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France – Adecco: Market declines -13%

11 June 2013

The CEO of Adecco France said that temporary hiring declined by -13% in the four months to April. The Swiss recruiter generates one quarter of its revenue from France where uncertain market conditions have heavily impacted recruitment activities and trading.

Alain Dehaze said the French staffing market noted a -15% fall in temporary staffing last year. He has now predicted a similar market decline for this year as employers remain cautious about making new hires.

This year, “the decline will be very much in that order [-15%],” he said to French newspaper Le Figaro. To weather the storm, Adecco has cut hundreds of jobs in France through a voluntary redundancy scheme and is in the middle of merging its two brands, Adia and Adecco. “These measures have resulted in annual savings of €50 million,” according to Mr Dehaze.

Adecco is the market leader in France, its most important single market where the company has recently renewed an agreement with the French Tennis Federations, the association behind organising tennis competitions such as the French Open. Mr Dehaze said Adecco recruited around 1,000 temporary workers for the event.

He now has high hopes that a landmark labour agreement between unions and employers earlier this year will create new opportunities for staffing companies. This will allow staffing firms to hire agency workers on permanent contracts, a first in the country, but common practice in Germany, Sweden or the Netherlands. Such permanent contracts, coined CDI intérimaire in France, will be used for agency workers at higher skill levels.

“The negotiations between employers and unions to set the terms for the CDI intérimaire should conclude by late June,” said Mr Dehaze. “We will use this to retain and train professionals in occupations where there are high skills shortages,” he announced.

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