Big Dossier: What future for the recruitment sector in the face of the “freelance” movement?

Initially, it was about freedom, flexibility, independence, and chosen working time. The freelance movement was growing in France, coworkings were multiplying (and always multiplying) in Bordeaux. The “Generation Deliveroo” seems, however, to taste the bitter fruits of its imposed freedom.

At issue is a job market partially at half-mast, a mismatch between supply and demand, and a windfall effect for some (large) employers, towards the abandonment of the sacrosanct CDI in favour of a renewable, inexpensive, and less “risky” workforce, all without “offshoring” … All these elements redistribute the cards while making the rules of the game uncertain.

A woman works on her computer

The supply and demand for employment, a growing dislove

Freelance, towards a paradigm shift in the world of employment

At the national level, the job market may seem intriguing… Indeed, the Qapa employment barometer 2017-2018 highlights a growing trend of a certain mismatch between supply and demand. For example, in terms of the type of contract, where many employers are primarily looking to retain and stabilize their staff, candidates are no longer, it seems, looking for the famous SESAME CDI and do not necessarily want to commit to a long-term commitment to an employer.

On the other hand, candidates most often present themselves with a minimum degree level higher than the Bac, when for the majority of the positions offered recruiters do not often do so. Recently, the employment ratio has gradually changed, with demand for CDI increased from 34% to 21%. At the same time, the offer also decreases slightly on this type of contract, in favour of the interim and seasonal contracts. Uncertainty about the economic situation, the reluctance of commitment or even the beginning of a real sociological evolution in the relationship to employment?

Changes in contract types

Which sectors recruit the most?

Official link:

The sectors that are recruiting in 2018

The age of chosen working time

It is a slow evolution, which does not seem to have been anticipated, which highlights the growing mismatch between candidates’ research and employers’ proposals. Indeed, as early as 2008, the aspirations of the French for free time began to increase. However, these are sociological developments that began in the 1930s, particularly in relation to individual freedom related to the automobile, having gradually changed our relationship to time and distance.

Since the industrial revolutions of the 18th century, the relationship to work has continued to rely on better productivity, on the search for time savings; an increase in development at the end of the Second World War, with technical progress allowing for exponential increase in production capacity. This has been accompanied by a certain liberalization of time, which can be spent in part on consumption and leisure.

As a result, it is striking that at the beginning of the 19th century, the annual working time was 3041 hours per active (in 1831), compared to 1631 hours in the early 1990s. This time saved, beyond the leisure time of paid leave, is as much free time to use, individually.

Today’s workers, especially the 25-35 year old generation, can find themselves in a logic of “nomadism”, “experience”, with a desire for freedom of choice, to be always “on the road”, according to François de SINGLY.

The working time of the French

According to a CREDOC study, “Conditions of life and aspirations”, the assets are certainly looking for better purchasing power, but they are especially concerned about having enough free time for themselves, their families, their children… This is due on the one hand to sociological evolution, but also to the consequences of economic developments. Indeed, as P. CINGOLANI points out, “the flexibility of work has been developing since the early 1980s, many occupations today in which young people have no choice but to be mobile.” The first intention is to change constantly, until wearyness.

In response, while the CDI is still predominantly represented in employment contracts, companies are increasingly using the UNDC, without complexities, in order to limit the risk in the event of a downturn, to give themselves time to assess the skills of the person recruited, but also to exempt themselves from the constraints associated with the ILC.

On the other hand, New Aquitaine is an exception, since in 2018, CDI’s proposals on the Region have increased by 31%, with more than 71% of the jobs offered on this type of contract. This situation can be explained in particular by the installation of numerous regional headquarters of companies with national or even international scope.

However, this is a situation that is not necessarily intended to be repeated in a national context of rather contracted employment.

The 2018 barometer of the 90th-50-year-former in New Aquitaine

Hiring aids, work orders… Mention “Insufficient”

In recent years, the constraints that companies have been talking about in terms of employment have often been based on the lack of flexibility in employment contracts, but also on the lack of hiring aids. Of course there is no shortage of devices, but on the one hand they are incomplete, on the other hand they do not coincide with the reality of the world of work. On the one hand, companies are subject to payroll taxes at a significant cost, on the other hand candidates do not necessarily seek (no longer) to “commit for life” to a company, which increases the financial risk for the employer, dependent on a turn-over having difficulty justifying the costs of training and integration of a new employee.

The ABSOLUCE cabinet recalls some of the hiring aids still in force.

Assistance to employers in rural revitalization zones (RRZs) or urban free zones (ZFU) – companies with less than 50 employees: for companies operating in a RRZ, under certain conditions, it is possible to benefit from partial exemptions from employer charges, subject to the hiring of an employee with an hourly wage of less than 240% of the SMIC. In ZFU, the company can also benefit from exemptions from employer contributions for 5 years, then degressively for three years.

For new companies investing in research and development, the status of JEI – Young Innovative Enterprise, is very interesting. For companies under the age of 8, created until 31 December 2019, jeI status allows for social and tax exemptions. However, the conditions for obtaining this status are strict and are based above all on the fact that they have incurred research and development expenses under the same criteria as for the Research Tax Credit. The exemptions from payroll taxes apply to employees whose position is assigned to research and development, at a minimum of 50%.

For certain categories of workers, some aid is also possible. For example, assistance for professional integration is open to the recruitment of a person aged 45 and over in CDI or CDD for 12 months or more, a job seeker who has worked less than 6 months in a row in the twelve months prior to hiring, or a person in a suitable or protected sector. This is a one-time financial aid, to the tune of 2000 euros for a full-time job, 1000 euros for part-time work.

As for the “Labour Law” ordinances of 22 September 2017, and their related decrees, social renewal has not yet been fully achieved. As a reminder, these orders were main measures the strengthening of collective enterprise bargaining, securing the litigation of dismissal with notably a cap on compensation, the creation of new rules of voluntary termination of the employment contract, or the creation of project or construction cdi, allowing to “stick” a recruitment to a project or a dedicated construction site , outside the CDD’s deemed too strict framework.

A little more than a year later, it is clear from the Ministry of Labour that if companies are gradually taking ownership of these new devices, the branches themselves are taking the turn, especially with regard to the construction site CDI for example, which only the UIMM branch (Union of Metallurgical Industries and Trades) has taken into account in a collective agreement..

A woman with a cape and super powers

Executive employment, an expected boom in 2019?

According to APEC, 2018 has been a somewhat mixed year for executive employment. Indeed, French GDP growth, slowing in the first half of 2018, has been confirmed. One of the consequences of the increase in the price of oil, the appreciation of the dollar against the euro, and more generally a “protectionist” context to the detriment of the euro area.

As a result, 2019 looks somewhat mixed. While overall the level of employment does not decline for managers, it is actually boosted by replacements (or even “movements), rather than real job openings.

In New Aquitaine, the recruitment of executives is expected to evolve favourably, with an expected increase of 14%. However, in view of a region, the largest in France, which represents only 5% (!) of the forecasts for the recruitment of executives at the national level, this is a positive development certainly, but the ratio is extremely low… With nearly 15,000 recruitments planned, we are half the forecast for the Auvergne Rhône Alpes, for example.

Among these, companies are primarily looking for experienced executives with 6 to 10 years of experience, mainly in commercial and marketing functions, as well as in research and development.

The deficit of candidates for the sector to the person

In conjunction with these recruitment forecasts, there is a plethora of offers in the personal assistance sector, or in sectors requiring low qualifications. Like Maison and Services, companies looking for candidates do not hesitate to launch major events of JOb Dating in order to seduce their future employees. Last autumn, the Maison and Services network, on the occasion of the “National Day of Cleanliness”, recruited nearly 1000 employees in CDI throughout France on the basis of some 130 national locations.

Their clientele: mainly individuals who need gardening, ironing, cleaning… More generally maintenance of their home. “Our businesses are seeing a growing demand for home care services to create new jobs. The origin of the MAISON and SERVICES network and our business know-how come from cleanliness. It is therefore only natural that we wanted to orchestrate a national recruitment event allowing us to enhance our different professions” says Patrice DENIAU, Founding President of the MAISON and SERVICES network.

A perfect example of the potential for recruitment, which can be found in New Aquitaine. Regionally, according to Qapa, the proposed positions reflect very disparate sectors, but some activities stand out, such as hospital service workers, commercial staff, premises maintenance workers and restaurant waiters.

The 5 most-proposed jobs in New Aquitaine

Reinventing recruitment as the “work relationship”

When recruitment is “platform”

In recent years, in the margins of traditional recruitment, companies have gradually been seduced by the work of freelancers. Initially, it is a utopia of salary revisited: chosen working time, flexible hourly volume, better remuneration… In fact, there is an average daily rate in Bordeaux of around 300 euros, for specific missions with high added value.

Beyond the network and word of mouth, freelancing has now become a real business, with the rise of intermediation platforms that stand out, and somewhat dehumanize the customer-freelance relationship, with a philosophy closer to that of the Anglo-Saxon countries, where the value of work is monetized, like any product.

From Humaniance, to Missioneo, through Malt or Crème de la Crème, the platforms dedicated to freelancing allow to connect customers and freelancers in order to refocus freelancers on their core business, and a little less on the commercial and customer acquisition part. Recently, Crème de la Crème, initially dedicated to connecting “gifted” students and companies fond of skills at a lower cost, has evolved its business model, now positioning itself as an expert profile detector, for the benefit of large companies, in particular. Since their creation in 2015, Crème de la Crème has claimed more than 5000 corporate clients such as BNP Paribas, L’Oréal and Accor Hotels.

Another international success story is Malt, formerly Hopwork, which has been around since 2013. After several fundraisers during its development, led by major investors, Malt has turned its business model towards the support and security of freelancers, a kind of “super papa” of freelancing internationally.

The platform also distinguishes itself with a logic of highlighting freelancers and not highlighting projects and offers of customers. On Malt first, customers look for and select an expert. All exchanges, from quotes to billing, are accompanied, secured, and commissioned by Malt, including a logic of prepayment on the part of the client, with retention of funds, until the completion of the mission entrusted.

From augmented HR to freelance investment firms

In this context, with the emergence of new digital and digital professions, however, the HR function is not at half-mast, as indicated by THE ANDRH, association of human resource professionals and APEC. As Pierre Lamblin, Apec’s Director of Data, Studies and Analysis, points out:

“Like other executive functions, the HR function benefits from the very good dynamics of the framework labour market and the transformations in the companies in which it is very involved in accompanying employees in a close relationship with managers. »,

In order to recruit the right people, social networks and professional networks contribute more than 15% of the candidates, however, traditional recruitment practices are firmly resurfaced. Indeed, most of the selected candidates first responded to an offer, and to refine the selection, recruiters continue to favour telephone exchange in pre-selection as well as the verification of diplomas, but also the reference. A way to put the human at the heart of the HR relationship, and to draw on past relationship exchanges in order to refine his selection of candidates.

In this sense, unsolicited applications are always carefully considered. After all, the candidate already has an appetite for the company concerned, especially if the spontaneous application is truly personalized and adapted to the coveted company.

This seems to be the key: to recruit the ideal candidate, who certainly has the skills and experience, but also the will to integrate into the company. On the other hand, the field of freelancing is relatively new in France, so recruitment professionals as well as HR managers have not necessarily become familiar with the good criteria for selecting these non-salary workers.

New platforms stamped “Freelance Recruitment Expert” are beginning to emerge. The idea? go beyond connecting, accompanying and advising clients in the search for the right freelancing candidate. This is particularly the case for Silkom, which describes itself as a recruitment firm specializing in computer, digital and connected objects. Created in 2013, the firm has the distinction of integrating freelancers as such in its “panoply” of candidates for recruitment, “one-off resource” of the company.

Similarly, according to Thomas Jajeh, founder of the Start-up Twago, established in Berlin, in partnership with Randstadt, one of the big names in recruitment and temporary work in France, freelancing must be taken into account from a broader perspective than the national soil, with references other than the traditional recruitment sector. A real “modern labour market” that “allows individuals and businesses to find experts online to collaborate on projects”.

Visibility and branding issue

Visibility Issue and Personal Branding

“There is a lot of talk about networking, CV presentation, social media development, interviews to present its ‘service offering’, but how can we make a decisive impact? » In order for the “matching” between the company and the freelancer to take place, between the desire for flexibility and a lasting change in the working relationship, the issue now seems to lie, on both sides, in visibility and Personal Branding. A work of self-image to undertake as soon as the studies continue, to have a chanc to stand out from the crowd in this new jungle of the modern job market.

The freelance movement has (re)organized itself and given pride of place to new actors, re-intermediating the working relationship while risking leading to a certain impoverishment.

In need of a recruitment professional, a good “selector” of candidates and above all, “the right person”, when the “freelances” can seem interchangeable, and above all, a “manne” of experts (low cost) inexhaustible, while responding, a priori, to social aspirations?

Restoring value to the missions carried out, who knows, if, in the long run, the search for a better service relationship, more qualitative missions, will not end up restoring its credentials to professionalism.

What if that’s what the new flexibility is?


Site de Qapa

Report Villermé published in 1840 , taken over by Olivier MARCHAND and Claude THELOT (1991), Two centuries of work in France, INSEE studies, Paris, INSEE, 1991, 204 p

Philippe FORAY, SINGLY François de. How can you help the child become himself? French Journal of Education , [En ligne] 174 – January-March 2011, posted on 15 March 2011, accessed on 06 February 2019

Job market barometer: New Aquitaine and engineers in the spotlight

Macron Orders

APEC, Apec 2019 Forecast: The vitality of executive employment is confirmed

Press release October 18, 2018: 1st national jobdating for the home network and services

Freelance in Bordeaux

Silkhom website

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