Why can FrenchTech companies no longer afford to retain their best people?

Our companies, starting with start-ups, have encountered major difficulties in recruitment. Worse, they no longer retain their best elements. Decryption by Gilles Bertaux, founder of Livestorm, specializes in webinars and online events.

What are the reasons for the lack of talent in France?

The covid crisis has somewhat disrupted the labor market, which in 2020 saw many companies suffering a sharp decline in activity.

From 2021, most activity sectors sought to recruit, including Tech, which experienced the highest job offer ever recorded in France.

But, at the same time, the number of candidates has decreased, causing a shortage of talent, which has been accentuated by the development of telework and international recruitment.

It was also the Livestorm organization’s choice: all of our positions were open to teleworking and, despite the crisis, we had the opportunity to grow significantly. We encountered intense competition in Paris. So, to find the best, we are among the pioneers of “far-first” companies that prioritize Tech positions because of the simplicity for them of moving from Paris, and then extend it to others. more functions. .

Did the pandemic change the aspirations of the employees?

Another consequence of the pandemic affected recruitment. Confinement and teleworking provided time and encouraged future candidates to reflect, to reposition their personal and professional life aspirations. There are times when you may need to reconfigure your life. Now, for candidates, salary is no longer the only determining criterion. They also want to define their mission and find flexibility. Companies need to adapt and respond to a stringent requirement for balance between work and private life.

Are Tech professions particularly affected?

Another element also plays a big role in the phenomenon of talent shortage: the delay that France already has in terms of training in digital professions has been exacerbated by the Covid crisis.

Now, everyone must be digitally trained, in Tech or not. And for specialized businesses, it turns out that smaller, newer schools are attracting applicants and recruiters, at the expense of larger schools. In fact, these new schools offer better learning methods tailored to the needs of companies. This is the case of school 42 or Epitech.

For me, we should make Tech professions popular from secondary education because these sectors are a royal road in terms of employment, salary and flexibility. These specializations such as information technology, e-commerce, cybersecurity or data are underestimated. The development and competitiveness of the French Tech ecosystem could suffer greatly from this delay.

Nor should it be forgotten that the year 2021 will be a record year for French start-ups in terms of financing and therefore the simultaneous recruitment of many unicorns, which favor this shortage.

And this phenomenon seems to continue into 2022.

How should French companies maintain their talents?

I think it’s important to listen to the new expectations of the candidates. You might line up, you might not, and it’s okay. But if you become deaf and don’t try to adapt (for example by offering flexibility in remote work), you risk losing attractiveness and therefore not recruiting desired talent. You also need to understand that people quit for many reasons: the end of a cycle (they’ve been in your company for a while and need fresh air), a change in organization that they’re not on stage, or the like effects of pandemic. and career change.

You can’t really affect everyone, especially people who need fresh air, that’s natural. But you can act on other standards that match their expectations.

What levers can be activated to reverse the trend?

As I said above, listening is the lever that, in my opinion, allows you to adapt to different criteria such as flexibility, salary (but it’s important not to create inequality) , by stimulating projects, creating a healthier environment where employees can save time to devote to hobbies or otherwise.

Leaving people at some point, crisis in Covid or otherwise. All you can do to maintain them is make sure you do everything you can to create the best, most attractive environment.

Companies can also bet on wage leverage due to the impact of the emergence of Anglo-Saxon funds and practices. Only European startups will be able to adjust their salary, even if this consequence is somewhat reduced by telework.

What are the future challenges for French Tech companies?

France is taking an increasingly prominent place in the Tech world but is still being challenged by its European friends. International investments represent an important part of French Tech’s financing, which emphasizes France’s attractiveness but also raises the question of our technological sovereignty.

As I have taught before, I think we should also strengthen the area of ​​digital education in the French education system to fill the gaps between the current practices and needs of companies.

Diversity is a third element that French Tech must address. 85% of French founded start-ups created in recent years are exclusively made up of men. Only 10% of French start-ups that raise funds are made up of mixed teams. We recently launched a study that highlighted that there is a real problem with understanding Tech jobs among women, despite the fact that it has many benefits that they seek. Secondary education is not connected to the reality of the Tech professions, which however seek out skills in sales, marketing, human resources and not just in engineers. This problem of diversity comes, in my opinion, to reinforce the problem of lack of talents.

Angelina Hubner

Leave a Comment