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Francois Beharel, the President and CEO of Randstad France told his hometown's business newspaper, La Voix Eco that only 20% of all recruitment in France is commissioned to outside agencies compared to 80% in the UK. Beharel sees this as an opportunity for enormous growth in agency staffing services.
However, he admits that Randstad France has suffered from the current economic crisis. He said, "the year 2008/2009 will remain tarnished by the shock of the crisis. In the second half we have lost 30% of our temporary employees. This is something we have not seen since 1993."
"In the car industry we were used to 12-13 month contracts. Now we get 3-4 month contracts. This shows the lack of visibility in the industry."
"In France we had 2 million temporary employees, which represented the equivalent of 600,000 full-time workers. With the economic crisis the market has gone down to the equivalent of 400,000 full-time workers."
Beharel also believes that specialist staffing agencies are an important part of Randstad's strategy. "The market requires qualified labour and staffing is done by specialisation. We spend 50 million Euros on the professional development of our temporary employees."
Beharel concludes, "temporary employment is a bit of a thermometer of the economy. It was the first to suffer from the crisis but it will also be the first to benefit from an economic upturn."