Employer branding in France and Germany: How to convince candidates


Employer branding in France and Germany  - How to convince candidates

We ranked which benefits and working conditions have the greatest impact on the attractiveness of companies in France and Germany, according to surveys and candidate feedback we collected. A recruitment process should always be adapted to the local market and its peculiarities to achieve quick results, so here are the most crucial criteria that employees in France and Germany consider when choosing their future employer.

1. Company culture

Choosing an employer is no longer just a matter of survival, the more qualified the candidates, the more choices they have. Not everyone sees the company as a second home, but the fact is that a significant portion of life is spent there. Therefore, company culture, a comprehensive concept consisting of many aspects, is an absolute core factor.

The international numbers are well known. Companies labeled as Great Place to Work also see a 75 % higher market value on average. The Top Employers Institute also awards certificates for high-quality company culture, giving applicants a sense of security.

It's no wonder that more and more employers are investing in this status: According to a study by Hub One, 92 % of French employees believe that workplace well-being depends primarily on a benevolent and friendly atmosphere. A positive company culture not only contributes to employee satisfaction and well-being but also to their engagement and productivity.

This is likely true in Germany as well, where a management style that has leaders take responsibility for the team is culturally even more prominent than in France, where hierarchies can remain steep. According to a Glassdoor study, over 56 % of workers in Germany consider corporate culture to be a key factor in their choice of employer.

Welcome To The Jungle, a french job board specializing in startups, offers the possibility to create an entire page with audiovisual content and facts about the company to attract potential applicants with the company culture. Regardless of the platform, on your website and in any job offer you publish, there should always be a section about your work culture.

Company culture is crucial for the first impression of candidates during recruitment. It is increasingly common for serious applicants to withdraw their application at the end of the hiring process, shortly before signing the contract. The reason is either another offer or the conclusion that something didn't quite fit on a personal level. In other words, just as HR assesses the personality of applicants in fit interviews, applicants try to gauge how comfortable they would feel in the company.

2. Salary package and benefits

Competitive salary and social benefits

Salary is undoubtedly a crucial criterion for employees, but the social benefits offered by the employer are also becoming increasingly important. A survey by Statista revealed that 78 % of employees in Germany believe that solid benefits increase their job satisfaction and loyalty to the company.

A Glassdoor study from 2022 shows that 60 % of applicants in France place great value on the benefits and social benefits offered by companies. These typically include:

Access to comprehensive medical care and pension plans: 74 % of french employees consider comprehensive health and medical insurance as one of the most important benefits an employer can offer. A Deloitte study from 2022 shows that 85 % of companies invest in programs to improve workplace well-being, including comprehensive health insurance.

For other material benefits, you can get creative: beyond the traditional company car, modern french and german companies today offer everything from free company restaurants to company-owned gyms with yoga classes... Find something that suits you and your industry and sets your employer brand apart from the competition!

3. Flexibility: Covid is gone, home office stays

Flexible working hours have become a major argument for employees in France and Germany, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The quiet desire for better work-life balance has long been in the air before the lockdown got us used to it. Now, certain professionals simply do not want to return to the office, or as little as possible. This particularly affects roles in the IT and accounting sectors.

A study by Parella shows that in french companies with 50 to 99 employees, an average of 38 % of employees work from home. In companies with more than 500 employees, as many as 62 % of employees regularly work from home.

Statista found that around 74 % of German workers prefer jobs offering flexible working hours and home office options. Deloitte arrived at the conclusion that 60 % of German employees take this factor into account when looking for a job. This trend is driving more and more companies to adopt flexible working policies to attract and retain talent.

Especially in Germany, the concept of work-life-balance has been a much discussed topic for years, with many professionals sacrificing higher pay to have more time outside of work and with their families. These often highly qualified profiles look for employers who understand their philosophy and offer policies and programs that allow them to live by it.

But flexible working models not only offer one-sided benefits for the employee, in fact, various studies have shown that productivity can often increase depending on the role and context. A PwC study found that employees who enjoy a good work-life balance are 2.6 times more engaged and 5 times more likely to recommend their employer.

The key here is to provide the right structure for a functional home office: digital tools must be easily accessible, and the physical absence of employees must not be an obstacle to accessibility and communication. Various virtual workspaces offer practical functions to fully exploit the flexibility of home office workers.

4. Career opportunities

Professional development and internal promotion

Employees look for companies that offer professional development opportunities and internal promotion possibilities, leading towards a clear and performance-based career path.

A Gallup study found that 87 % of employees, especially millennials, consider professional development opportunities as a key factor for their job satisfaction and loyalty to the company.

Benefits of career opportunities for companies

A PwC survey found that companies offering professional development programs see a 15 % increase in productivity and a 20 % reduction in sick leave. Additionally, these companies are often perceived as preferred employers, attracting the best talent in the market.

Prospects of salary development

Employees want their efforts and loyalty to be rewarded with regular salary increases and performance bonuses.

A ManpowerGroup survey found that 65 % of large companies in France and Germany offer annual salary increases based on performance and seniority. These salary increases often range between 3-5 % per year and are supplemented by additional bonuses and stock options.

Munich-based BMW is an exemplary company when it comes to employee benefits. In 2024, BMW was recognized by Glassdoor as one of the best employers in Germany, notably for its generous benefits and fair compensation policy.

Even smaller companies offer attractive salary developments that can compete with large companies. A notable example is the french software company Algolia, which relies on transparent salary structures and performance-based bonuses to motivate and retain employees in the long term. Those who know exactly that the next salary increase is only a few months away are much harder to poach.

"Employees want their efforts and loyalty to be rewarded with regular salary increases and performance bonuses."

Susanne Goniak
Senior Recruiter


Benefits of international perspectives

Global career opportunities attract ambitious professionals who want to gain international experience and broaden their horizons. A Mercer study found that 60% of employees consider international work opportunities a key factor in choosing their employer. Deloitte also measured a 20 % reduction in employee turnover at such companies.

5. Significant differences in attractiveness between french regions

The importance of where

Further studies by Glassdoor and PwC unanimously show that 70 to 80 % of surveyed employees consider the accessibility of their workplace an important factor in choosing their employer and are more satisfied in everyday work if their commutes are shorter.

In french cities like Lyon, Lille or Rennes traffic can be so complicated that even offers on the other side of the city are rejected because they are perceived as too far from the home address. This is another issue where Home office options can help, of course.

Many german cities on the other hand are very bicycle-friendly, so many Germans already take their bike to work everyday. Thus, one easy initiative some companies have received very positive feedback for is offering employees an e-bike for their daily commute. This will have a positive impact on the environment and on your employer brand.

Employees want modern, well-equipped offices as well. Companies that invest in high-quality work environments have observed about 15 % increase in productivity and a reduction in sick days, as studies show.

6. The reputation game

A good reputation can attract high-quality talent and improve employee retention:

  • Germans will attach much importance to your professional reputation in your field, the quality of your products and services as perceived by the public.

  • French candidates can have a tendency to be drawn towards prestige and the different signs of it, like your address, your type of clientele or how exclusive or elitist you are in your talent acquisition.

This is where all the previously mentioned points come together. People will find out what former employees and clients write about your company online or will hear about it from their own network, especially if they are specialists in the same field. A salesman will only leave his company for yours if he considers your product to be equal at least.

But there is also an ethical aspect to this, of course. Companies actively involved in ethical, charitable and environmental initiatives strengthen their reputation and attract employees who want to work for an organization with positive impact. According to Glassdoor, 86 % of employees and applicants consider the company's reputation an important factor in choosing a job.

It is often said that this is an increasingly important issue for millennials and subsequent generations, even in connection with lower salaries. As some consulting firms put it, in today’s market, you have to do good to do well.

Nikolai Rabald

Nikolai Rabald

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