Jobs in start-ups | Strategy in France

The France Strategy Jobs and Skills Network and the Directorate General for Enterprise (DGE) explain this paradox in an unprecedented study of the employment situation among French start-ups. The key: five recommendations for start-ups to realize their full potential for job creation.

Who are the start-ups and how many are there?

Popularized in French by the term “gazelle” in the 1980s, the start-up has since been referred to as “ a new company, raises funds, carries out an innovative project or has strong potential for rapid growth “. To consider these different characteristics, four populations of firms are considered:

  • The gazelles : Companies under 8 years old, with 10 full-time equivalents in 2015 and an average annual growth rate of their turnover of strictly more than 20% between 2015 and 2018.
  • Young companies : 1.1 million companies under 8 years old in 2018.
  • Fund -raising companies : 5,800 companies under 8 years old in 2018 with share capital of less than 100 K € in 2015 and more than 200 K € in 2018.
  • Innovative companies : 13,000 companies under 8 years old in 2018 received innovation or R&D aid at least once since their inception.

Job: the start in finding rare pearls

Start-ups create more jobs than other businesses. However, they experience more difficulty in obtaining. A tension associated with the particular nature of the profiles they are looking for and the speed at which they recruit.

Start-ups: a strong potential for job creation

Start-ups represented 114,000 direct jobs in France in 2018. Their workers ’salaries increased by 9% from 2018 to 2019, ie 3 more points than all the young companies.

The typical profile of a start-up employee: a man, very qualified, often an engineer

  • 49% of start-up employees are frames including 2/3 engineers.
  • 65% are men.
  • That total annual salary is 5 K € feel less engineers and executives in start-ups.

Recruitment under pressure in the technical professions

  • 64% of start-ups expect acquisition difficulties in 2019, 11 points more than traditional companies;
  • 44% of start-ups cite difficulties in getting technical jobs, compared to only 1% for traditional companies.

achieve the full job

REC conducted an online survey of 180 start-ups, hearings and interviews. This shows that start-ups experience the same types of difficulties as VSE-SMEs, but are strongly accentuated by the particularities of their economic model.

The absence of a candidate or the lack of profiles was the main source of difficulties presented for nearly 50% of the start-ups surveyed.

  • The economic instability of the start-up and the ignorance of the opportunities weakens the candidates.
  • The start-up recruits in highly competitive tight markets.
  • HR skills in start-ups are often informal due to the lack of HRD, or the lack of experience of the HR manager when he or she is performing the role.
  • Start-ups have few links to the work and training of actors and make little use of common entitlement mechanisms in terms of hiring.

There are several levers that can be used to “release” the job creation engine of start-ups:

  • Improve recruitment skills, especially by diversifying sourcing channels and candidate profiles.
  • It is better to define skills needs and “go out and meet” with potential candidates (at universities, schools, etc.).
  • Strengthen HR function and the employer brand through personalized support as needed.
  • It is better to define the “start-up” object to improve data collection to develop, manage and evaluate public policies aimed at start-ups.
  • Facilitate start-ups access to existing support systems for recruitment and training and adapt them as needed to the specific specifications of start-ups.


Financially supported in their creation stage, start-ups are resistant to recruitment difficulties that hinder their growth prospects. Reconnecting the “start-up ecosystem” with work and training is the key to unlocking the job creation potential of start-ups.

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