Executive employment is almost back to its pre-crisis level

“Despite the persistence of the health crisis, 2021 will have been a good year for executive employment”, summarizes Gilles Gateau, director general of the Association for the employment of executives (APEC), in a press release: 269,100 executives have been recruited on permanent or fixed-term contracts of one year and more in France, according to a report from the organization. This is only 4% less than the record figure of 2019 (281,300), and above all 18% more than in 2020 (228,700).

The balance of net creations of executive positions – the addition of recruitments and internal promotions, minus resignations, dismissals and retirements – reached 63,500 in 2021, compared to 37,100 in 2020. However, disparities persist according to the sectors : banking-insurance (+15%) or health-social action (+13%) exceeded their 2019 level, while the hotel-catering-leisure sector (−20%), the automotive-aeronautics industry ( − 24%) or communication-media (− 20%) are struggling to raise their heads.

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IT specialists alone account for nearly a quarter of executive recruitments made in 2021. “On the salary side, we also find a more favorable dynamic, assures Gilles Gateau, but far from the levels of inflation and without progress, once again, in reducing gender inequalities. »

Learning explosion

Indeed, in 2021, women executives still earn 15% less than men and yet are, in proportion, still less increased than men, reveals the report. As for the median salary for all executives, it amounts to 51,000 euros gross annually, compared to 50,000 in 2019 and 2020. The employment rate of young graduates is also approaching its pre-crisis level: 82% of bac + 5 from the class of 2020 are in employment twelve months after leaving their studies, compared to 69% for graduates in 2019.

This improvement is due to the difficulties in recruiting executives encountered by many companies, which are therefore less reluctant to turn to inexperienced profiles, but above all to the explosion of apprenticeship: young people who have followed a work-study course have an employment rate at six months of 80% (compared to 64% for other graduates). At twelve months, they are almost nine out of ten to be in employment, of which three quarters in CDI.

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However, the starting salary of these young executives appears to be a black spot: the median gross salary of baccalaureate + 5 is 30,000 euros gross twelve months after graduation, which represents a drop of 6% in two years. The association is also concerned about the crisis of meaning faced by young executives: 20% of them see their job as a “food job”and a third believe that their work is not in line with their aspirations.

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