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France – Professional hiring expectations dipping further

25 July 2012

Hiring expectations for professionals, managers and executives are deteriorating further for the third quarter in France, according to a survey conducted by the APEC, the Association for the employment of professionals, managers and executives (Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres). Furthermore, the survey results also highlighted that recruiters are willing to hire young graduates, despite a marked preference for young professionals few years of experience.

Hiring expectations for the third quarter of 2012 are the lowest reported by the APEC since Q4 2010: only 46% of respondents are expecting to hire in Q2 2012, a chilling 6 percentage point setback compared with Q3 2011. Furthermore, only 70% of those expecting to hire are sure they will proceed while the remaining qualify the hiring as likely; compared with 75% and 30%, respectively, for Q3 2011.

During the second quarter of 2012, 55% of the firms responding to the survey have hired at least one professional; that is 1 percentage point less than in the second quarter of 2011. Furthermore, only 39% of respondents have hired more in Q2 2012 than Q2 2011, a significant drop from 45% for the Q2 2011 compared with Q2 2010.

The IT sector was still the biggest hirer in Q1 2012, with 91% of respondents reporting at least one hire in Q2 2012; a 2 percentage point decrease compared with Q1 2011. The IT sector is expecting to hire slightly less in the coming quarter (89% of respondents). The Engineering and Research & development sector is also showing some healthy prospects: 87% of respondents have hired in Q2 2012 (up from 85% in Q2 2011), and 85% are expecting to hire in Q3 2012. The least healthy sector is certainly Business Services: only 45% report hires in Q2 2012 (collapsing from 59% in Q2 2011) and 35% are expecting to hire (down from 40% in Q3 2011).

Looking at the survey results in terms of job roles, 42% of respondents are expecting to hire sales professionals, followed by research & development professional (31%) and finance & accounting (30%). The following categories ranked the lowest: executive (10%), health, social care and culture (9%), and finally communication & creative professionals (7%).

In another sign of the lack of confidence in the overall business outlook, only 19% of respondents believe their firm will grow in the next quarter, compared with 22% who believe it will decline.

The association conducts a quarterly hiring expectation survey with a panel of hiring managers of 750 firms operating in France.

To download the report in French, click here.


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