Security guards from the private sector, already present in SAQs, are now arriving in big-box stores, which complicates things in terms of recruitment.
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“We are not in shortage of agents, but this demand means that yes, it is an additional challenge to recruit them”, summarizes Louis-Antoine Paquin, director of communications at Garda World.
He says the company has deployed hundreds of agents since yesterday in “several banners of big box stores across Quebec”, without wanting to name them. Garda also provides most of the 150 agents hired by the SAQ, which has imposed the vaccination passport for a week now.
At Trimax security, President Frederico Ramos also indicates that he has concluded agreements with several stores in Quebec whose area is more than 1,500 square meters and which must thus refuse entry to people who have not been vaccinated since yesterday.
“Across Quebec, security companies are in high demand,” he explains. There is a lot of overtime granted to our agents. It is not uncommon for mandates to have to be turned down because of the workforce. »
Despite this, many companies seem for the moment to prefer that their own employees take care of checking the proof of vaccination, according to what Le Journal found yesterday.
Transfer of the request
If the security agencies manage for the moment to meet the demand in general, it is also because of the closure of other sectors where the agents were solicited, according to Dany Laflamme, president of the Provincial Association of Agencies security and the Gardium company.
“There is a shift in demand, but it’s not panic,” he summarizes.
According to him, the main challenge is in recruitment to manage to maintain the number of employees to meet demand in the context of a pandemic.
“It’s even more of a challenge today”, because at the start of the pandemic, the generalized confinement had pushed construction workers in particular to become security guards temporarily, explains Mr. Laflamme.
Currently, companies that receive an application must call the person as soon as possible, also notes Frederico Ramos.
According to Claude Paul-Hus, director general of the Quebec Private Security Bureau (BSP), there are 6,000 to 7,000 more employees in the industry today than there were before the pandemic.
The BSP, which administers the Private Security Act, issues about 500 new temporary security guard permits every month. Temporary permits, which can be renewed every four months, are authorized in a health emergency.