Recruitment in the French food industry

Under the auspices of Opcalim, the OPCA of companies in the French food industry, agricultural cooperation and food retailing sectors, the Observatories of the food sector published the results of a survey on recruitment in the sector.

Summary of recruitment in the French food industry

Three food observatories participated in this study on recruitment in the food sector: Observia, which represents the food industry, AD for retail food and the Observatory for Agricultural Cooperation. After having surveyed the HR directors, HR managers and managers of more than 5,311 companies, they summarized the results of their survey on recruitment of the sector.

In 2017, 103,000 new hires were made on open-ended contracts and on fixed-term contracts, of which 45% were permanent contracts and seasonal contracts, an increase of 14% compared to 2016. The survey was conducted from December 19, 2017  until March 16, 2018. Of all the participating institutions, 43% have recruited and 79% have reported stability, or even an increase in their activities. In 2017, 19,400 students on sandwich courses were recruited compared with 19,200 in 2016.

The sector faces recruitment difficulties

According to the latest statistics, 41% of recruiters faced difficulties when recruiting for certain positions. The major cause of these difficulties were applications that were either insufficient or unsatisfactory, as the candidates did not have the skills and qualifications required for the posts. Recruiters also cited a lack of experience or professional skills as a contributing factor to this difficulty in recruitment.

Regarding the characteristics of recruitment, 2/3 of new recruits are under 30 years old. The survey reveals that 8 out of 10 new hires concern workers or employees. While 50% of the total recruitment is carried out as part of the replacement of an employee on a permanent departure, the majority of recruitment takes place in the core of production trades with the Pays de la Loire, New Aquitaine and the Greater East recording the largest increase in recruitment in 2017.

The outlook for 2018

For 2018, companies in the food sector plan to develop the skills of their employees. Thus, employees will be trained in terms of hygiene, safety, product features or ink quality or versatility. The program has been designed to deliver improvements in technical and operational skills as well as promoting the establishment of soft skills.

27% of companies plan to increase their activity, 23% want to hire employees on fixed-term or permanent contracts and 9% want to hire alternating candidates. Finally, 68% of those surveyed have revealed that they are currently working on at least one development project.