As I have gained almost all of my work experience in Lithuania so far, it was very interesting to see what the recruitment world looks like in France. Here I have been spinning in this world for more than a year now, crossing new barriers and breaking new horizons every day. I have to admit that my French has improved the most since I started interviewing candidates in French. Oh how much preparation the first phone calls took! Sometimes to make a 15 min call I was preparing for 45min 🙂No matter how many years we have lived in another country, the locals still hear the accent, so I “employed” this nuance for a good purpose – it became a great ice-breaker for me at the beginning of the interview. I’ve noticed that taking the focus away from the candidate for a moment and sharing a fact about myself helps the candidate to relax more and perform better.
So this time I want to summarise and share my observations on the differences I saw between the Lithuanian and French recruitment market:
- France is a big country with over 60 million inhabitants (compared to Lithuania with less than 3 million), so when I started to work with Linkedin searches and saw many thousands of search results it was a refreshing feeling 🙂 of course, the number of inhabitants doesn’t negate the fact that in France, as everywhere, it’s not very easy to fill the vacancies, but at least it gives you the impression that you will have a lot of options to choose from;
- one of the things that surprised me the most was that job ads still quite often ask for motivation letters. In Lithuania, I can’t remember seeing this in job ads for a very long time;
- if you are not looking for top managers, there is a good chance that you will get a lot of CVs on job search portals and you will find the right candidate using a pull strategy alone;
- job offers with a fixed-term contract are quite common. Due to the rather strict regulation of the employment relationship, companies tend to opt for a relatively more flexible option, or to extend the probationary period and follow the fixed-term contract with an open-ended one;
- I find the recruitment process in France much more formal and longer, whereas in Lithuania the speed, I would say, has a much greater impact on the outcome of the recruitment process, and it is not surprising to call a candidate who has sent in a CV on the same day or the following day;
- while in Lithuania recruitment is more or less intensive all year round, in France August should be taken off the agenda and not wasted 🙂 the whole country is on a massive holiday at the moment;
- France has a much greater national and cultural diversity. On one project, I felt quite strange when I had to find a way to ask the candidates about their nationality in the very first contact on Linkedin, as the IT position was related to government projects and sensitive information that legally can only be accessed by nationals. In Lithuania, it would be hard to imagine such a situation, because in almost all cases, if you look at a candidate’s CV or profile, there is no doubt about their nationality;
- during the last year, I have had the impression that in France the communication style between the recruiter and the candidate is much more formal than in Lithuania. I think this is due to cultural differences; it is quite common to be addressed as ‘ma’am’, ‘sir’, etc.;
- when I was looking for candidates for management positions in the field of communication, I was expecting to have to work harder at the sales stage when dealing with professionals at this level, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the candidates often took the initiative to show their motivation and present their competences and projects. In contrast, in Lithuania, when dealing with higher level professionals or managers, especially during a direct search, the candidate does not show much interest at the outset without first finding out all the potential value that the company can provide;
- The “easy apply” option is used much less frequently in Linkedin job ads than in Lithuania.
I believe that this is just the beginning of my discoveries and I will have the opportunity to share future observations.
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With best wishes for growth,