How to attract (and retain) talent?

To attract – but also retain – the most talented employees, the start-up employer must strike the right balance between the company’s interests (growth, profitability, productivity, etc.) and well-being at work…).

Many cool tools are at your disposal to do this.

Analysis of 6 turnkey solutions for a successful social policy.

1. A structured and adapted telework policy

An attractive factor, teleworking is today an essential tool to attract the best profiles. Although it can be established by simple agreement between the employer and the employee, employers are still strongly advised to build an “in-house” telework system tailored to the image of their company.

For this, the start-up will have to try to conclude a collective agreement if it has at least one union delegate or, failing that, adopt a unilateral letter.

Key topics to be covered include:

    • The conditions for moving to telework and returning to face-to-face;
    • The conditions of acceptance of telework by the worker;
    • The methods of controlling working time or regulating the workload;
    • The time intervals for the availability of teleworkers;
    • The modalities of access to telework by workers with disabilities or with chronic illnesses;
    • The procedures for accessing telework by pregnant workers;
    • The conditions for covering costs incurred in connection with teleworking (1);
    • The conditions for maintaining the social bond with the work community (2);
    • The conditions for using telework in exceptional circumstances.

Of course, many other topics can be provided in the context of supporting the establishment of telework. Preparation – or at least review – by an informed legal adviser is therefore recommended.

Strategically, it will also be important to make managers aware of managing telecommuting on a day-to-day basis. Training sessions on this subject may be appropriate.

2. An optimized remuneration policy

The company’s remuneration policy must be carefully defined as it constitutes an important driver of motivation and employee satisfaction.

Variable pay schemes remain very popular in the corporate world for attracting and retaining the most motivated employees. Although they are easy to implement, the novice employer is still obliged to comply with all the conditions established by case law.

In particular, he must:

    • Precisely define your variable compensation policy;
    • Use objective and accurate criteria beyond your control;
    • Set realistic and achievable goals;
    • Allow each employee concerned to verify the calculation of their variable remuneration;
    • Write all related documentation in French and communicate it at the beginning of the period.

If these conditions are not met, the start-up may be exposed to the risk of litigation at this point.

Other salary benefits can obviously be granted to employees and in particular exceptional bonuses, a thirteenth month, restaurant tickets or even a sustainable mobility package…

Attention, however, to the conditions for granting these benefits, which must systematically respect the principle of equal treatment and any social and tax exemption rules that may apply.

3. Incentive tools

To attract talent at the time of hiring or retain them later, several tools for profit sharing in the company’s success can be mobilized by the employer.

First, it is possible to establish one or more employee savings mechanisms.

Various schemes are possible: it could be a participation scheme – for the record, mandatory when the start-up exceeds the limit of 50 employees for 5 consecutive years – profit sharing or even various employee savings plans that can take the form of savings company plans (“PEE”) or retirement savings plans (“PERCO” and “PERECO”).

The amounts paid to employees can then, at their discretion, be paid directly or be allocated to existing employee savings schemes within the company.

The start-up can then turn to employee shareholding schemes, which have been in vogue for a few years.

The interests are multiple: retaining the company’s leaders, involving employees in the company’s growth, aligning the interests of employees with those of shareholders, helping employees to accumulate personal savings… Each objective has its own system!

The start-up employer may therefore opt for a capital increase reserved for employees who adhere to the PEE, share purchase options, free shares, covered warrants for shares of company creators (BSPCE)…

In all these cases, priority will be maintained in scrupulous respect for the rules governing the constitution and attribution of these benefits, so as not to jeopardize the applicable favorable social and tax regime.

4. A calibrated working time arrangement

Another project that the novice employer must take on is the organization of working time.
Indeed, it will be essential to define precisely the arrangements for organizing working time that can be applied to workers who wish to combine productivity and flexibility.

To this end, several indices will have to be apprehended, namely the systematic compliance with overtime by the worker, his autonomy as well as his level of responsibility in the organization of his work, the alternation of periods of high intensity work and off -periods peak, etc.

In practice, a worker who is very self-employed and free to organize his time may be subject to a fixed annual amount in days instead of the legal working time of 35 hours.

To ensure the smooth running of the start-up adventure, the employer will therefore have to make an inventory of the populations of workers at his/her service to ensure a policy of organizing calibrated working hours.

5. An effective training policy

From a legal point of view, the employer has the obligation to ensure the adaptation of workers to their job, but also to ensure that their capacity to maintain a job is maintained, namely with regard to the evolution of jobs. work, technologies and organizations.

In practice, the construction of an effective training policy is essential, as it allows defining the expectations and needs of employees. Each employee can thus be offered a career plan adapted to their situation and feel valued for their fair value.

For the start-up, the interest is also immense, since the training of employees allows them to improve their skills and can even lead to a reduction in the absenteeism rate.

To formalize it, the employer can start the negotiation of a collective agreement on the anticipated management of jobs and skills (“GPEC”) or even raise the matter at a meeting of the social and economic committee (“CSE”), if such committee exist. . He must also ensure that he does not fail to conduct professional interviews with employees every 2 years, including a summary inventory every 6 years.

6. Periods of discussion and regular feedback

Exchanges with employees should be privileged.

Some of them are mandatory because imposed by the Labor Code. These include, in particular, the professional interview, the annual interview dedicated to the working day package for workers subject to it, the annual interview dedicated to teleworking for workers who use it, medical consultations with occupational medicine following certain breaks or maternity leave.

Other interviews are optional but strongly recommended. Therefore, it is more than recommended to plan regular meetings with the employee to discuss their performance. An annual interview with at least one written report co-signed by the employee and his or her manager is expected.

The company’s interest will also be to be able to have documented elements on the performance of its employees that may justify a promotion, an increase or, unfortunately, in certain cases, a dismissal measure due to professional incompetence.

Ultimately, a successful social policy is an essential lever to convince the most talented employees to join – not leave – the start-up adventure.

(1) In accordance with the national interprofessional agreement of 26 November 2020 for the successful implementation of teleworking
(2) In accordance with the national interprofessional agreement of 26 November 2020 for the successful implementation of teleworking


Start-up: what to think about when starting? (Thierry ROMAND, Associate Lawyer, and Titrite BAAMOUCHE, Lawyer, CMS FRANCIS LEFEBVRE AVOCATS

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