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Industry Insights | 4 minute read

The basics of recruiting in France

June 27, 2019


An effective global talent acquisition strategy goes beyond simply hiring in different countries. For example, sourcing strategies that work well in the US may not be successful in Europe. 

In this blog post, we are going to look at the basics of recruiting in France and what to expect if you’re planning to launch recruitment in the country. Twitter icon_WilsonHCG

Types of contracts

In France, there are several types of contracts employees may have. Let’s talk about the most common ones.

  • Contrat a duree indeterminee (CDI): The CDI provides an employee with a permanent contract with the company. 
  • Contrat a duree determinee (CDD): The CDD provides an employee with a contract for a defined period of time.  
  • Alternance: Some schools and universities give students the opportunity to combine studies and work through a specific contract, known as an alternance. This contract is between the student, the school/university and the company where the student is going to work. In general, the time is divided between the school/university and the company. For example, they would split their time as such: one week at school and one week with the company, or two days at school and three days with the company. 

Employment statuses

There are two main employment statuses in France. Let’s take a look at how they differ. 

  • Statut technicien: Since 2002, the average employee in France works 35 hours per week for a full-time job. However, depending on the type of contract and the company policy, it can vary. For an employee with a technician status, if the company allows it, the employee may work up to work 39 hours per week. It doesn’t mean the employee works more for free though! At the end of the month, the employee will have worked 16 additional hours, which gives him two more days off. Those days are called reduction du temps de travail (RTT), which means a reduction of the time of work. Additionally, since 1982, every French employee is entitled to at least five weeks of holidays, which is 30 days per year. In terms of resignation, an employee with technician status is expected to give one month’s notice, regardless of their seniority.
  • Statut cadre: For an employee with an executive status, the contract is not based on hours but on days, with a maximum number of working days being 218 days per year. This means the employee works the amount of time necessary to do her tasks. These positions typically require more time than the seven to eight hours a day, and the salary is higher for these employees. Employees with executive status also have the right to RTT if the number of working days exceeds 218. In this case, the calculation should be 365 – weekends + holidays + bank holidays < 218. They are also guaranteed at least 30 days of holidays. In terms of resignation notice, the notice period is three months. 

Best sources for candidates in France




monsterMonster cadreCadremploi indeedIndeed doyoubuzzDoYouBuzz


Want to know more about attracting and recruiting top talent in France? WilsonHCG offers a full suite of services to companies based in France and those expanding into the country.

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About Pauline Stefanski

Pauline Stefanski is a French native speaker who moved to Poland three years ago. She joined the WilsonHCG Krakow office in 2018 as a talent attraction specialist. She is recruiting for IT roles, focusing mainly on security across EMEA.