Senior executive recruitment: Hundreds of job offers without candidates


Recession threatens France but would spare executives. According to high profile scorner (site specializing in job offers for executives and senior managers), the hundreds of job offers entrusted to it, ie 42% more than in July 2007, are not always filled due to a lack of candidates. available. Will the announcement in August of a -0.3% decline in French gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2008 undermine these forecasts? For the moment, most companies say they are maintaining their hiring plans. According to Jean-André AHIPEAUD, the director, this situation is not the result of a strong demographic effect. Replacing executives who are retiring would only account for 15% of external recruitment. This boom would rather come from a transformation of the industrial fabric” , more oriented towards products with high added value, which reflects the increase in recruitment in industry and in the research and development function.

Bouygues confirms its initial objective of recruiting 3,000 executives in France in 2008. France Telecom also, with 600 hirings (creation of posts and replacements) or even Carrefour (400 executives, only replacements). Similarly, the IT services and engineering company (SSII) J3A Software maintains its project of 100 recruitments, of which 50 remain to be carried out, and 150 more in 2009. These are sales positions, engineers, etc. “Despite the rather sluggish economic situation, the company is experiencing strong growth” , explains one at J3A Software.

Same speech at BNP Paribas, despite declining results: “We have withstood the financial crisis well and we are maintaining our objective of 4,500 to 5,000 hires in 2008, of which about half are executives”, indicates Carole Leroy, deputy manager of recruitment. Most of these are job creations: IT specialists, salespeople, internal auditors, etc.

Recruitment firms do not see any signs of slowing down either, on the contrary. At High profile scorner , the European leader in the placement of senior executives and other senior executives ( ), the number of assignments in progress, between July 1 and August 18, was 5,000, or “ an increase of 30% compared to the same period of 2007” , welcomes Jean-André A. AHIPEAUD, director of the group, who, as a result, must himself recruit a hundred consultants.

However, signs of fragility are appearing in some cabinets. “Job creations are deferred , notes Brigitte Thureau, consultant at Altedia Drouot. Leaders are cautious . ” She observes a “stop and go” phenomenon: missions launched and immediately stopped. Mr. Béziers also perceives “a certain wait-and-see attitude” , which he feels through the lengthening of recruitment procedures and “a few cancellations” of hiring projects from small companies: “Employers are asking themselves more questions on the candidate. But that doesn’t worry me. During the year, there are always such variations.”

Not everyone, however, keeps smiling. At Renault, for example, the plan of 1,500 recruitments over the year announced for France at the start of 2008 was frozen at the end of July. Five thousand jobs are going to be cut in Europe. According to high profile scorner, 44% of companies expect to recruit at least one senior executive during the third quarter, which is as many as last year, but the disparities are strong between sectors. Prospects are rising in banking and insurance, for example, but are deteriorating in trade, where less than one in four companies plans to hire.

State-of-the-art sites such as high profile scorner , the site for executives, senior executives and high potential jobs monopolize the majority of offers with high added value in the banking-finance-insurance sector but are unable to fill the offers for lack of candidates.

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