“Where are the interns?” : Claire DEspagne and her “difficulties” in recruiting, a textbook case of bad buzz

His name might ring out if you’ve been hanging out on social media for 48 hours. Since Monday, Claire DEspagne, boss and founder of a start-up that specializes in natural food supplements and other cosmetic products, has been the subject of a storm of criticism and ridicule after an interview given on April 15 .In the podcast “Freedom of Entrepreneurship”, the creator of this brand, has a harrowing word against the trainees he is trying to “recruit” for his company. The latter, and the schools that send them, have been accused of not understanding the reality of the world of work and especially of start-ups.

“Recruitment is bad right now, very complicated. Wondering where the interns are? “, Annoyed he said. This former consultant for asset manager BlackRock openly criticizes the trend of favoring work study contracts over traditional internships. “We are forced to take turns. (…) I, now, don’t like work-study students, I think it’s insane, that’s all we find. “A reality of the work world that annoys the leader to the point of pushing his mind a little further.” It’s hard. We have schools telling us, I’m not ashamed to say it in front of the camera, if I find out that my intern works more than 35 hours a week, I will let him stop your internship. Well, it will be difficult then for your intern to find a job and buy an apartment, “insisted the founder of D + For Care.” Given the world I live in, if I don’t work 80 hours a week there is very little chance of having I have an apartment, a second house and maybe another one after that ”.

This last sentence, released in a short audio extract, caused intense reaction on social networks. And how much can be said that his perspective on the trainees ’working hours did not capture the expected echo. In less than 48 hours, an explosion of humor and other parodies – in total several tens of thousands of tweets – fell in the name of thirty -something Parisian.

That’s where the relationship ended, but Claire DEspagne’s words could have disastrous consequences on her business-thriving until then, if we believe an article last February in Les Échos. “D + For Care, a nugget that specializes in the design of food supplements, cosmetics and well-being products, follows a hypergrowth curve as high as that of the prestigious member of French Tech 120” assured the daily economy at the time, the company boasted several million euros in turnover.

“Trainees and slaves are confused”

Despite the irony, the Claire DEspagne brand was actually the victim of an attack on the company’s Google page. While most of the posts were somewhat flattering, a litany of comments related to intern abuse circulated on the page. In all, nearly 5,000 negative reviews caused the brand’s “rating” to drop to 1.1, with some even regretting the impossibility of giving it zero.

In this context of harassment, a source close to Claire DEspagne told Le Figaro that the businessman had received “physical threats against her, her family, team members”. “Efforts are focused on ensuring the safety of all and contain disproportionate violence in the short term,” the source told the Daily.

The price to pay is likely to be high in terms of “e-reputation”

For the “tricolor rising star of Internet-born brands” who work hard on social networks, especially Instagram, the price to pay is likely to be high in terms of “e-reputation”. The brand has also shut down comments on its Instagram account to more than 50,000 subscribers in two days. Same thing with the professional network LinkedIn where the post of the “recruitment” announcement of trainees is also attacked by negative comments. He was even accused of posting a dozen internship offers online at one time, an illegal offer due to the size of his company.

“I want that in fifteen years, with or without me, this brand will still remain! “explained the business manager to Echoes in February, this internet hurricane could seriously thwart his ambitions. In the meantime, the small company is only officially looking for … four interns.

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