Young recruits, mobility: how Benoît Serre, HRD L’Oréal France, retains talent

Young recruits mobility how Benoit Serre HRD LOreal France retains

Big resignation, quiet quitting, companies scrutinized in detail by Generation Z followed by X, Y and boomers, were some of the strong trends of 2022. And for 2023? Qué será, será, Whatever will be, will be, The future’s not ours to see… This movement could become structural in a professional world with new expectations, which is constantly changing. What meaning should I give to my work? To my life ? Beware of brands that do “washing”, social or green, to convince that they respect the standards: social networks control and track impostors. Candidates investigate and compare. They are no longer satisfied with a job, “waiting for better”. We will have to convince them: the net employment forecast in France is +27% in the first quarter of 2023, +34% in the Paris region and +31% for companies with more than 250 employees (ManpowerGroup barometer, January 2023). “There is a fairly strong disaffection for large organizations that we must try to counter,” admits Benoît Serre, HRD L’Oréal France, who is beefing up his strategy to bring together and retain talent within his group.

Talent managers, regular interviews

A brand that continues to recruit. “We have even set up a special program for young people ‘L’Oréal for youth’. The selection is normal, demanding but the company integrates a very strong individual dimension, ‘soft skills'”, indicates the one who also carries the hat of vice-president of the ANDRH (national association of HRDs). To keep these newcomers, “talent managers” accompany them and take care of careers. An already quite old HR process that allows the recruited candidate to be able to move on to the next phase. “We are very attentive to the desiderata, to the wishes of each other. This contributes to the retention of talents”. Convincing people to stay also means offering a different career path that involves internal mobility. “The employee is not locked into a sector throughout his career”. He can try the international. In addition, the compensation, company crèches and other benefits that are part of the package have allowed the company, which receives more than one million applications per year, to reach the fifth place in the world ranking Universum 2021 and the first multinational in the EU among the favorite companies of business school students.

Love the human, look at the world and have the vista

But in a mode of competition, the group must adapt to continue to seduce those who are worth it. Processes evolve. “For example, the ‘feedback is a gift’ system has been set up all over the world to meet a demand for more regular interviews and no longer just once a year. These open discussions can go up to five per year and are organized at the request of the employee”. The health crisis has gone through this and teleworking is possible twice a week: “above all, we want to preserve the cultural fund of the company. It must be a subtle balance and there is a real hybrid logic”.

The reflection around diversity and inclusion, which has existed in the group for years, has been accelerated. “This is part of the values, of the meaning of a company that candidates and employees put forward today. This dates back to the 1950s, when François Dalle, president of L’Oréal, said that a company is not not made of machines but of men. This human dimension is fundamental”. However, we live in a difficult period where the work, the organization, the role of the company are called into question. Convinced that the value of work is more demanding today than yesterday, Benoît Serre advises managers to observe “employees who bring more personal things to work than before and export others”. Touching their certainties. Do not be afraid. Do not deny the risk of major disengagement and do not blame others but find solutions, remain vigilant. “To be a good manager, you have to love people and stay tuned to the world”. And take inspiration from Roger Federer who read the trajectory of the ball a fraction of a second faster than the other. The famous vista. “At this vantage point, I would like to read the trajectory of what is happening a second before the CEO to make proposals to him… whether he will follow or not!”