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Recruiting Top Talent in France 

Recruitment can be a tricky business, especially when a company is venturing to unfamiliar countries and exploring new markets. This is where we come in to oversee the process for you - Bradford Jacobs’ expertise and over 20 years of experience in international recruitment services is indispensable for expansion into France.

Hiring the right talent in France to expand your company can result in a thriving business with numerous opportunities. However, the recruitment process can be complicated when you have no physical presence in France yet. Our PEO and EOR service can be the solution for your company.

Are you curious about the recruitment process in France? In this guide, we will share the ground rules of hiring and recruiting talent in France. Our comprehensive knowledge of all French employment sectors and understanding of the culture and customs guarantees an untroubled transition.

The Recruitment Process in France

If you are expanding your business into France, you do not need to establish a legal entity in the country to hire new employees. However, it is crucial to your recruitment drive to know where to locate the best talent who are a ‘perfect fit’ for your company’s activities.

The answers do not come easily – and once the right employee is found, employers must follow strict registration procedures. These include:

  • Apply to the Ministry of Economy and Finance with Form 2043 to obtain employees’ individual tax numbers
  • Register employees with their local tax office (Service des Impôts des Particuliers)
  • Register employees with the Agence Centrale des Organismes de Sécurité Sociale (ACOSS) so they qualify for the social security system, and the Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d’Allocations Familiales, (URSSAF), which processes social security contributions
  • Draft employee contracts, which to be legally valid must be in French, with translations as required
  • Report to the French authorities on regular and overtime working hours, tax-exempt elements on the monthly pay slip as well as withholding tax and social security deductions
  • Apply for employees’ permits and visas if required
  • Apply for employees’ special expatriation status if applicable
  • Calculate employees’ monthly salaries and provide their pay slips
  • Research any available tax-free allowances or benefits
  • Submit employees’ and employers' wage tax returns and national insurance forms
  • Correspond with the applicable national authorities regarding payroll changes and payments
  • Create a payment schedule for wage tax, social insurances, and net wages

The recruitment process is time-consuming and requires dedication – a difficult task when faced with a host of other complicated issues involved in international expansion. By engaging Bradford Jacobs as your Employer of Record (EOR) we can provide all the answers. We will convert your expansion blueprint for France into an action plan with a few simple steps:

  1. Bradford Jacobs locates the perfect employees for your company, then steps in as EOR to ensure they comply with French employment contracts law, payroll, HR, visa requirements and permits (if required).
  2. We manage all work-related registration formalities and on-going employment issues while you have daily control of your employees.
  3. The employees complete their time sheets, and any expenses claims, and we invoice you, the client. Once paid, we deduct all contributions to the relevant French authorities and transfer the balance into the employees’ accounts.

Within a few days, your company has international presence in France – in a prime position to explore further expansion into Europe without risking the expense or stress of setting up your own subsidiary or branch office in the country.

Legal Checks you can make on Employees in France

Article 9 of the French Civil Code – ‘Everyone is entitled to a right to respect his/her private life’ – underpins generally what is permitted to be asked of potential employees. Further Articles of the French Labor Code (FLC) impose other restrictions regarding interview questions and what can be asked during employment. For example:

  • In general: Requested information must be directly relevant to the position and to assessing professional ability
  • Privacy: No personal information can be gathered without the individual’s knowledge and must be lawfully collected and for legitimate reasons, under rules of the French Data Protection Authority
  • Discrimination: Candidates cannot be rejected on grounds of ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, family status, nationality, political or religious beliefs, health, disability, or trade union membership
  • Financial background: There are no credit background checks in France

Permitted checks include:

  • Eligibility to work: Verifying any non-French applicants have the required work or residence permits.
  • Criminal record checks: In regulated occupations relating to cash transportation, security, surveillance, municipal police officers and airport workers, employers can request the applicant to provide an extract from their criminal record. Employers cannot access the information.
  • References and education checks: Collecting references from former employers or clients and education checks are permitted, with the candidate’s permission.

Basic Facts on Hiring in France

  • Employers’ questions during an interview should be restricted to the job in question, according to the French Civil Code, Labor Code, and the French Data Protection Authority.
  • Terms and conditions of employment come under the umbrella of the French Labor Code (Code du Travail), which governs all mandatory and statutory individual and collective regulations regarding such as minimum wages, working hours, overtime and paid annual leave.
  • The Social Security Code (Code de la Sécurité Sociale) covers employees’ sickness, maternity, and paternity benefits. The Penal Code (Code Pénal) can apply to matters of discrimination, health, and safety.
  • Where there are differences between the Labor Code and collective or trade union agreements, the terms apply which are most beneficial to the employee.
  • Permanent contracts for full-time employment do not need to be written, though some collective agreements make this mandatory. When written they must be in French as the legal reference (translations can be requested) and should include such information as – names and addresses of parties, job title and location, working hours, salary, paid leave, any probation period, notice period.
  • Employees must be registered with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to obtain individual tax numbers and with their local tax office (Service des Impôts des Particuliers).
  • Employees must also be registered with the Agence Centrale des Organismes de Sécurité Sociale (ACOSS) and the Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d’Allocations Familiales, (URSSAF), which handles social security contributions.
  • Working hours are generally 35 per week and must not exceed 44 on average over 12 weeks.
  • Overtime is based on a working week of 35 hours, with the first eight hours earning 25% above basic hourly rate and subsequent hours 50% above.
  • Notice periods are governed by the Labor Code or collective agreements. The statutory minimum is one month’s notice for between six months and two years’ service, with two months applying above two year’s employment.
  • Paid vacation is for a minimum of five weeks after one year’s employment, although collective agreements can allow for more.

Working with a Recruitment Agency in France

The main public recruitment and employment service in France is Pôle emploi, which provides advice for jobseekers and employers to facilitate successful recruitment by publishing vacancies, searching for candidates, and organizing job fairs. The site matches skills with requirements from an online data base of four million candidates and an average 600,000 daily vacancies.

France is a member of EURES, The European Union’s European Employment Services network which covers countries throughout the EU. France’s membership links it with employment organizations throughout the EU to facilitate employment initiatives, supply information on job markets and use the database to link with EU and European Economic Area nations and Switzerland.

France’s EURES platform has information on vacancies, apprenticeships, working and living conditions and freedom of movement between EU and EEA members.

Employers can also use private employment agencies, which operate nationally and regionally. Different agencies may specialize in work with international companies, but applicants will still be expected to have some knowledge of French. Some agencies will concentrate on the public sector and jobs in other specific sectors.

What are the Benefits of Hiring Outsourcing for France?

Outsourcing recruitment into France provides the major benefit of a more efficient, speedy, and cost-effective business expansion. Utilizing this service allows companies to focus on managing their new enterprise and fulfilling their development goals. Other significant advantages from outsourcing include:

  • An extensive talent search completed with reduced costs
  • Ensures employment compliance issues are met with no hassle or sanctions
  • Removes the need to establish premises for a subsidiary
  • More control over your company’s capital expenditure
  • Alleviates risks with an easy operation that gives the employer the opportunity to explore new markets
  • Improves work flexibility
  • Allows you to focus on your core business operations

Our Solution

At Bradford Jacobs, our Employer of Record (EOR) services take care of employee recruitment, onboarding, payroll, compliance and providing ongoing support. We choose the best-qualified talent to fill the roles you need. We use our know-how to guarantee you comply with all French payroll regulations, including salaries, tax, and social insurance by the time your new employees are sitting at their desks.

To get started on your recruitment expansion in France, contact us today.