Designated as the second emergency after purchasing power by the government, the shortage of labor is a real brake on growth which affects 58% of companies in 2022, i.e. 13% more than in 2021 for 350,900 vacant jobs. in the first trimester. All sectors of the future are concerned: cloud, data, energy transition, health innovation, hospitality, construction, etc. The ability of companies to attract talent and retain it becomes, for them, a condition of their development, and for investors, a criterion of distinction in the identification of future leaders. The labor shortage has also prompted investment funds to develop a tailor-made support strategy to better arm their holdings, in particular SMEs, in the face of the employment crisis and to maintain their development.
Indeed, SMEs represent 85% of vacant jobs and are the most affected by the labor shortage, less well equipped than the large groups which benefit from their brand and very efficient recruitment services. However, three levers enable SMEs to attract employees and retain them: the internalization of training, a tangible CSR strategy and the development of employee share ownership.
Create a skilled workforce yourself through in-house training
Some sectors are developing too fast for corresponding formations to emerge in time. France, for example, lags far behind in training for digital and energy transitions. Creating skills for positions where qualified candidates are lacking provides a considerable competitive advantage to the company, in particular for industrial positions requiring specialized know-how and long training. Internal training allows the company to anticipate labor needs and to protect itself, to a certain extent, against market fluctuations by advancing in time the first contacts between the company and its future employees and by hiring tailor-made profiles that can be easily integrated into the teams. By taking the lead and integrating training directly into their recruitment process, SMEs shape their own workforce and build a long-term trajectory with their future employees. This is also part of the strategy for retaining employees and talents because employees trained internally generally develop an attachment to the company, invest themselves more and a fortiori are more loyal.
The CSR strategy, leverage of the employer brand for candidates in search of meaning
The health crisis has transformed the relationship to work and the expectations of candidates who need to embrace the company’s project to find meaning in their professional commitment. In France, employees are more attracted either by large groups – whose brand can make sense – or by the entrepreneurial adventure, rather than by mid-sized companies. SMEs must therefore redouble their efforts to attract and convince candidates in the most effective way by building a real employer brand and a coherent, readable and inspiring image. A brand and an image that make it possible to establish a channel of communication with the candidates who correspond to it. Without this element, recruitment becomes an asymmetrical and opaque exchange for the candidate, who is rarely able to convince him. The CSR commitments and the overall ESG strategy of the company are therefore important levers of the employer brand and make it possible to attract candidates looking for meaning. This also contributes to the process of professionalisation of recruitment within SMEs which, unlike large groups, rarely resort to headhunters – guarantees of more direct and transparent exchanges – because of the costs inherent in this process but also because of the mobility of recruited employees.
Employee shareholding, a bulwark against the hyper mobility of qualified employees
The strong tension in the sectors in strong growth implies a strong competition between the companies and consequently a strong mobility of the employees. In partnership with their shareholders, some SMEs have developed other tools to promote their employees, retain them and offer them visibility within their company: employee share ownership. Indeed, if the salary offered by a competitor is likely to poach an employee, it is not the only criterion. Companies must offer assignments that enhance the skills of the employee, by involving him in certain decisions or by doing co-management as a pledge of trust, or by developing the company’s commitments so that employees feel that they belong to a project marked by a collective dynamic. In addition to the tax and social benefits, employee savings is a real asset in the construction of the company: it makes it possible to empower the employee, to retain him while associating him with the financial performance of the company. It also represents the long-term possibility of reaping more benefits from his involvement in the creation of value for his company. Several employee shareholding operations exist, including the capital increase which allows the company to finance its growth and employees to build up savings.
So many solutions that make it possible to resolve part of the “Schadokian” problem, as Bruno Le Maire pointed out on July 10 during the Economic Meetings of Aix-en-Provence: re-attracting applicants and the unemployed to long term.
Mayeul Caron – Partner of the Andera Expansion team
Mayeul Caron is a Partner in the Andera Expansion team of Andera Partners, which he joined in 2010 as Senior Business Manager. Previously he worked at
the 3i Buyouts team, from 2007 to 2010, after having started his career in London in M&A at Lehman Brothers then in Leveraged Finance at Barclays Capital. Since 2010, Mayeul has made 18 investments and 14 disposals with particular expertise in the Niche Manufacturing, Business Services and Software sectors. Within Andera Partners, Mayeul is a member of the College of Partners and of the Climate & Sustainability Committee. He graduated from ESSEC (2004).
Laurent Fichter – Partner of the Andera Acto team
Laurent joined the management company in July 2016 with the entire Andera Acto team. Before joining Andera Acto when it was created in 2006, he had previously 7 years of experience in acquisition financing within the Leveraged Finance department of Crédit Lyonnais in London and then at Mezzanis, the mezzanine fund of Crédit Agricole Private.
Equity. At Andera Acto, Laurent supported and sat on the boards of HVJ, Delpharm, Cesa, FTS, Rougnon, Skill&You, Emeraude, Abrisud, Sotralu and RG Safety. Laurent currently supports and sits on the boards of BEA Group, TBS Group, Eleven Strategy, Unaferm, Oberthur, FH Ortho, 3S, Walor, Prenax, Ellisphere and SMB/Factoria. Laurent is a graduate of Paris-Dauphine University where he obtained a Master’s degree and a DESS. He is also a graduate of IEP Paris.