.”
“We prefer to hire people with a high school education, GED or experience in cabinetmaking. We want innovative people because they have ideas that will help the company grow and prosper. Staff need to be experienced in working in a factory setting and be willing to learn.”
“When you sell to an international market, you no longer need to hire seasonally,” says Don. “We are seeking long-term employees and offer long-term, year-round employment.”
“Manufacturing work is physically demanding. You have to pay attention to detail and wear safety gear on the job.”
“We are hiring a new supervisor for the sawmill area. We will be expanding the custom department area and the wood production line.
“When the factory is at full capacity, which will be within the year, we plan to hire about 24 front-line production workers. We plan to produce truckloads of high-quality products to sell internationally.”
“In-house training is provided. Employees will be cross-trained to understand each other’s jobs in case an employee is absent from work. It also helps staff understand the importance of how each step works in the manufacturing process.”
Most difficult position(s) to fill
“We are looking for Sawmill Operators and Millwrights, which are difficult jobs to fill,” says Don. “These are high paying positions, and staff must be trained and experienced.”
How do you attract, develop and retain staff?
“We advertise on Kijiji and on Job Banks,” says Don. “We want long-term employees, so when we recruit staff, we are selling the community as a great place to work and to live.”
Interested candidates can email or fax a resumé or telephone Don for more information. He is responsible for the interviewing and hiring.
Applicants should tailor their resumé to the job description and show how their skills and experience match the job.
Typical interview questions you ask each candidate:
- Where do you want to be in five years?
- What’s your strength and what’s your weakness?
- What are your hobbies?
“Your hobbies will tell us who you are as an individual,” says Don. “The first two questions are related to your experience and work ethics.”
How to stand out during the hiring process
Don strongly advises applicants to highlight their hobbies, interests and work experience on their resumé. He is willing to hire a person with an interest and hobbies related to the industry, such as woodworking, carpentry or furniture refurnishing.
“The construction of a resumé is extremely important in relation to the job being advertised,” says Don. “Successful applicants are the people whose resumé highlight how their qualifications match the job, and don’t just shoot out a bunch of generic resumés hoping an employer will respond.
“Along with your work experience, you should also express your interests on your resumé. If you grew up helping your father or grandfather with carpentry work, you should put that on your resumé.”
Terms of initial employment
“There is a three-month probation period,” says Don. “That time allows an employer to know how an employee handles workplace situations.”
When working for the company, what are the keys to successful employment?
- Good work ethics
- Good attitude in the workplace
“There will be opportunities to advance to leadership and management roles, because staff will be cross-trained and will know the stages of production from beginning to end.”
What is the work within your company going to look like in five years?
“We will be growing and expanding our international markets,” says Don. “We are focusing on the present five-year cycle, which will result in finding more opportunities.”