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  • José Roda

Continuous training: the answer to SME recruitment difficulties?

The war for talent is not just a journalistic phrase. With an unemployment rate of 7.2% according to INSEE, the French economy is flirting with full employment. As a result, nearly one SME in two is looking to recruit. And what if continuing training was the answer to the equation?

According to figures recently published by the CPME, 87% of companies have difficulty identifying the right talent. In this context, employee retention and the ability to develop their skills over time are strategic priorities! "The war for talent is often reduced to a recruitment issue. However, the war for talent describes a triptych: attractiveness, loyalty and commitment. We need to take a systematic approach to the issue, because there is no single answer to a single challenge", observes Thomas Chardin, CEO and founder of ParlonsRH. Is training the right weapon in the war for talent? In any case, it's an indispensable weapon that contributes to the strong responses required by the job market.

According to the survey "Les Français, l'emploi et la formation", carried out by OpinionWay for Netmedia & Eduform'Action, 78% of employees consider training to be an important criterion in their career choices. For two out of three employees, access to training is very important for their professional development... Yet only 55% of French employees say they are satisfied with the training offered in their current job, and 52% consider the training support and advice they receive when they start work and throughout their career to be inadequate.

Between skills, desire and loyalty

Against a backdrop of talent shortages, "the primary performance lever in recruitment is to improve retention", stresses Thomas Chardin. He points out that, while the notion of a war for talent is often evoked, it is more often a question of a skills shortage. And yet, skills development is the primary mission of continuing training. "Over and above the skills shortage, companies are also (and above all!) faced with a shortage of desire!" Training, by helping to broaden or renew the spectrum of missions that an employee can fulfil, and by reinforcing his or her position within the company, "sometimes (not always!) helps to restore the desire to want to want to".

Giving new impetus to a professional career, improving efficiency, broadening horizons... the motivations of employees who aspire to training are varied. "Nearly nine out of ten working people are convinced of the need for ongoing training throughout their career," comments Cécile Béziat, Managing Director of Eduform'Action, a federation of seven training organizations, one initial training school and two apprentice training centers, representing some 60,000 learners a year. 83% of them are even convinced that training will enable them to retrain several times in their career.

Continuing training is clearly an attractive option for companies in the recruitment phase, but also as a lever for existing employees.

Recognition for sustainable employability

The survey "Les Français, l'emploi et la formation" (The French, employment and training) highlights another reality: 61% of working people plan to take training in less than two years to acquire new skills. This urgent need for training reflects not only the new expectations of employees, whose relationship with the company has changed. For Franck Roger, Director of Development at Kedge Business School, "employees want their skills to be recognized.

Today, we're no longer content to assert what we are or what we aspire to become, we expect this to be sanctioned by a label, a certification or a diploma." This trend is confirmed among current employees. "They don't necessarily want to change jobs, or even companies, but they do want their skills to be officially recognized," continues the expert. But this is not the only reason why French employees are so keen on continuing training. "With the development of artificial intelligence, new forms of collaboration and emerging technologies, it appears that 85% of the professions of 2030 will not have dedicated training", notes Cécile Béziat. A point of view shared by Thomas Chardin, who adds: "Faced with the array of transformations brought about by digital technology in the broadest sense of the term, and by AI in particular, we need to turn the corner on skills development, which is the only guarantee of business agility".

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