After the year 2020, which was turned upside down by a major health crisis, the year 2021 is shaping up to be a recruitment year for the group Blue Soft. A look back at the management of events and the ambitious objectives to come for the company and its subsidiaries with its Director of Recruitment and Internal Communication Gaëlle Guermat.
How have you experienced 2020 as a hiring manager? What obstacles have you encountered and, more importantly, what benefits have you discovered in remote?
"This period has shown that we are able to adapt very quickly. Previously, in the group, we had always favored human contact, and telecommuting was not the norm. So we suddenly switched to remote working. But materially we were ready, because we already had all the technological environment allowing us to collaborate remotely.
From the point of view of team cohesion, we also faced challenges. We decided to focus on individual points, to ensure that employees felt good despite the isolation and distance. This was beneficial for everyone, because in the end, we heard more from the employees than if we had just passed them in the hallway.
On the recruiting side, the video conference appointments helped break the code. Even during the periods when we were able to return to the office, we continued to conduct all our initial recruitment interviews via Teams. We also dematerialized the entire recruitment process from the first appointment to the signing of employment contracts online... This saved everyone time!
However, I continue to believe in the real encounter. My job is centered on the human aspect, and I missed this dimension a lot when all the recruiting was done remotely, between March and last summer. We therefore keep the good practices that allow us to lighten the process, and we take advantage of the time we save to formalize regular, ongoing contacts with our new arrivals, either in person or remotely when we are forced to do so.
What were your greatest successes in 2020? The challenges you and your team faced?
"In the Blue Soft group, we may have come through the period better than others. And I don't think that's luck. We've reached a size that makes us strong, and we have a diversity of clients that has allowed us to continue to provide quality assignments for our engineers and consultants.
We are therefore particularly satisfied with the number of employees who have joined us and the quality and diversity of the profiles recruited. We are very close to our initial objectives.
What will you take away from this experience?
Gaëlle Guermat explains, "This crisis has forced us to question ourselves on certain points, and I think that this is very beneficial for the group. I am very happy, for example, with what we have put in place to welcome new employees. Before, we were perhaps a little too used to things being done very naturally, with little or no intervention. From the very first confinement, we formalized the steps to get them on board, and we were careful to check in with them regularly, to reassure them.
We have forged new partnerships with schools throughout France. We received many high quality applications and decided to take the gamble of writing a piece of the group's history with these students, many of whom are on work-study programs.
Passing on our know-how to younger employees forces us to be attentive to the way we share our methodologies, which allows them to be disseminated and anchored more deeply and broadly throughout the group."
The group has changed a lot since you arrived, how does this change your daily life as a recruitment manager?
"I spent a lot of time in the first two years structuring the recruitment team. Today, things are well in place, the processes are very satisfactory, and candidates often confirm this.
The growth of the group also allows us to work with more resources, to offer varied and exciting missions, and to allow mobility. We currently have three service centers, in Rouen, Lyon and Paris. This is a real strength for us.
Our corporate culture has also changed significantly. New companies have joined Blue Soft, each with its own history. But they all share strong common values. This creates a new dynamic, which spreads throughout all our entities and our different departments, and an addition of cultures that are sources of inspiration for all employees in the group," says Gaëlle Guermat.
What are your recruitment plans for 2021 and how do you plan to get there?
"We plan to recruit around 100 consultants this year, in Paris and wherever our subsidiaries are located (Niort, Rouen, Lyon, Aix-En-Provence, Geneva and Toulouse). We have not reduced our objectives despite the ongoing crisis, and we remain resolutely optimistic.
As far as team building is concerned, we are adapting, it is not always easy with the sanitary conditions. In the past, we used to organize afterworks and parties. Of course, at the moment it is difficult, so in order to create links between all our employees, we organize online reunions, either playful or more corporate.
At the end of the year, for example, my team and I attended a remote animation with a magician, which was both unprecedented and really surprising! And a few days ago, our Presidents took the floor to wish everyone a happy new year and to talk about the group's ambitions for this year. This was a first for our managers and employees, and it allowed us to unite around our objectives for the year, even from a distance.
As soon as we can, we'll get back to the pleasure of seeing each other "in real life". In the meantime, I really feel that we have succeeded in transforming ourselves and making the most of the obligations and constraints we have had to face these past months. That's also the spirit of Blue Soft, knowing how to be resilient and keeping an eye on the future" concludes Gaëlle Guermat.