Tailored employment policies at Eiffage
The great diversity of the group's activities, along with its increasing internationalisation, are strengths in the context of a still struggling economy. Growth in France was relatively slow in 2015, which naturally impacted the construction and public works sector. In this context, Eiffage pursues employment policies that foster mobility within the group and strengthen employees' professional development at every level of the hierarchy.
he Group encourages sustained employment and mobility implemented under the divisions' operational responsibility through employment and expertise planning agreements and plans, generational contract agreements and action plans, training plans and mobility charters.
Sustained employment and evolving professions
At APRR and AREA, the Human Resources policy relies on five key principles - transparency, anticipation, diversity and equal opportunities, efficiency and respect – and pursues four main goals: supporting technical, technological and organisational changes, employability and employee career development, psychosocial risk reduction, and compliance with equal opportunity and diversity commitments.
Under the employment and expertise planning agreements respectively signed in June and December 2014 for APRR and AREA, employees have greater visibility of the measures deployed and can request personalised support, particularly for professional development. These agreements present all the measures -meetings, appraisal, training, support, validation of professional learning, qualifying courses- that contribute to professional and skills development.
ISR for everyone at APRR and AREA
In 2015, for the second year running, all APRR and AREA employees received an Individual Social Report (ISR). This factual and informative document, specific to each member of staff, presents all the company benefits provided over the past year, covering total remuneration, retirement pensions and welfare benefits, other advantages, training, work organisation, leave and absences. Based on employee responses to the satisfaction questionnaires, the skills topic was expanded to individual career development – coaching, skills assessment – and knowledge transmission. Professional mobility, including professional development pathways, has been included in this theme.
In line with their transparency principle, APRR and AREA gradually rolled out the HR portal in 2015 to facilitate employee access to HR information. Employees can now access digital annual appraisal documents, authorisations and permits, records and training assessments. The training offer and the ISR were added to the portal in mid-2015.
As a result of transformations in the construction sector over the past decade, Eiffage Construction has adopted a policy to gradually change the structure of its jobs, via support for evolving professions and sustained employment. Changes in professions can be seen through :
- diversification and specialisation of existing jobs, resulting from the shift in the company's positioning from heavy construction work to developer/designer/builder;
- the evolving structure of jobs and the changing balance between different categories, with professionalization of managers;
- a growing number of project management jobs, vital for implementing and managing the partnerships required to deliver a global response to increasingly complex projects.
In terms of sustaining employment, the division systematically looks for solutions that are not detrimental to employees in case of a short-term slowdown in business, the regional entities pursuing a policy of skills pooling allowing them to loan personnel.
Rollout of the employment and expertise planning agreement signed in 2012 continued in 2015 at Eiffage Energie with the introduction of a new "Energy Skills Prospects" programme, particularly aiming to create bridges between blue-collar occupations, such as from road worker to commercial electrical technician or telecom network technician. After identifying business cycles, this programme enabled workmen staff in declining jobs to position themselves in other, more promising division activities.
At Eiffage Énergie, the HR policy has two focuses: well-being in the company and improving performance. Several leads are defined, namely in terms of :
- employee training and development : creating a real mobility / employment and expertise planning culture ;
- recruitment: defining trainee and graduate recruitment plans and a young talent integration plan, implementing partnerships with schools, defining specific partnerships with university technology courses, and reviewing conditions of on-boarding new hires, etc...
Through the Eiffage Energie Mobility Charter and the quarterly publication of employment opportunities in the division, the internal mobility programme rolled out nationally in 2014 generated 103 applications for mobility resulting in 53 effective moves.
At Clemessy, professional and geographic mobility is a key component of individual development plans giving rise to specific support measures. In 2015, 71 employee transfers were completed, including one professional, 13 geographic and 57 job changes. Loans of personnel involved 107 people, including nine within the Group and three to an independent company.
Focusing efforts on recruitment
At APRR-AREA, the Trajectoires (Pathways) charter sets out professional and geographic mobility arrangements, internal recruitment provisions and support measures.
In 2013, the generational contract action plans set the three-year goal of recruiting at least 45 young people under 30 years of age at APRR and 18 at AREA, plus the recruitment of eight employees aged at least 55 for APRR and three for AREA. With nine months still to go, the trend is positive for new young hires, but the target for older workers may not be reached.
Co-opting gains ground
A sustained shortage of certain professional profiles requires the divisions to multiply their recruitment sources. For example, in February 2012, Clemessy introduced a co-opting initiative enabling staff to propose potential profiles from their network of relations. If the recruitment is successful, the co-optor receives a bonus twelve months after the co-optee's hire, provided they are both still on the workforce. In June 2013, the Eiffage Énergie Human Resources department also set up a dedicated website to promote this process. To date, 13 people have been hired at Clemessy in this way.A
In recent years, recruitment at Eiffage Construction has been marked by annual renewal to adapt to changes in business, especially for "Works" and "Engineering" jobs. 60% of hires are under 30 years of age, and maintaining recruitment of more experienced profiles at 40% helps to successfully on-board young hires and benefit from external methods and experience.
The Group divisions have enhanced their presence on social networks, which are becoming key vectors for communicating about occupations and job offers. Eiffage Énergie began rolling out an employer brand policy in 2013 with the creation of a website dedicated to the division's job offers, and a communication campaign on social networks, to enhance visibility of the Energy division, its jobs and its offers to the general public, in particular among young graduates. In 2015, the Facebook page had 3,550 followers, of which 65% were between the ages of 18 and 34 and with a regular engagement rate (interactions with the audience), 5,600 LinkedIn subscribers and 5,770 subscribers to Viadeo.
Eiffage Énergie pursues the policy initiated in 2014 to reinforce its recruitment strategy through partnerships with firms specialising in occupations marked by a shortage of workers.
Recruiting young graduates
In 2015, 48% of Group recruitments were young people below the age of 26 hired on permanent contracts.
For several years, Eiffage has pursued an active and recurring policy to build bridges between the academic and business worlds through the discovery of its occupations. The Group organises meetings with students, seeks to establish lasting relationships with engineering schools and universities and encourages former student Eiffage managers to keep up contact with their schools. Eiffage therefore sponsors the 2016 year group of the École des Ponts et Chaussées as well as the Polytechnique class (2015-2018).
The divisions also take action to demonstrate and promote their occupations by participating in various events: conference meetings in target leading schools, forums, work site tours and graduation ceremonies (ESTP 2015/2016).
Eiffage Énergie relies both on Group partnerships and its own alliances, which in 2014 particularly included INSA (national institute of applied sciences) in Strasbourg and Lyon, HEI Lille, ENSE3, ESIGELEC and CentraleSupélec. Over 30 events including forums, HR workshops, work site tours, and job presentations, allowed young people to discover the division's businesses in 2015.
The "Student Campus" programme began in 2015 with a view to promoting the Eiffage Group and the Energy division's businesses through students from HEI Lille, ENSE3 and INSA in Strasbourg.
The division achieved its target of welcoming 55 trainee engineers in 2014/2015 and set the figure at 59 young graduates for the 2015/2016 academic year across all regions. The aim is to ultimately turn traineeships into permanent contracts.
Clemessy attended some thirty job fairs and school forums -INSA Val de Loire, UTBM, ESSTIN, ESIGELEC, ALSACETECH- as well as more professional fairs like Le Bourget du Nucléaire, Emplois en Seine or JOB Tour, the employment truck. The company has signed a partnership agreement with the Deutsch INSA section of INSA Strasbourg. It is also stepping up its presence on professional social networks and has a Facebook employment page, online since 12 May 2014. In September 2015, the company hired 116 young apprentices and youths on professional development contracts, from all levels.
Just like the Infrastructures division which took on more than 700 trainees in 2015, from vocational training certificate to post-graduate level, Eiffage Construction is extensively committed to the integration of young people, offering more than 800 traineeships a year (also from vocational training certificate to post-graduate level), as a favoured pathway to permanent contracts. The division also continues or renews partnerships with engineering schools, secondary schools, work-study training centres and short undergraduate courses, such as its sponsorship of the 2016 year group at ESITC.
Action for employment and integration
Beyond compliance with the labour clauses included in some contracts and reserving a specific volume of work hours for unemployed individuals, Eiffage's internal policies encourage active collaboration by the divisions with local integration players, throughout the year and systematically for major projects.
As an example, AREA signed a partnership agreement with the employment unit of the Rhône prefecture for the integration of young people through trial work periods in the professional environment.
For the work begun in summer 2014 to extend line 14 of the Paris Metro, the Infrastructures division expects more than 5% of the total number of production hours (45,000 hours in all) to be dedicated to the integration of unemployed individuals through to 2017. Completion of the first batch of work already generated 28,000 hours of integration in 2015. Specialised organisations including Pôle emploi, Mission locale and Plie, are involved. In parallel, the division's facilities -particularly the training centre in Bernes-sur-Oise (95)- are made available to accommodate and train new hires recruited under integration measures.
Pierre Berger Campus – a novel integration initiative
The Group supports related actions, particularly through renewed financial and logistic assistance provided by the divisions to the CREPI Federation, which brings together companies carrying out practical voluntary actions to support the integration of disadvantaged populations. In 2015, 5,685 people were referred to the CREPI whose support led to 2,249 offers of professional solutions.
Eiffage Construction Méditerranée and the regional CREPI rolled out this type of initiative for a real estate project of 400 housing units and 3,000 sq. m of retail space, to train eight young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in form-setting and finishing. These trainees received a three-month CIPI (employment integration contract), and five of them were hired under one-year professional development contracts.
The divisions often have close relations with these integration structures. For example, the Clemessy human resources director has been appointed president of CREPI Alsace, a sign of his dedication to these integration policies. A member of CREPI Loire and Haute-Loire, Eiffage Énergie conducted an audit of its social and labour practices with respect to employment and integration in 2015. This proactive approach was valued by the DIRECCTE and is highlighted as evidence of the company's social commitment.
Induction handbooks, mentoring, training programmes, rotations in the various departments, orientation days for new hires and young managers, forums for new executives, information sharing and an initial performance review: the divisions are continually improving their on-boarding practices to ensure long-term retention.
Special orientation courses supported by networks of in-house trainers and trained mentors make it easier for new recruits to quickly acclimate to the new work environment.
Clemessy introduced an induction process for new executives in 2012: "Clemessy Executive Meeting Days". This event took place for the third time in March 2015 to welcome and integrate new executives hired in 2014. During the two half-day meetings, the Eiffage Group and the organisation and activities of Clemessy were presented to 91 managers
In addition, a programme launched as part of employment and expertise planning was extended to all new hires. Employees can become a mentor for a new hire on a permanent contract, whatever their age or socio-professional category.