Your recruiting consultant in France and international.
Jungheinrich France SASIntralogistics leading company (forklifts, storage, in house supply flow management)3.7Mds€ turnover, 18,000 staff worldwide380M€ turnover, 1,200 staff in France,
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2,600 people in France - 11,000 worldwide
How would you define the HR culture of Parfums Christian Dior and its evolution?
Our culture is based on excellence of products, first, but also on all our processes. That is a very demanding HR requirement. For recruiting, evaluating the performance of our employees or managing the progress of their career, we always pursue very high goals.
In addition, at Parfums Christian Dior, the humans resources is responsible for very different populations: next to Paris head office’s employees - which brings together creation, marketing, strategy, and support functions - we also take care of the 1000 employees of our production unit, in the Orléans region. In this unit, the trade union is strong, and the issues are specific. Our role is, among other things, to bring out a common culture, between staff who rubs shoulders on a daily basis.
For many years, we have been developing our presence abroad. This means that we offer significant career opportunities abroad, including profiles with a dual culture. In our French’s teams of beauty demonstrators, we also privilege this multi-cultural aspect, by recruiting bilingual profiles in Chinese, Arabic or Portuguese, for example. This international dimension reinforces the need that I mentioned above: Creating a pride of belonging to our House.
How do you nurture this common culture in this context?
We acquired, in 2013, a former home of Christian Dior in the Var (French’s Region) and have fully restored it. Every year, we invite small groups of employees from different services, who do not necessarily know each other, to strengthen the link between them and maintain our commitment to our values and our history.
More daily, we closely work with employees, with HR structures dedicated to each business: retail, production, supply chain, marketing ... this allows us to maintain with each employee, a close relationship, adapted to his expectations.
Moreover, we worked hard on our integration process, we have noticed that this acculturation is crucial to keep them during the first years after recruitment. That brought us to question ourselves about the way we welcome newcomers, the perspectives of evolution that we offer them, and more generally our EVP (Employee Value Proposition). We have a very strong image on the outside, it is important not to be deceptive towards those who join us.
This strong image is undoubtedly a major asset to attract talent?
Yes, generally. But it depends on the profession: in some functions in tension, like digital professions, we find ourselves in competition with start-ups or web pure players. That was not the case a few years ago, where we were competing, to recruit, with other players in luxury. Beyond the recruitment phase, we also find that employees are becoming more impatient, demanding, and in high demand. We can see that in their career development expectations. We need to combine these individual aspirations with management of a very composite collective.
Which recent HR project was particularly important to you?
We are experiencing a very strong growth in our turnover. This good economic health has allowed us, among other things, to sign a very nice agreement on retirements. On our site near Orléans, which exists since 1973, we record up to 40 retirements per year, and it is important for us to support these employees until the end of their career. We offer them a senior’s part-time work from age 55, with some of their benefits remaining, or an early departure with pay in certain conditions. It is important for us to take care of our employees in the long term, not just to attract new ones.
How do you considerer the future of HR?
I think we will be dealing with increasingly diverse issues: managing strong individual aspirations, and at the same time strengthening the sense of the collective, make us want to commit in a common goal. CSR policies are, in one part, designed for this: the company supports a societal or environmental cause can help creating a pride of belonging. But to make sense of the work I think we need to take care of our people. We need to get back to the basics, which is clearly to define the expectations of the company for each employee, and provide them with tools and the right environment to enable them to work well. This sounds extremely simple, but it remains a recurring demand.
European reference actor of value-added IT services and software.16.000 collaborators around the world, 10.000 in France1,13 Billion € CA,
How would you define the HR culture of GFI informatique?
Our company has expanded significantly since 2011. Only in 2017, our business raised 11,5%. This development took place both in France and abroad, and it comes as much from our organic growth as from acquisitions.
We follow an ambitious recruitment´s policy in order to support this development: our target is to hire 4000 people around the world in 2018, 2500 of which in France. We look for high demanded profiles: engineers, architects, project managers, Global Accounts Managers…, etc. It is, therefore, constant innovation that distinguishes us from our competitors.
Thereby, we set up an HR policy as innovative and creative as possible. For instance, as we know that our future recruits often consult testimonials of our partners on specialized platforms (Glassdoor, Choose My Company…), we encourage our employees to express themselves on these platforms as much as possible. We are also within PathMotion, a tool that allows candidates to communicate with our employees, before their interview. We have internal ambassadors and we will soon put in place “chat box”: an application to answer the most frequent questions of the candidates.
Moreover, to promote allegiance among our employees, we have also set up specific tools: innovative training methods, tutoring, integration programs for newcomers… not to mention a monthly satisfaction questionnaire, a program “happy GFI”, with gyms, relax areas, and a chief happiness officer, in charge for well-being at work. In short, our HR culture is above all impregnated with a desire to innovate!
What is your view of the evolution of your business?
Our mission is moving more and more towards acquiring and retaining talent, which brings us to a substantive work on the perception that candidates have of the company. This includes at the same time the vision of its strategy, its environment, its ability to evolve and its collaborators. …We spread these messages to the outside, but also inside the company. It is essential for us to develop co-optation, which concerns at this moment the 25% of our recruitments.
Another pivotal element of our evolution is the international stage. As the group develops in the world, we are increasingly led to expand our vision. First of all, it is crucial to harmonize our approach with that of the different countries, in particular setting up business referents, processes for employees of companies that we will acquire internationally. But, also, we will reflect on career opportunities that we can offer to our employees and collaborators, so to offer them optimal mobility, within the 17 countries in which we are present.
What are the effects of digital on your professions?
The effects are already noticeable. Digital are enable to externalize administrative tasks, traditionally reserved to human resources. Indeed, external companies will manage for us the training requirements, paid leave or pay period. The key challenges for us, RH, are to focus on the strategy, guiding our managers and the reinforcement of our core values shared by all our co-workers. It seems particularly essential in a strong external growth. In France, out of our 10.000 employees, a quarter has joined us during the last 7 years after many acquisitions.
Can you talk about one project of RH that you really liked?
We created the master GFI in partnership with Kedge Business School and a training organization called Cross Knowledge. It was suggested to 270 managers in France and will be rolled out abroad. This project represents a very important work for us because we created it with our partners. We wanted it to be interactive and concrete: our managers should work on real issues suggested by Comex’s members. We are currently expanding a specific program to rehabilitate people who are isolated on the labour market. Baptised “Chance”, this initiative consists on proposing trainings to job-seekers before the hiring in order to gain knowledge in our field. 10% of hiring expected in 2018 will be carried out thanks to “Chance”. It represents a true source of enrichment for our group.
What has specifically struck you in recent news?
We are currently working on the impact of the Macron’s Labour Law, which includes the merging of staff representative bodies. As we have recently acquired several companies with different legal structures, we are consulting social partners to implement this reform and harmonize the different existing bodies. Automatically, we will have less elected members among our employee, which also involves rethinking their possible career development.
Etex Building PerformanceBuilding raw materials leaderEtex Group: 3 billion euro CA - 15 000 employees worldwide
Can you tell me more about your career path before joining Etex Group?
I have 18 years of international experiences, most of them in Europe, US and South East Asia. Within those areas, I mostly worked for industries and pharmaceuticals companies. Then, I created my own company, in a total opposite field: gastronomy. It was a rewarding entrepreneurial experience, that makes me touch on notions such as profitability, management relationship and that makes learn new ones such as marketing and management. Since 2014, I joined Etex group with responsibility of 9000 employees all over the world.
How would you describe you HR culture today?
The culture is in constant evolution. Up to 2010, Etex Group was a group really decentralized, with around 145 entities located all over the world and with only few HR common structures. Everything changed in 2011, when Etex Group acquires Lafarge Plates European’s and Latam’s activities. The arrival of this new entity has helped the group to become more structured and use matrix structure and also to implement a new common culture: it was a necessity to reach the group development ambition. Since my start, we worked on this founder project: on which values will federate all our entities and how to emerge a common group vision and belonging. To find an answer, we have consulted principals group manager’s in order to define with them which ones they really look like. We then refine the list with the executive committee, to finally lead to the threes following values: Passion for Excellence, Connect and Care and Pioneer to Lead.Those values guided all our next HR actions in order to become concrete for everyone. For example, we propose in all our entities role games, which are widespread and appreciated : the aim form our employees is to face fake but concrete situations, and see how those values could held a solution. This shows the operational utility and can get out a simple communication register. Finally, we are using those same values in our Senior 200 manager’s evaluation: we are measuring how each one is using them in his behavior.
Which regard do you have on your work evolution, in particularly the recruitment?
To recruit, as to evaluate individual performance we are using more and more test, process and analytical tools: it’s indispensable for a such group. However I try to keep a really human aspect. Establishing a relation is necessary to detect the potential of someone, his team integration capacity or either gives him/her a useless feedback. I search to integrate technical evolutions that I feel useful but I stay attentive to what makes an HR director good: human relation.
How can you judge applicants evolution that you receive, and your requirement?
Applicants are coming well prepared, with often a full presentation that is resuming their career path. They also are competent in terms of business skills. Nevertheless, when you ask them to project themselves in the future, answers are mostly blurry. We can feel that they project themselves only a bit, and when they do, we can feel that they are ready to change company if they feel an instable situation. Recruiter’s job is today harder because we have to imagine their future instead of them while they were doing it easily years ago.
A highlight for you in the news?
Due to the international dimension of my position, I am very attentive to the evolution of the situation between the United States and North Korea. The latter wants to get a global place, and to do this deploys a strategy that may seem erratic, but for me does not necessarily aim to trigger an armed conflict. Opposite, I see a super power reacting unreasonably, and in the end the clash between two diehards may cause a global catastrophe! This situation may also exist, in a lesser degree in a company. It makes you think about the individual responsibility of each one of us.
What are the major challenges for you in the years to come?
I believe that digital will profoundly transform our function and redefine what makes our real added value. On the one hand, anything that can be measured, objectified, will be supported by computer or digital tools. On the other hand, the true contribution of the HR Director will be refocused on the human: only human finesse makes it possible to marry different cultures, and to make individuals work together.
Another major issue concerns, in my opinion, our ability to imagine new ways of working, to rethink the notion of mobility. Companies that will differentiate themselves are those that will be able to break the traditional patterns, to propose effective ways of working remotely, to create spaces of creativity and freedom for the employee. That is what will make people more efficient, more involved and more innovative.
Leader in Maritime Transport Market16 Mds USD CA, 30,000 employees worldwide
Can you summarize your background?
I worked as an HRD in the industry (Omya, Rhodia) and in telecommunications (Neuf Cegetel), before joining the CMA-CGM group in 2005. Today, I am the corporate secretary of the group, a position that encompasses human resources, legal, organization and cross- functional projects. In the last few years, the group, a worldwide leader in the maritime transport, has known profound transformations and significant growth, both internally and externally. We operate in a market that is highly concentrated, and where the size effect plays a predominant role. This is why we have made numerous acquisitions, including, most recently the Brazilian Mercosul Line. In total, we are five times bigger today than when I joined the group!
How would you describe the CMA-CGM HR culture today?
Like one of a French family group, which has been able to grow, increase and integrate other companies, while keeping what makes its strength: our attachment to humanity, responsibility and initiative. From our origins, we are not a group of engineers, but merchants: the personal side remains predominant among us. The courage and the creativity are essential values in our eyes, in all our professions. Whether it is responding to a client or managing a complex situation, everyone has to be proactive and get involved. It is this human dimension that makes the difference compared to our competitors. These requirements on values are reflected in our recruitment criteria, but also in the choice of companies we integrate: we always ensure that their values will be compatible with ours.
Another essential element of our culture is to keep a flexible organization that is also able to promote our common values and to encourage everyone to develop their own talents. To do this, we develop a very specific training policy, with a collective dimension, but also a light adaptation to the profiles of each other, and to the 160 countries in which we are present.
How does the HR function evolve in this context?
We focus on the core of our mission which is to develop a strong HR culture as a vector of coherence throughout the group. For this, we have been relieved of some tasks, such as payroll, which we have outsourced. We have also put in place many internal tools, with a threefold objective: Simplify, secure and standardize. For example, integration of new hires is done via a standardized “on boarding” process: a welcome booklet, containing practical information, is given to the new employee before his arrival. Then his manager welcomes him through a series of stages, also defined before. This tool, combined with others (pre-filled CV databases, a mobile application that brings together all the HR data, etc.), allows time to be devoted to what I call the human resources V2: the ability to grow Local managers, by teaching them this HR dimension. Because they are on the ground, in contact with their teams, they are the first responsible for human resources!
Our role then becomes to provide them support and coaching, which allows them to fully take this dimension. We are developing global programs, in Singapore, Abidjan and Marseille. In order to further develop this "porosity" between the field and HR, we promote diversity in human resources departments: for example, by integrating former sales managers, who bring their "business" vision to our cross-functional departments.
Finally, we are making a major digital transformation of our company, and it is fundamental that each employee is an actor and a driving force. Digital impacts the work of everyone. It is an individual and collective opportunity. The HR function plays a key role in this support.
What do you see as the future human resource challenges?
I think the notion of engagement will become increasingly important. In order for a manager to invest his time and train his teams, he must find meaning in his actions and feel committed as an individual. Our role will be, more and more, to create conditions for this commitment, to recognize it and to value it. We have already started: for example, we offer to our managers, reflection sessions and exchanges within a "collective intelligence laboratory": an independent place, called “techcamp”, near our headquarters in Marseille. This structure offers meetings between leaders, on substantive topics, such as transhumanism. It is typically, in my opinion, this kind of proposal that brings additional meaning to his professional life, and thus encourages individual commitment.
Another important project for us is individual recognition. We are thinking about setting up an internal passport. Based on a system of points, credits, it will allow everyone to validate skills acquired in the group, whether through training or experience. This is also part of the commitment, since it is a way to value the route and progress of each one, to show attention to the person as a whole ... and to make him want to project himself into the group.
What event marked you in the recent news?
I am interested by the evolution of the labor rights in France of course; I am waiting to see if the desire of the government results, this time, in something concrete! Personally, the subjects linked to migrants affect me profoundly: in a period when we speak a lot about the human, we are lacking humanism. We cannot close our eyes to this crisis, on these wars which are going to extend in the whole world if we do not react. The fact of working in a group, present on the entire planet, makes us, naturally, more sensitive to these questions: we see the crises propagating worldwide and we are convinced that what matters, is the capacity to take into account the other one, to show attention to each other. In our group of course, but also, in all dimensions of our human life.
Lionel QUENET– HR Manager, BEL Group12 000 partners worldwide, 3500 in France2.9 billion euro revenue worldwide
Can you tell me more about your career path ?
I joined the group at the end of 2015. Before that, I have spent a large part of my career in the Péchiney group (renamed as Rio Tinto Alcan) where several corporate restructuration and company turnovers took place. Within this group, I held several HR positions, especially in manufacturing. I have also been an expatriate and spent three and a half years in China. Both experiences, within the production department and the international one, were geared to answer the needs of the Bel Group, which achieves very good performances in the export business.
How do you define the HR culture within the group ?
There is a big restructuration being conducted at the moment, we’ve recently purchased the Materne-Montblanc group, which produces healthy snacks made of fruit and dairy products. In fact, we are extending our range of activities: the challenge for us is to succeed in our aim of business diversification. We want this new business to remain autonomous as it has an expertise in its field, but we also want to find a synergy within our activities: our role is to be inventive and innovative, to create new products & to conceive totally new ways of consumption. Our HR culture is particularly focused on innovation and autonomy, but we appreciate a certain sense of thinking outside the box! In order to encourage this sense of creativity, we are looking for various profiles: precisely, people coming from other types of industries, and also more female candidates, and international profiles.
Can you tell me about HR stakes that have a particular interest to you ?
We’ve defined a pool of strong ambitions within the group, qualified as « must win wars » that HR are very involved with, as we are in all very decisive strategies within the group. Our HR strategies are built around those main lines and must support them: improvement of internal skills, finding of new talents, implementation of specific training courses. This last point is crucial when it comes to our development overseas: in some of the emerging countries, the offered training courses don’t fulfill our needs. In order to have the right set of available skills, we have developed our Talent Factory which is a proficient training center that welcomes our partners from abroad and where they can learn the process of producing products in a creative, challenging environment.
For all of our operational staff, we’ve set up a specific training and development program focused on all managerial aspects related to the manufacturing. We’ve achieved this training with the support of internal tutors, that we’ve identified and gathered onto a community which is able to share with the social network of our company. We will keep developing this efficient program which promotes a lot of participation and exchange of good practices. We’ve been awarded a « special jury price » at the « Victoires du Capital Humain » event.
What would you define as major evolutions of your function?
Digital has radically changed our hiring process: instead of posting a job advert and then selecting candidates, we can now target the most sought after candidates thanks to social networks. In order to select our trainees, we implement Skype interviews: it allows us to select the right candidates quicker and we could extend this type of process for more types of candidates. Finally, a few tasks (payroll, leaves and administrative tasks) can be automated thanks to digital which allows us to focus on more important points of our mission.
Another important point of evolution is the notion of the « employer’s mark ». We put a lot of work for this aspect and we think that we have to bring a lot of proofs : to show clearly how each employee can progress and evolve within our group while respecting their individual needs. As an example, we show young people that they can work in a flexible manner, even remotely, as they often requested it. Also we want to show to the more senior profiles that we can offer them real careers with progress mapped out in front of them, as in durable and evolving careers. Half of opened jobs are tilled by internal workers, and we offer to each employee the possibility of changing their position within the company.
Can you tell us about a current event that has a particular interest for you ?
As we are an international company, we are very attentive to the political situations abroad, particularly in Anglo Saxon countries. In the HR department, we pay a particular attention to the incoming political evolution in France, as the work legislation may change, and we are well placed to anticipate these changes and deal with them as they arise. Without doubt, the year 2017 will be a year full of challenges.
KYOCERA Document Solutions FranceProvider of impression solutions and document management95 employees in France
“Crisis doesn’t make the recruiting process any easier”
Kyocera Documents Solutions France, which is a company specialized in impression solutions and in document management, mainly recruits for commercial roles and selling support roles. Our company is looking for experienced profiles in France.
What are your upcoming recruitment projects for year 2017 ?
In France, our staff is made up of 95 people, and on average, we recruit about 10 percent of this amount every year. This number is rather steady. In 2017, I think that we are looking for about 7-9 people. Kyocera France is a commercial distribution subsidiary which implies that we are mainly looking for experienced commercial staff as well as selling support staff.
Are you struggling when it comes to finding experienced profiles?
Yes, that’s quite a difficult task ! In fact, crisis usually drives people to be more fearful. The turnover rate decreases in companies, and there are less available profiles on the market. In addition, our company remains relatively low profile in France : our company is suffering from a lack of public image which isn’t always easy to overcome. Finally, we are demanding in terms of experience, because our commercials have to be autonomous and have to deal with a distribution network as well as dealing with a final client. Therefore, we are looking for people with a full set of skills and know-hows !
In this context, do you see any change in the type of candidates that apply in your company?
A generational phenomenon is settling down: the expectations of the new generations evolve, in term of organization, they think first about the interest of the position, the autonomy it can bring them, and to the family life-work balance that they will find. These improvements have to be made and answers to the expectations of the candidates have to be brought.
Recruitments only represent one part of your mission. Do you have other important coming priorities to deal with in the months to come?
Public Works Group Turnover of 800M€ – 5500 people worldwide“We have redefined our role in order to be nearer to the core of the business strategy”
What is your scope of activity?
Our fields of activities cover all aspects of public works: civil engineering, underground works, urban engineering and roads in more than 15 countries. My scope of action is global as our HR teams are based all around the world. Our main role is to work on international mobility and on skills enhancements, especially for supervisory staff on worksites abroad.
In total, 250 executives and technicians work under international contract.
How would you define the HR culture at RAZEL BEC?
At RAZEL BEC, we have an entrepreneurial culture and the role of HR people and the rest of the group is to promote it. Since my start in 2014, I have been working on making my mission evolve, trying to get beyond the administrative and regalian aspects of my job. A lot of our operational managers have a “highly autonomous company leaders” profile and are used to manage the development of their business without getting support from central structures. The aim of my job has been to reposition the HR role closer to the business strategy of the group as well as closer to the managers’ needs. I have introduced a new team management strategy, and I have redefined their missions so that they can support more efficiently their internal clients. Our group is currently expanding on new market segments in France as well as worldwide, and we must adjust our company’s organization in order to adapt to these new markets. This implies that we are in need for new sets of skills, as an example, carrying out an airport renovation campaign abroad, supporting our growth on the underground works market – which is an important request, mainly in the frame of the Grand Paris project. In order to acquire those competencies, we hire a lot in France as well as abroad. However, we also need to be more flexible in the way we manage staff in France. In order to do that, we have developed programs that reinforce the versatility and the multi-abilities of our partners and we have put in place means that allow for more internal mobility.
How did you change your recruiting process in order to adapt to these new challenges?
We put new tools in place. In particular, we reviewed exhaustively our partnerships with schools and hiring agencies: we went from 60 hiring agencies, which were all French, to 10 in France as well as several partnerships in strategic countries such as Portugal. Regarding partnership with schools, we carry out more in-depth sourcing: we want to create an African elite that will answer our needs on this continent. In order to do so, we are working on hiring programs with African civil engineering schools. We have opened our own professional training school in Cameroon aimed at our partners who work on African building sites. It is part of our strategy to develop a bigger panel of training programs, so that we can dispose of the right skills in order to face the competitors. It involves that our workforce must be local and locally trained.
What is your outlook on the evolution of your job?
The international level takes a very important place when it comes to hiring processes and development, but also when it comes to the outlook people have on their own career: in order to attract young people, we are competing with actors from all over the world. In recruiting forums for civil engineering students, Chinese companies have the biggest stands!
Another important aspect of the evolution is that our occupations are becoming more complex. In a context of globalization, a context of economic crisis succeeding one another rapidly, HR departments have to become more cunning, performing and more attentive to the needs of the clients and partners. For example, 30 years ago, we could propose a catalogue of training programs and the managers and partners would choose the ones they need. This way of proceeding isn’t possible anymore as we have to be more proactive and design tailor-made training courses, which are made up of very defined steps and which deliver immediate results. This is crucial for adapting our action to the evolution of the jobs and to the business strategies of our companies.
And what is the impact of digital on your activity?
It just saves us time, as certain administrative tasks have become automatized…However, setting up new tools can be quite daunting for a start! More recently, the rise of social media have had a big impact on our job: we have to build our image as an employer and have to adjust to the speed of social media. Offers are going around very quick, candidates come forward more easily. It has happened that, during a hiring process, our operational managers got access sooner than us to the profiles they were looking for!
In order to process such a big amount of candidates and information, our role consists in developing the structures and the tools that allow analyzing and selecting finely and methodically the available resource pools that will meet the quality requirements, especially in terms of personality.
What are the new expectations of your candidates?
They are more and more willing to balance their personal and professional life, which doesn’t prevent them from willing to build a career. It means that, at RAZEL BEC, we offer missions abroad and we aim at demonstrating to the candidates, that, nowadays, international work is a big factor of success as opposed to being a risk of moving away from the headquarters. This is especially true for those working in emergent countries, for example, in Africa: This is our job to build attractive career paths, along which our partners will come to have professional experiences abroad, come back to Europe and later on, get new responsibilities abroad. This back and forth movement between developed countries and emergent countries is a mutual source of enrichment
Can you tell me about a HR project which is particularly meaningful to you?
The most important project we are currently working on is a training program for our project managers and site managers. They design and build our bigger sites and are usually engineers with 10 to 15 years of experience. We need to help them being prepared better to work in an international context. The position as a project manager has become more complex because the role of builder has transformed into a builder and integrator role. That’s why we are offering them a 27-day training program with several modules (a leadership course, an advance training course in English, a training in management of complex project certified by the “Ecole Polytechnique”). The top priorities of the company are also highlighted in this program. Some of these 25 partners are very likely to become our future leaders; that is why this investment is so crucial for the future of our group.
Have you been particularly affected by an event in the news recently?
The drop of the oil price had a major effect on African countries, with whom we work with on numerous projects. Some projects were stopped, abandoned or were left without funding. We had to adapt very quickly; for example, we had to reassign the teams that we had built up in order to work on major projects on the African continent. That is one of many of the examples that illustrates well the ever-changing character of our markets, and that reminds us that we have to show some flexibility and that we must have the capability to adjust. Hence the importance, amongst other things, of having a good HR team!
What do you foresee as being the biggest challenges of your job in the next coming years?
We have to try bringing some meaning in a world that makes less and less sense, where everything is constantly changing, with new actors, new technologies. The HR department has to work hard on bringing benchmarks, guidelines, and on building a coherent and competitive offer. The most important HR role is to be capable of federating around the company’s values.
1800 employees, turnover: 97 M€ – 4th placed group in the local press industry. « Recruiting in new activities to diversify »
What is your professional background?
Originally, I worked as a controller for the airline group Air Littoral. In this group, I gained managerial positions, and I became HRD. In 2004, I joined the group Midi Libre. The press industry could seem distant from the airline industry, but they have a lot in common: in both cases, employees often work on distant and different locations, often on separate shifts and staggered hours, for an ephemeral product : like a plane seat, the daily paper must be printed and delivered on time ! And finally the union tradition is strong in both professions. When la Dépêche took control of Midi Libre, I became HRD for the whole group.
What major evolutions have you observed in your profession?
The evolutions have been stronger in our industry. At my beginnings, it often occurred that my results exceeded my targets… but that doesn’t happen that often anymore! Like everyone in the written press industry, our group loses readers and advertisers: our turnover and our publication are suffering from it. This fact encourages us to act on two points: firstly, reduce our total payroll, with departure plans. That implies for HR to set up training and redeployment programs for the positions that are specifically more affected by departures. Secondly, we will look at diversifying on new activities. Particularly, everything related to the Digital and the Events sector. Therefore we are currently recruiting some new profiles, from different sectors from ours. It’s ours to make the most of the “fresh air” that they bring.
In this context, what HR actions would you like to tell us about?
In the uncertain environment in which we are working, maintaining the well being at work, the trust and the confidence of employees is essential.
We must constantly adapt and find new solutions, without losing any time! In this context, in order to keep the human part in our decisions, we developed a specific training program. Another crucial item is labour relations. Our activity has a strong union tradition that allows us to spend a lot of time with the union representatives, with whom we want to maintain a proper trustworthy relationship. Finally, we have to identify and recruit people that can bring the new skills needed to diversify. Our location is helping us for this point: Toulouse and Montpellier are appealing cities for mid-career managers, and the press sector is very attractive!
What is your point of view regarding the future stakes of HR?
Firstly, one major stake: The simplification of the “multi layered” administrative part! We often hear about it from the public authorities, but it never quite materializes in the facts, that complicates and hardens our daily management.
Another major point for me in the future: handling in the best way possible our relationship to the Digital, and its place in our lives. Being able to be contacted and demanded at any minute and everywhere could seem appealing. But to my mind, it is a major risk for the person, for his or her professional and private balance. It is the HR team’s job to set the limit of this digital invasion, to help every employee to preserve his or her life and personal time. We can’t talk that often about psychosocial risk factors and not react against this enslavement to the Digital.
World leader in premium tubular solutions for the oil and gas and industry markets Worldwide Turnover : 3,8 Billion € 21 000 employees including 44% in Europe
Could you resume your professional path?
I was trained as an In-House Lawyer and since then, I have always worked in Human Resources. I have occupied “specialist” positions (recruitment, talent management, training) as well as more “generalist” positions (Factory HR Director, Country HR Director & Business Unit HR Director), in industrial companies. These positions often had an international scope: I most notably spent 8 years in Canada and 5 years in Switzerland. Since 2010, I have been Vallourec’s HR Director World; Vallourec is largely turned towards foreign countries, as almost 90% of our activity is located outside of Europe. We are most notably present in Brazil, North America, China and the Middle East.
How would you define your company’s HR Culture?
We are very « people oriented »: First of all, Vallourec is a company of passionate people, of engineers, proud of their knowledge and their skills. This translates into a strong individual commitment; everyone is “carrying” their projects by fully investing themselves in it. Another strong indicator of this culture: the turn-over rate is far lower than in other companies of our sector. Therefore, with a culture as strongly human-centric, HR are respected and considered as key, which is very positive for me!
But Vallourec is a company that has known a fast growth, via acquisitions and internal growth. Therefore my role was, at my arrival, to structure Human Resources by introducing processes, in the aim of managing Human Resources the same way in the 20 countries in which we are present. Notably, I set up some harmonized Talent Management tools (Performance management, Talent reviews …).
I also created some global training actions, along with a corporate university. And I directly supervise, with my team, the career of the 100 oldest employees of our company. Our objective is to ensure them a transversal evolution that won’t be limited by a country or a division.
Do you notice an evolution in applicants or employees expectations?
Like everybody, I observe the Y generation and the millennials. Young people that want a different interaction to their job, that question their commitment to the company. But honestly, I don’t see it in our group ! I mainly see people that want to invest themselves, to progress, to expatriate –especially the French- who express the desire to work abroad. Employees know that, in this group, skills and integrity will be put to the fore, instead of their ability to be “political”. That encourages the development of an entrepreneurial spirit and individual responsibilities. Nothing to do with the common opinion regarding the loss of loyalty in companies.
What is your point of vue regarding the evolution of your profession?
I undoubtedly was marked by my experience in Canada : In the English-speaking world, HR are strongly orientated towards talent management, the building of a career corresponding to the potential and ambition of everyone. Back in France, I noticed that this dimension tended to emerge in HR management. Even though a major part of our activity remains linked to Labour Law and Labour Union management relations, thanks to our legal frame.
What is the impact of the Digitalization on your company ?
Obviously we are using social networks everywhere in the world to ease our recruitment process. But for us, the digitalization has been of a great help to harmonize our talent management processes. We set up a database that gathers and synthesize every information regarding the performance and potential of every applicant, in order to manage career evolutions in a performant and coherent way. Another topic in which the digitalization was key: training. We created a « learning management system », that allows us to deliver a globally harmonized training plan, integrating a strong e-learning dimension.
Is there a particular HR project you would like to tell us about?
It’s not an HR project but a global company project in which every department is implicated. We are impacted by the Oil & Gas crisis and we set up a vast plan of action to rebound. It was announced in February 2016, and consists in a whole set of strong measures: reorganization, staff reduction, acquisitions, capital rising… executing theses measures, ensuring its synergy and coherence, requires everyone to be fully engaged. The role of HR throughout this kind of period is essential: it’s ours to manage the integration of new entities and reorganization, it’s ours to explain where we want to go and how we intend to go there to sustain motivation. It’s also ours to act to retain the best and keep a strong proximity with the managers in order to remain receptive regarding everyone’s aspirations. Let’s say it’s a rich and complex period for HR !
A noteworthy fact in recent HR / Economy / Employment news?
Travaux.com - IAC/ HomeAdvisor GroupThe French leader in intermediation between private individuals and professionals from the building industry. 181 employees in France.
SSP (SELECT SERVICE PARTNER)Global: 2.2 Billion Euros revenue – 30 000 employeesIn France: 240 Million Euros revenue – 2 400 employees
What is SSP Core business ?
We specialize in catering services on travel sites: we do operate catering services in train stations, airports, subways and motorway services areas. We run concessions, meaning that we are working both with the Owner Operators of these locations (Aéroports de Paris, SNCF,…) and Trading names partners, such as Starbucks or Brioche Dorée. We also run our own brands among which the most reknown is probably Bonne Journée, located for instance in Parisian suburbs. Our employees are coming from a large number of professional channels including obviously room or counter service, cooks, but also a significant number of Field Managers, Logistics Managers, Finance, Controlling, Marketing and Sales, HR, Purchasing Managers…
Therefore, it means a strong service and client relationship culture, that surely impacts you HR Culture, doesn’t it ?
Yes, it does. Our Company DNA lies in an orientation definitely towards the implementation of simple and quick solutions: our professions require efficiency, responsiveness in acts. Our HR responsibility is consequently to identify, through dialogue, practical and quick solutions in each situation, to innovate without hiding behind the labor law ! For instance, we are currently switching from 12 to 5 distinct legal entities under the same collective bargaining agreement and substitution agreements negotiation. It goes through the Work Council and the Union partners with whom we have to negotiate, to come to an agreement and implement an organization that allows to manage transition. Our operating mode: make progress thanks to mutual concessions, exchange through a dialogue in which each one proves himself/herself responsible and aware of the need to find effective and solid solutions. As HR, we are a key partner to the General Management, it has to be reflected in our daily action.
How do you assess your work evolution, especially its recruitment dimension ?
On the recruitment to start with : above all, we are looking for leaders, meaning personalities who will not put up with implementing processes, but who will be able to lead the teams. Profiles who are efficient, responsive, flexible, quick…which in the end turn out to be complex to find ! We often meet formatted candidates, used to working in their area, in a compartmentalized way. Especially if they are coming from large Companies. We do operate as a Small or Medium company, we need pragmatism, people who figure out simple and efficient solutions. Therefore, I often recruit non standard profiles, people not necessarily issued from our professions but who have talent to federate and mobilize. And who are asking questions above all! The fact that we are integrating in our teams profiles coming from other environments allows the whole company to question itself, not to keep up with historicals, acquired things.
Regarding the HR job more globally, I think that the social dialogue experiences true dynamics, it is at the heart of companies development in a sector in which the manpower cost ratios are nearing 50%! We can not try to impose agreements written in advance, in a jargon which is not understandable. We have to show ourselves creatives, we have to explain, say things openly. Dialogue is sometimes strong arm, but it is alive, and needed. It allows us to find the right agreements, considered as such by all of us, and not as trick. We nearly sign all our agreements, and for me this is a very positive evolution that supports winnings during tenders.
Would you have an HR project that means something special for you ?
Apart from our legal entities merger mentioned before, we have to work permanently on our Group consistency. Over the past 3 years, we have won a significant number of tenders, and have integrated people coming from various companies. Therefore, we constantly need to improve our integration process and to develop our competences so that this growth operates in a harmonious way and a way that is clear for all. It comes to managing simultaneously a clear company project, able to federate, and to comply with each entity wealth. We have also initiated an ambitious partnership with IGS so that 42 of our employees are getting a second year post bachelor’s degree.
Which piece of HR news was outstanding for you over the last weeks?
The « labor law / Loi travail » is of course key for us. It is symptomatic of what is happening in France; we have got this cultural specificity of viewing our economy through the class struggle prism. When our social partners are telling me that this law is aiming at solving bosses’ problems, and not theirs, I do think that the dialogue has to go ahead! It is an absolute need to move our labor market way of functioning closer to other countries’ ones. If we go on closing ourselves on our model, we will put at risk employees. According to me, this law, in its intention, allows on the contrary to recruit more easily, according to the backlog. This is a way to limit the fright of hiring, always very much there in the mindset of numerous business owners.
Euralis Group – Agricultural and Food Industry cooperative Group Worldwide: Billion 1.5 € Turnover – 5,000 employees In France: Million 750 € Turnover – 3,000 employees
How would you define Euralis HR culture?
Our activities are extremely diversified, as aside our agricultural division, we also do have an R&D division specialized in seeds, and another division dedicated to food production and food industry sales – for instance, we are the world leader for “Foie Gras” products. The HR role, with such diverse profiles and activities is consequently to create unity, shared values and shared targets. We are currently managing a Group Transformation Project, initiated by our governance, in which HR is playing a key role. The idea is to reconcile 3 objectives and to position them at the same level: increase our profitability as a cooperative, allow our 12000 members to develop their revenue, the whole set being carried by a human and social policy that is to take each employee to their highest level of competency.
Your Group main location is in Pau, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, what are the impacts from an HR point of view ?
It sometimes makes it harder to recruit, especially since our Employees’ spouses/marriage partners are in particular frightened not to find any job opportunity locally. To ease their set-up, we are working with an Agency that support them with their search. Potentially, we can also orientate them towards companies located in the region, thanks to good relationship with their local Managing Directors. It can either be very large Groups (Total and Turbomeca do have work locations near ours) or also small and medium size companies on niche areas. And sometimes, we can even make a job offer ourselves to the marriage partner of our Employee! That being said, Pau is only 1 hour flight from Orly Paris Airport, but also, and above all, 1 hour from the beach, the mountain and Spain… these are truly efficient arguments! When someone makes the decision to join us, this is also a lifestyle choice, for him/her and his/her family.
What are your analysis regarding your job evolution?
HR people are becoming more important, and are playing more and more a Business Partner role for Head offices. We are carrying the organizations’ transformation and have to support them so that they structure themselves around economic targets, taking into account business/job evolutions. Meanwhile, the labor law is taking an increasing space. For me, what is at stake is not to deal with it as an additional constraint but, on the contrary, to transform it into an opportunity. For instance, on the topic of work hardness, we took advantage of the legislative evolution to improve work conditions of some of our jobs, and to reinforce our social dialog quality.
How do you assess the evolution of candidates that you are meeting ?
People coming to Euralis want to run from company cultures that are too mechanistic, in which the human dimension is not enough valued. They sometimes have a rather wrong idea of what is a cooperative; we are not either a holiday camp! Therefore, we often have to remind candidates that we have, as a Group, expectations in terms of profitability and performance. But, our culture and our identity are attracting, without any doubt. I was not meeting candidates as diversified when I was acting as HRD within more “classical” groups.
You have offices on the 5 continents. How do you manage these International recruitments?
We are offering to our Employees recruited in France evolving careers, the geographical mobility is part of it. We are also interested in Young graduates coming from abroad, who are studying in France and then coming back to work in their Home Countries. This allows us to have local management in countries where we are established. And of course, we also recruit directly abroad. To do so, we do prefer going through local recruitment companies being partners of the French Executive Search companies we are used to work with, rather than big International recruitment companies.
What are, according to you, the new striking evolutions in the recent economical news?
I am glad that our leaders’ mindset is evolving. Even if all is not done smoothly, I see that initiatives are taken to modernize work, to reconcile human and companies. Our needs in terms of cost optimization, in terms of flexibility are better taken into account by Public authorities. And this vision is not only changing at a government level: we also do see it on the field, for instance with labor inspectors being much more open to dialogue. They are not only coming to check the strict law enforcement, but they are also paying attention to our efforts, to all actions that we are taking to foster the well-being at work. Everyone improved in common sense and realism; this is a true progress that I am noticing at the moment.
GROUP MOM (MATERNE MONT BLANC) – Food company750 employees in France - €360 M in revenues
You have just joined your new company, what has been your professional experience so far?
I began my career in aeronautics before gaining HR responsibilities in companies of other sectors, with a gradually increasing international dimension. I decided to join MOM in a strong context of globalization, the group increasing its sales in the USA. This success has given us big aspirations of international growth. My main aim is to structure our HR policy in order to accompany this new dimension.
Especially, setting up unified processes and creating structures to guide every market’s development.
What is your point of vue regarding the evolution of your profession, especially the recruitment dimension?
Digitalization has changed a lot of things, it modifies relations: getting in touch with a candidate is a lot easier… But oddly enough it has never been harder to recruit the best since they get contacted so much ! It is our job to acquire the best skills to make the most out of social medias and to find the most suitable means of communication.
Another major evolution: the international aspect. Both candidates and recruiters consider an experience abroad as essential, quite early in the career. It is our job to set up a mobility policy attractive enough to convince the very best!
Finally, I was amazed how candidates have assimilated the notions of adaptability and agility, essential for their careers : They don’t ask what kind of perspective the company can offer them in a few years time, but talk about the present and the project we are recruiting for.
Is there an HR project you would like to talk about?
I’m currently listing them! But I’m already sure of something: Among my priorities will be the definition of a culture and values, embodied by the HR department, that will link economical and human stakes. Our group is witnessing a strong growth.
We have to redefine what will lead us to the next steps of our development: At the moment, 40% of our employees have been in the group for less than 3 years, and 60% less than 5 years! We need to strengthen and structure what has been done over the last years. It is essential to keep recruiting the best, in particular on an international scope.
Actually, how do your expectations regarding recruitment evolve?
We seek people that had thought about their application; applicants capable of explaining what they are looking for, why they did chose this particular company at this precise moment of their life and career. It’s the fact that they asked themselves these questions that makes them succeed an interview, and allows you to count on your coworkers, because they wake up as motivated as ever every morning since they find a meaning to their actions.
We are rather demanding, especially as we ask candidates to speak English fluently, to have a good professional experience and be geographically mobile!
A noteworthy fact in recent HR / Economy / Employment news?
We became aware of the necessity to reform the labour market in France, it’s a good thing! Well, we may have different opinions regarding what has to be done, but I remain optimistic and I think that things will get better. Especially I believe and hope that we’ll manage to simplify this matter, and that constraints will adapt to what’s done on the field. And also consider the fact that in companies, decisions have to be made quickly.
HOMESERVE France Insurance broker, specializing in emergency assistance in the housing field, a subsidiary of Homeserve (English group)500 employees in France –€97 M in revenues
How would you define the human resources culture in your group?
Domeo, which soon will be called HomeServe France, is a service company providing installation, repair and assistance services through a network of 2000 certified professionals in the following fields: plumbing, heating, electricity, appliances, and wiring. The keys to the success of the company are a culture of service, its reactivity, and its proximity to the customers. To maintain a high level of performance, we are relying heavily on training, and this area of our organization represents 4% of our payroll and requires 7 full-time employees. Also, since we are a subsidiary of a British group, we focus on our employees’ engagement and satisfaction. This manifests itself in the HR tools we use, which are typical of a large organization. For example, we are monitoring our team members’ career with a succession planning tool which is widely used in the company. Also, to increase our employees’ engagement, we invest in internal communications. The various functions of the company – including marketing, call centers and sales development – require a strong commitment from all stakeholders.
How have the various roles in the company changed over time?
The digital, of course, will have a strong impact on our activity. Our customers ask for remote diagnostics and want to communicate with our teams through chat tools and not on the phone anymore… This requires training our employees, especially in the call centers. Our managers are also impacted by this new trend, since the digital phenomenon is changing the way they interact with their teams.
But it is important to mention another major change: the increasing importance of our employees’ well-being and the prevention of the “psychosocial” risks. Faced with these new challenges, we are trying to be proactive, as opposed to simply protect ourselves from these potential risks, by implementing assistance programs and training sessions to help our managers actively listen and take charge of these problems.
The other major trend that needs to be mentioned is, of course, the increasing complexity of the labor laws, despite the incessant “simplification” laws. In this environment, we need to increase our efforts to protect ourselves against potential liability. This also requires long explanations to our parent company in England, because this legal environment is often surprising to an Anglo-Saxon!
More specifically, what major changes are you witnessing in the recruiting arena?
Once again, the digital phenomenon plays an increasingly important role, because it speeds up the processes and changes the source of our talent pool. In this environment, our reactivity has to be very quick, especially with regards to the social networks. Also, the candidates have changed, they have more expectations. Some want to work as free-lancers or at least keep a certain freedom in the way they organize their work. From our prospective, we are looking for flexible candidates. The roles in our company are changing rapidly and constantly, and we are looking for employees that are capable of managing changes and adapting to various projects.
re you implementing a major project in 2016?
Telecommuting -It is a very important theme in our organization, our employees are asking for it and our managers are reticent to accept it. Our goal is to prevent a direct confrontation and to find the right balance. We are in the process of finalizing an agreement and our objective is to find a winning structure. We know that some organizations have seen an increase in performance by implementing these types of agreements, and we want to achieve the same level of success.
What is the main theme for the future?
In order to achieve employee loyalty, we are doing a lot of work on their mobility in France and abroad. Even if career development, learning and training are already paramount in our organization, they will become even more of a focus in the future. Being part of an international group helps us in that regard, but we need to do more. We need to understand how our employees’ relationship with their work is changing, individually and collectively. Because of this phenomenon, our profession is becoming more diversified and the main attraction for me is that it is in constant evolution!
Global transport and logistic company with a presence in 67 countries 30,000 team members – 6,8 billion € in sales
As a global company, Geodis, faces very different hiring environments from one country to another. What are the perspectives in this area ?
Our company, for the most part, is labor-based and we are hiring employees for very different roles and qualifications. The members of the management team, on the average, represent 20% of the positions we are trying to fill. Freight forwarding, a very important activity for Geodis, since it represents about 40% of our sales, is the only area that employs strictly white collar employees. For the rest of our hiring needs, regardless of the sector, logistics, route, distribution or supply-chain optimization, we are hiring employees with a wide range of qualifications. …
Installation and implementation of electric, computer, and communication systems.15800 Employees, 2.4 billion Euros in sales300 implementations in France - International reach within large-scale projects.
How would you define the human resources culture in your company ?
Our HR culture is decentralized, emphasizes entrepreneurship, and takes into account diversity in all
of its forms: diversity of functions, skills and locales, and human diversity.
How do you see the evolution of your field, specifically with regards to hiring ?
In our field the hiring managers have to be able to react quickly. This can be achieved through social
networks, but also by taking into account the risks thassociated to the image. Because of these two
factors, we are forced to use specialized hiring managers.
World leader in design and manufacture of connectors for chip cards1200 employees, 450 in France – over 250 million in sales
Until the end of 2011, Linxens was part of the FCI Group. Since that time, we have become an independent entity. Therefore, we are trying to create our own DNA: We are hoping to establish a culture based on results, that goes beyond our customers expectations with regards to the services we provide them. To reach this objective, we use high-level professionals in all functions. The challenge we are trying to meet is to create an environment in which our employees can contribute to the growth and efficiency of the team and the group. We need to offer growth and contribution opportunities to our employees, so they can feel that their role is appreciated, but also requires us to create in our sites, and in the entire group, a fun work environment that encourages performance and where everyone can reach its full professional and personal potential. In short, we try to offer a place where passions come to life. I would like to add that the collective performance is a value of the group...
Chocolate and confection manufacturer3200 employees, 2100 employees in France, 775 M€ in sales.
We have a family culture with a long-term perspective. We take advantage of our expertise and, with each external growth, we acquire know how about the different areas of chocolate and cocoa. This knowledge is communicated to the next generation, and with a HR policy based on internal growth, our employees can stay with us for up to 35 years!
However, recently, we have started to stress the structure of our support staff, including the sales and marketing functions, to support the current changes of our markets - including our brand distribution activity - but also to allow us to meet our objectives on the global markets.