How to qualify the year 2022 for the firm?
Marie-Laure Collet: It was a very good year in terms of requests from companies and turnover. But recruitment remained complex. And then, we have to be careful not to confuse turnover and margin because we now spend more time on recruitment, our fees have not increased and our expenses have increased.
And 2023? What developments do you expect?
ML C: I remain very cautious about projections. I know that the situation is made up of crises, recoveries and adjustments. This year will be further fueled by anxiety linked to inflation and the geopolitical context. But as we are in the middle of a grandpa-boom until 2030, I am rather calm. Barring an economic collapse in Western countries, we will be able to adapt to the situation. Companies are still unable to recruit on their own. However, there may be less volume of recruitments in large groups.
Which sectors inspire you with confidence for recruitment in 2023?
ML C: sectors related to digital, technological and environmental innovation will be hiring. And this, on the trades of marketing, trade and techniques.
How will candidate and company expectations evolve in 2023?
ML C: even if I would be careful not to generalize, I nevertheless note that the work to which the candidates aspire is not necessarily that expected by the companies. To avoid misunderstandings, each of the two parties must, from the outset, be very explicit about their expectations. The company must clearly say what it is capable of giving or not. For example on wages, not everything is possible. When a company’s margins are falling due to inflation in the cost of raw materials and energy, it cannot reasonably raise wages. And what is possible in a large group is not necessarily so in an SME and even less in a VSE.
What notable changes in recruitment processes in 2023?
ML C: the processes are not changing, but the tools are. We use faster tools which facilitate the identification of candidates and which assess more precisely the soft and hard skills of candidates. Large groups would benefit from slowing down the multiplication of interviews to guarantee the best recruitment. For a 3rd year internship, a business school student I know had to go through 4 interviews. Employers must be more agile in recruitment and above all bet on the integration of new recruits. This is what will allow the adoption of the company by the candidate.
Do you see more openness to senior candidates?
ML C: in my professional experience, I have rarely seen a VSE-SME refuse me a senior because these employers know that these are long-term recruitments that will reduce internal turnover. It is often the large groups that are the least open to senior profiles, in particular because of their predefined salary scale. With 30 years of experience, a senior enters into high remuneration and this risks unbalancing salary costs. SMEs/VSEs are more flexible on the subject.
More opportunities for executives who want to change sectors? of region?
ML C: sector changes are possible in support functions but less easy in expert professions. Furthermore, I note that candidates are less and less mobile. Before leaving for another region, the question first arises of the spouse’s employment but also of the stability of the family unit. We have more and more blended families with children attending school in one place. This prevents one of the parents from moving away. Added to this is the tendency to withdraw into oneself and one’s close and stable environment when things are swaying outside. In this case in these times of economic and geopolitical uncertainties. There is therefore less mobility between regions. Mobility takes place within major cities. There, candidates easily switch from one position to another without having to change residence, even if it means adding transport constraints.
What questions are candidates asking that they weren’t asking before?
ML C: questions around telework are omnipresent: how many days? What telecommuting allowance? What equipment? What level of meal coverage on teleworking days? Etc. And this, from the first interviews. If teleworking is impossible, candidates often pass.
Do you have a favorite question for candidates that you haven’t asked before?
ML C: no favorite question, but I try as much as possible to get them to talk about the value of work, their definition of commitment, transparency and loyalty. I also ask them what they want to implement in digital and in terms of CSR to bring about the transformation of the company they are about to join.
What better strategy to achieve a salary gap in 2023? stay ? leave ? to come back ? form ?
ML C: to achieve this gap, I recommend training to increase your skills and employability and to do external mobility in order to find a company more in line with your salary aspirations.
What will emerge best for your job as a recruitment intermediary?
ML C: we are not here to judge but to evaluate the candidates. We must match the specifications provided by our corporate client with the skills and values of a candidate. Let’s show humility by placing ourselves on the same level as the candidates. In Abaka, the verb to judge is completely banished.
Do you have more “yes” votes for the hiring of female managers? And to enter CAs?
ML C: the legal constraints linked to parity and diversity mean that the feminization of managers is gradually entering the mentality. Nevertheless, women executives still earn 8% less than men. We are therefore far from equal pay. We must stop putting women in less considered professions. Even with a mixed management committee, the position of general manager is always more easily attributed to a man than to a woman. On the subject, the wrongs are in my opinion shared. Some women do not want these positions because they lack self-confidence and expect to be encouraged to do so. While on the contrary, men fight. Before taking over the presidency of Apec, I held the responsibilities of vice-president for a long time. It took peers encouraging me to take the plunge for me to dare!
Abaka in a few figures
- 273 recruitments in 2022
- 35 consultants in 2022
- 2022 turnover: 2.5 million euros
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