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France - Insider view on staffing industry

29 September 2011

Frédéric Senet, Managing Director of staffing agency Antal France, Belgium and Luxembourg, takes a look at how France's market is shaping up and what this means for the recruiting business.

The market is back on track

"The overall picture in France is a positive one. In spite of media reports, the recruitment market is strong and looks set to remain so. In fact, our latest global snapshot of hiring and firing trends showed that the percentage of businesses taking on staff at a managerial and professional level has increased steadily over the last six months."

"59% of employers questioned are currently hiring and this figure looks set to stay stable over the coming quarter. In short, the market is back on track and the war for talent is truly back on."

Transportation, energy & finance remain strong

"There are several sectors enjoying a hiring boom due to the current market conditions. Packaging, renewables, renewable energies, and transportation are among the industries currently taking on new staff. While there are still a few branches of the financial services sector that have slowed down and are still awaiting a full recovery since the last financial crisis, private banking, investment banking, and insurance remain strong."

"Yes, there are some concerns about the stability of the economy, particularly due to the well-publicised exposure of some French banks to Greek sovereign debt. However, it seems that, even if there are more economic troubles ahead, financial institutions have learned from the past and have now taken precautions, with more capital behind them, in case of future turmoil."

Sales & engineers in demand

"It goes without saying that, in a strong recruitment market, businesses will be looking to take on the very best in each field. With the war for talent well and truly back on, and as organisations seek to grow and increase their offerings, senior-level sales and business development professionals are particularly sought after."

"Additionally, in order to implement this growth, there has been a surge in the demand for experienced technical professionals and engineers. With expansion firmly on the agenda, many organisations are reserving positions for the most hungry, dynamic, agile and results-driven professionals."

Candidate driven market

"In France we are definitely back to a candidate-driven market, which is great news for job seekers, but obviously presents challenges for organisations trying to attract the best talent."

"This means that, as candidates are more selective about the roles they take on, salaries are also on the rise. Employers are now recognising the need to be very competitive when headhunting and are taking this into account with the packages on offer."

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