Those looking to grab a bite to eat weren’t the only ones heading through the doors of the Ladysmith McDonald’s early this month.
More than a dozen job seekers stopped by the restaurant at Coronation Mall earlier this month to drop off applications as part of McDonald’s hiring day for Western Canada.
“Across Western Canada from B.C. to Manitoba, we’re looking to hire about 1,500 employees, and here on Vancouver Island, we’re looking to recruit about 150 employees,” said Ladysmith restaurant manager Yvonne Counsell, who is looking to hire up to 10 new employees for the local McDonald’s.
“With Ladysmith being a smaller community, this really helps to get the message out that we’re always recruiting, we’re always looking for people to join the team.”
Counsell was able to conduct interviews on the spot and sat down with prospective employees looking for anything from full-time work to a few hours after school and on weekends.
“At McDonald’s, we’re so very flexible with the schedule,” said Counsell, adding she has a number of high school students, as well as those attending Vancouver Island University, on her staff of about 40.
“As each semester changes, they’re able to change the days and times that they work. They can pretty much book off whenever they see a need. They can play sports, they can be in extracurricular activities and they can still have a part-time job to maybe save money.”
David Rankin was someone who was looking for some of that flexibility in his work schedule.
“I’m just looking for a part-time job and it seemed like this was the best option,” said the 15-year-old as he filled out an application. “They seem like they have flexible hours because I play soccer, where other jobs might not be so flexible.”
Rankin said he’s worked a few odd jobs over the summer, but this would be his first extended employment. He’s hoping to gain some experience and pick up some new skills, adding some extra spending money wouldn’t hurt.
And Counsell says McDonald’s provides the skills and training that many other companies value, with some of the training programs even qualifying towards credits at courses at BCIT.
“You start as a crew person and learn the different stations of the restaurant,” said Counsell, listing off cashier, kitchen, drive-thru and maintenance.
“We have great advancement opportunities too. We’re looking for people to move up to become crew trainers, team leaders, shift managers and into salaried management.”
She said a couple of employees hired just a few months ago have already been promoted to crew trainers.
While there have been national headlines focused on the difficulties many fast-food restaurants have in recruiting staff, Counsell says Ladysmith hasn’t had the same challenges faced by franchises in other parts of the country.
“We have people who have just recently been hired and have said how much fun it is and have actually encouraged their friends to come and apply as well.”
Counsell herself started work at McDonald’s not long after graduating from high school.
“ I had plans to go to school and take something different but I loved working for McDonald’s so much. You’re always learning stuff and it’s always challenging, so I’ve advanced over the years,” said Counsell, who has been working at McDonald’s for 32 years.
“It’s a great first job and also a great job to build into a career.”