Recruitment: 9 out of 10 SMEs have difficulty finding the right candidate

According to the latest business survey published by the Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Confédération des petites et moyennes entreprises), 9 out of 10 heads of small and medium-sized businesses are finding it difficult to recruit the right people for the job. According to them, candidates are rare and skills are sometimes lacking.

Lack of candidates, lack of skills and high turnover

The Confédération des petites et moyennes entreprises (CPME) survey of 2,300 VSE/SME managers, conducted between June 16 and July 12, 2022, highlights, among other things, the recruitment difficulties encountered by business leaders.

While 51% of them are looking to hire, 94% say they are having difficulty recruiting the right profile. Two explanations are put forward by VSE/SME managers:

  • firstly, the lack of candidates (74%),
  • a lack of skills (47%).

In addition, VSE/SME managers are faced with a worrying turnover phenomenon. Teams have to be renewed very frequently, the main reason given by company directors being employees' desire "to devote themselves to something other than their professional life" (53%), on a par with employees' desire to change business sector (51%).

According to the VSE/SME managers surveyed, turnover can also be explained by employees' desire "to go and work for a more attractive competitor" (30%), or by their wish to set up their own business (16%).


Wage increases to tackle recruitment difficulties

Faced with these recruitment difficulties, and in response to rising inflation, 65% of VSE/SME managers questioned in the CPME business survey have increased salaries in 2022. 40% have increased salaries for all employees.

Companies that have not increased salaries cite "lack of capacity" as the main reason (78%).

Whether or not they have already increased salaries since the start of the year, 58% of executives intend to implement an increase by the end of 2022 to compensate for rising inflation.

In addition, 36% of VSE/SME managers surveyed offer their employees one or more additional forms of remuneration, including employee savings, profit-sharing and incentive schemes. 15% intend to do the same by the end of the year.

68% of business owners surveyed said they had recently paid a bonus to their employees. Of these, 49% had paid individual bonuses, and 41% had favored collective PEPA bonuses (prime exceptionnelle du pouvoir d'achat, commonly known as the "Macron bonus"). Some combined both types of bonus.

Finally, the CPME business survey reveals that 71% of VSE and SME managers questioned are opposed to the introduction of an employee dividend, which would enable dividends to be paid to employees on the same principle as dividends paid to a company's partners and shareholders.

The idea of a mandatory employee dividend was floated during the 2022 presidential campaign by Emmanuel Macron, who saw it as a way of supporting French purchasing power.