Human Resource Management

Good human resource (HR) practices, based on knowledge of the rights of employers and employees, can ensure that the business is operated by a competent and committed team. Section 15 introduces the hiring process and outlines key elements of an effective employee retention strategy. The section concludes with strategies for succession planning, an overview of key employment legislation and hiring incentive program information.
The Food & Beverage Processing in Manitoba Reference Manual (Third Edition, 2017) provides a more detailed discussion on conducting a job analysis, writing job descriptions, posting positions, interviewing techniques, hiring, worker retention and succession planning. Essentially it provides a framework for a Human Resources management system for a start-up business.


Finding and keeping good people for production, sales, maintenance and all other areas of the operation is an ongoing challenge for any company regardless of its size. 

Human Resource Management is the practices, policies, and systems that influence employees’ behaviour, attitudes, and performance. There are several external forces including social, economic, technological, global, environmental, cultural, political and legal factors that influence how a company conducts its day to day business, its culture, its structure and how it manages its Human Resources.  The diagram below displays these factors graphically. With respect to human resource management the diagram outlines the specific practises, policies and systems that are impacted by external factors.

Figure 15.1 Diagram of Factors Affecting Human Resource Management

The Hiring Process

Conducting the Job Analysis

Effective job analysis is the first step to preparing a strong job description.   The following should be addressed when conducting the job analysis: 

  • Position Identification - job title, location, full-time/part-time, hours, pay structure, reporting structure, benefits, etc.
  • Job Summary – clarification of the role of the department within the company and the purpose of the position
  • Tasks and Responsibilities – the main duties of the position, for what and to whom they are accountable, performance measures that will be used and type of decisions within the position’s authority 
  • Job-Specific Knowledge and Skills – any tools or devices that will be used, which job specific skills and knowledge are mandatory upon hire and which can be learned on the job or through training  
  • Essential Skills – reading, writing, math, working in a team, thinking, oral communication, and continuous learning
  • Other Considerations – legal and regulatory requirements, physical demands, working environment and occupational health and safety considerations
Designing Jobs that Motivate
Jobs must be interesting and satisfying to keep employees motivated and doing their best. Characteristics that contribute to motivation include; skill variety, completion of tasks from beginning to end, individual decision-making and ongoing feedback.  
Preparing the Job Description

Well-written and effectively developed job descriptions are communication tools that allow both employees and candidates to clearly understand the expectations of the role, the essential duties, the competencies and responsibilities, along with the required educational requirements and experience. A job description can have many uses in an organization including; recruitment, training and development, compensation, performance management, recognition and rewards, discipline, return to work programs and succession planning.

The essentials of any job description are:

  • Title of the job
  • Administrative information – division, department, supervisor’s title, date the description was written, name of the writer and other information for administering the human resource activities
  • Brief statement of the job’s purpose
  • Detailed outline of the duties involved listed in order of importance including any physical requirements, the other positions this one interacts with, and the required results to be accomplished. A sentence stating additional duties as required
  • Qualifications and experience required (e.g. HACCP certified, 2 years HACCP experience)
  • Equipment and resources used to do the work and the skills required to use them (e.g. forklift – ability and willingness to be forklift certified)
  • Work benefits (e.g. vacation, travel, perks)
  • General working conditions (e.g. scheduling, outdoor work, fast paced)
  • Specific competencies required (e.g. continuous learning, team-building, good communications skills)

Given the importance of employment equity today, it is vital that all job descriptions reflect diversity and do not discriminate.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Statistics Canada have created a tool to provide information about jobs in Canada’s labour market. This is called the National Occupational Classification (NOC).


Creating Job Postings
The job posting is a valuable tool used to attract the most qualified job applicants and to paint an appealing, attractive and motivational work environment. In addition to the duties, knowledge and skills, education and experience required, include a brief description of the company and how the position fits within the organization. Ultimately, the goal is to be perceived as an employer of choice in a competitive market.
Advertising the Job Posting

There are many ways to advertise a position including using an agency and online. The appropriate vehicle will depend on the target audience for the posting e.g advertising on-line would suit computer programmers. Online recruiting on websites can provide inexpensive, worldwide access to employees. In fact, over 80% of job seekers now have access to these types of services:

Online recruiting is also on the rise in the government sector. The federal government has its own site where employers can post job openings across Canada:


There are also other sites that can be utilized for free:

Collect Applications and Screen Applicants
Start by eliminating those candidates who don’t meet the basic training or experience requirements. The best way to quickly and effectively screen resumes is to create 3 piles. The “A” pile is yes review further – they have most or all of the qualifications. The “B” pile is potentially to explore further as they have some of the qualifications, and the “C” pile is no do not proceed with these – they are not qualified for the position. Select no more than five or six candidates to interview.  If, after the interviews, the desired candidate is not found, invite other applicants for an interview or re-advertise.
Interviewing Candidates - Interviewing Techniques

Many first time employers and rapidly growing companies feel like they are in unfamiliar territory when it comes time to conduct an interview. Here a few things that may help:

  • Remember, you are in control of the interview
  • With proper preparation you can make the interview a positive experience for both the applicant and yourself
  • The applicant is also interviewing you, whether you realize it or not. Part of your task is to sell the job so that your top candidate will want to work for you

Choosing a quiet, comfortable place in which to conduct the interview will help the applicant feel at ease and ensure effective communication. Be certain to ask the same questions of each candidate and listen carefully. The applicant should do 80% of the talking. Be aware of questions you should not ask such as race, religion and ethnic origin. A complete list of prohibited grounds can be found in The Manitoba Human Rights Code.


Prior to hiring, see The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act for detailed information on acceptable recruitment activities.


Reference Checks
Once two or three top candidates are short listed, contact the references provided by each. While reference checking is important, be aware the information provided may not always be entirely accurate. Listen carefully to the tone (e.g. enthusiastic or guarded) of the person providing the reference. Think about what wasn’t said. For example: “She gave me no problems,” is very different from “She did her job well.”
Make the selection
Now that the candidates are screened, interviewed and references checked, it’s time to decide which of them to hire. In some cases, an applicant will have the perfect personality for the job and would be a great fit within the team but may not meet all of the hiring requirements of the position.  Rather than hiring a person that doesn’t fit your organizational culture, hire the one with the fit and train them in the skills that are lacking.  You may be able to train the skills however you cannot train for “fit”.  
Job Offer and Unsuccessful Candidates
The job offer should be made in person or by phone followed-up by a written offer. The offer should include; duties, hours, pay rate, benefits and probation period. The candidate should be asked to sign the letter to accept the terms of the offer.
Be sure to establish an orientation process to help new employees become familiar with their specific responsibilities as well as the organization’s policies, practices and procedures. Regular, documented feedback during the probation period is essential to communicate how the candidate is performing and where any improvements are required.

Employee Retention Strategy

Now that the right person is hired for the job you don’t want to lose them to your competition, the cost of turnover is high and a good employee is hard to replace. Include the following seven concepts in the company’s retention strategy.

  • Create a friendly and inviting work environment
  • Set clear and measurable goals
  • Provide timely, regular feedback
  • Ensure regular communication
  • Insist on a healthy work/life balance
  • Invest in and support training and development including cross-training and mentorship programs
  • Ensure a skilled management team

Effective Succession Planning

Identifying and preparing high-potential employees for advancement is what succession planning is all about. It is essential to be engaging and developing these prospective high performers so they will be ready to fill in and take on the responsibilities of a more senior position. An effective succession plan increases the availability of experienced and capable employees to assume roles as key leadership positions are vacated. By doing this, you will ensure the business can continue running smoothly.

Employment Legislation

All employers should develop and maintain knowledge of the employers’ legal requirements regarding recruiting, employees’ rights, health and safety, worker’s compensation, etc.

Human Rights Code of Manitoba

Employment  Standards Code

Also see Manitoba’s Labour Relations Act for information provided by Manitoba’s Labour Relations Board, which applies to unionized workplaces. 

Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. It is mandatory that all employers have safety procedures outlined and written up in a safety manual as well as posted in the workplace. 

Worker’s Compensation Board. Most employers are also required by the Manitoba’s Workers Compensation Act to register with the Worker’s Compensation Board of Manitoba and to pay premiums. 

Canada Revenue Agency. 

Payroll Deductions and Remittances. Canada Revenue Agency’s Employer’s Guide for Payroll Deductions and Remittances and Guide for Canadian Small Businesses can assist small businesses comply with regulatory requirements for payroll deductions and remittances. 

Record of Employment. Employers must complete a Record of Employment (ROE) whenever there is an interruption in an employee’s earnings (quits, lay-offs, terminations, etc.). Service Canada uses the employment history information on the ROE to decide if a person qualifies for EI benefits and, if so, what the rate and term of the benefits should be. Follow the link below for full details. 

Provincial Incentive Programs for Hiring and Retaining Employees

There are incentives available for hiring and training food and beverage processing employees. For more information and links to funding programs and support services in Manitoba, see the Manitoba Agriculture website.


Between May and August of each year, Manitoba Youth Job Centres coordinators provide free summer employment referral services to local employers; matching qualified job seekers with summer employment opportunities. To learn more about summer jobs for students in Manitoba, check the website.


Federal Incentive Programs for Hiring and Retaining Employees

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit. This is a federal incentive program designed to help employers offset the cost of hiring and training employees who have entered into an apprenticeship contract.


Hire a Student! Service Canada can help employers fill summer positions with students.


Young Canada Works (YCW). YCW sponsors three summer job programs: 1) YCW for Aboriginal Urban Youth, 2) YCW in Heritage Organizations, and 3) YCW in both official languages. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada provides funding through the First Nations and Inuit Youth Work Experience Program for secondary and post-secondary students.


Summer Jobs. This is a federal program that supports hiring youth. Applications from employers are due each year before the end of February.


Youth Employment Program (part of Industrial Research Assistance Program - IRAP). Food manufacturing companies that are looking to develop new products or improve their technical production processes may qualify for funding to hire an intern through IRAP. This program provides financial assistance to innovative Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises to hire post-secondary graduates to work on innovation projects.


Human Resources Training and Development

Food & Beverage Manitoba offers a broad range of training programs and initiatives that are relevant, accessible and affordable to members. Following extensive consultation with membership, Food & Beverage Manitoba has designed and organized human resources training and development initiatives to meet the specific needs and requirements of entrepreneurs and early stage food businesses. Courses are facilitated by experts in their field. They are presented in a variety of formats to accommodate members’ busy schedules. The association can also provide customized training programs, tailor-made for a company. All Food & Beverage Manitoba members receive discounts on registration fees and assistance in sourcing and evaluating training options. See the Food & Beverage Manitoba course calendar for details. 


Human Resources Support

To stay competitive, food and beverage companies must seek out new ways to improve their businesses – through products, processes, and people. However, small businesses, new startups and growing companies may lack the in-house capacity to build their human resources to their fullest potential, especially when they are needed most.

Food & Beverage Manitoba’s human resources team provides its members with expert, one-on-one advice on everything from staffing to leadership training, ensuring the workforce is made up of the right people in the right jobs at the right time. Having a good understanding of the food industry, Food & Beverage Manitoba partners with members to achieve their human resource goals in the following areas:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Leadership training and professional development
  • Employee and labour relations
  • Legal compliance
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Employee handbook and policy writing

To learn more, please visit the Food & Beverage Manitoba website: