In February 2018, the “Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres” (APEC) presented its yearly study, based on their Executive employment observatory. Financed by contributions of Executives and Companies, this French association proposes a specific econometric model, which shew the last 10 years a reliable forecast of the French Executives’ market.

At this occasion, Muriel Penicaud, the French Minister of Labor (ex-HR Corporate Director of Danone Group), were invited to comment on the results of the study.

Jean-Marie Marx, General Director of APEC, presented the forecast for 2018. Very optimistic, he highlighted that French executive and specialist labor market promises to be very dynamic in 2018. After 10 morose years on executives and specialists’ recruitment, 2018 should reach the pre-crisis level. It is not a return to the past: this increase will partly be reached with new competencies, that did not exist 10 years ago. In total, the number of recruitments at this level for France should be between 248,000 and 271,000, driven by the growth of the GDP, increasing by 1.9%. Recruitments will be mainly in Paris and its suburb (50% of total hiring); 7 out of 10 recruitments will be in the Service sector, including 31% specialized in IT.

Muriel Penicaud mentioned that the Parliament has definitively approved by the vote of the Senate, the ratification of the ordinances reforming the French labor code. This announcement is the kick off for the French Government’s ambition to decrease unemployment. She pointed out France has now “a good problem” to solve: growth creates demand and hiring but also accelerates changes in many jobs. Jean-Marie Marx highlighted that “the acceleration of digital transformation, the energy transition and the evolution of the management methods in the organizations” are changing the recruitment needs. The executive market will face deskilling’s issues in the years to come. French Government is focusing on enhancement of training along the professional life, to ensure the match between skills and market expectations. This tendency puts recruitment sector on a more dynamic perspective. The mix of skills and profiles (experience, diplomas …) must be encouraged. “Clones” recruitment is over, for leadership positions.

These changes will be overcome by flexible companies, open to the diversity as a generator of innovation and success, and willing to invest in training to go further with their human capital. Executive Search Firms focused on abilities detection and skills management, on a business partnership for talent management with their clients, and acting as neutral advisors with candidates, have a strong card to play.

Coraline Procope, Talent Acquisition Consultant – Glasford International France

About Glasford International

Glasford International is a global (retained) executive search firm with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South Americas. Established in 1998, we support clients in executive search and selection, leadership and personality assessments at an international, cross-border and local level.