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France Recruiting & Hiring

Expanding your business into a new country means you need a dedicated team of high-quality employees to help build it up. Once you decide to expand to France, the next big step is dipping into the talent pool.

You’ll need to understand workplace culture and expectations in France before you begin staffing and recruiting. However, it’s equally vital to meet all France employment compliance laws to save money and keep your company from a potential shutdown. Here is everything you need to know about recruiting, hiring, and employment compliance in France.

Recruiting in France

In France, staffing and recruiting will most likely be a slightly different process than the one you are used to in your country of origin. Having an understanding of French culture and business etiquette will go a long way in helping your company to recruit the best employees to build out your international team.

1. Punctuality Is Appreciated, but Not Essential

In France, time management is valued socially and in the workplace. You should do your best to arrive at meetings and appointments on time, and your prospective employees will do the same. However, the majority of people will tolerate running about five minutes late. Most employers won’t write off an otherwise excellent candidate just because they are a few minutes late to a meeting.

2. Host Events Instead of Giving Gifts

In some countries, there is an expectation of gift-giving between new business associates. It’s not necessary to give gifts in France. Instead, you might choose to invite candidates and new hires to dinner or host another event. If a business associate invites you to their home, then you should bring the host a small gift such as fine chocolate or flowers.

3. Avoid Small Talk During Meetings

Most meetings in France tend to follow an agenda, so there is little room for small talk. You should be sure to prepare relevant, important talking points before meeting with prospective job candidates.

4. Don’t Expect a Decision Right Away

In general, the French don’t enjoy being pressured into quick decision making. This principle applies to job offers as well, so try not to be too pushy throughout the process of recruiting. You could lose out on a valuable candidate if you don’t give them enough time to weigh their options before accepting a position at your company.

A Look at the Recruitment Process in France

As you begin recruiting and staffing in France, you should pay attention to legal requirements as well as cultural expectations. As much as you want to ensure that a candidate is a good fit for your company before hiring them, the laws in France limit the amount of information you can request during the recruitment process.

Legal Preventions Against Discrimination in France

Like many other countries, France has laws in place to prevent discrimination during staffing and recruitment as well as in the workplace. However, protection doesn’t just apply to typical categories like gender, age, and sexual orientation. In France, employees are protected against discrimination based on the following protected classes:

  • Religious convictions
  • Membership in trade unions
  • Political opinions
  • Place of residence
  • Ability to express oneself in languages other than French
  • Physical appearance
  • Gender identity
  • Membership or lack thereof in a particular race, nation, or ethnicity
  • Family situation
  • Vulnerability due to an economic or financial situation
  • Bank domiciliation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Loss of autonomy
  • Genetic characteristics

You’ll need to avoid asking any questions about these topics during the process of staffing and recruiting in France. To be safe, you shouldn’t ask for any information that is not directly related to the job. You should also avoid language referring to any of these categories in job postings and advertisements.

Along the same lines, there are certain documents and information that you cannot ask potential hires to provide. These include:

  • Personal data, such as the candidate’s Social Security identity number.
  • School records, other than copies of diplomas.
  • Previous pay slips and salary history.
  • Criminal records, unless they are absolutely necessary based on the nature of the position or specific job requirements.

How to Hire French Employees

Hiring employees in France can be difficult because litigation and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are common. The best way to employ and onboard a new worker is through a strong, written employment contract. Agreeing to an air-tight employment contract, as well as keeping employee payslips and documents, could save you from legal trouble in the future.

The employment contract and offer letter should include:

  • Compensation and bonuses in Euros
  • Benefits
  • Termination requirements
  • Job description

Since CBAs are common in France, make sure what you are offering your employees either meets or exceeds those agreements. They typically cover everything from working conditions to employee benefits, so ensuring your employment contract matches any benefits listed in the CBA is essential.

France Employment Compliance

As an employer, France employment compliance states you must give employees an itemized payslip that includes their gross salary, net salary, social security contributions, complementary pensions, and unemployment insurance. Keeping these payslips for your records can also help you avoid any litigation in the case of termination.

Most businesses opt to pay their employees once a month, but there is no legal obligation to do so. You can compensate your employees daily, weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, or annually. Small or independent businesses can pay workers with cash or a check. However, larger companies with a subsidiary in France may find that using electronic payments is easier for a larger number of employees.

How to Onboard Employees

There is no one specific way to onboard employees in France, but you can make your employee’s first day and week more comfortable in several ways. After you hire an employee in France, go over the employment contract with them before or during their first day. You can also discuss any other documents such as an employee code of conduct or additional job expectations. Prepare to travel back and forth to France during this time, or station an employee at your subsidiary office to help new employees.

Benefits of France Hiring Outsourcing

Choosing to outsource your France hiring with Globalization Partners can bring numerous benefits. First, we’ll recruit top talent for your company that will help you build your subsidiary. We’ll also handle everything from payroll to HR concerns, so you can focus on running your business. As the Employer of Record, we’ll place the liability of France employment compliance on our shoulders instead of yours.

Why Globalization Partners?

We’ll help you grow your business and stay compliant while doing it. Contact us today to learn more.

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