Online Tech-talk #4: Competitive sailing: how to recruit in a fast-paced environment?
The 4th video café of the 2021 season was held live from Paris, organized by Bretagne Développement Innovation and focusing on the issue of recruitment. Around the table on the Bretagne Sud stand, Carole Bourlon, representative of Bretagne Développement Innovation, Amira Avril, consultant for Apec Bretagne, Luc Talbourdet, CEO of Avel Robotics, and Vincent Marsaudon, manager of Lorima and SMM technologies, all of them sharing a discussion on the topic of issues facing companies in a booming economic context.
The figures speak for themselves: “Brittany is one of the regions where GDP growth could exceed the 6.75% national average. This is underlined by 858 jobs created in this marine sector in 2020, 41% of which are directly related to boating,” says Carole Bourlon. Another highlight is the upturn generated by the strong media impact of the last Vendée Globe, on which competitive sailing is surfing a wave of interest.
This enthusiasm explains 13 projects to build new Imoca monohulls already on the stocks for 2024, compared to 8 new boats at the start of the 2020. The same applies to the Class40 circuit, consider that there will be more than 20 new boats expected at the start of the Route du Rhum 2022, built for the most part in and around Bretagne Sailing Valley ® in Southern Brittany.
Business cases, Avel Robotics and Lorima
Leading Avel Robotics, a start-up specializing in the manufacture of foils and composite parts made using a draping robot used in aviation, Luc Talbourdet explains the need to bring in new skills calling on experienced people from aeronautics. While they can rely on their positioning at the forefront of this sector, which brings “the satisfaction of working around a very rewarding quality-cost-time triptych”, it must also deal with the difficulty associated with implementation of a new tool that needs to be explained to candidates.
There is no shortage of projects to apply this technology to, such as that carried out by the consortium formed around the Chantiers de l’Atlantique for the construction of a mast / sails assembly for sailing ships, but finding experienced high level operators is not easy.
Meeting the need of decarbonising maritime transport is a challenge that Avel Robotics is working on with Lorima, which is also experiencing strong development, linked to the takeover of the company SMM Technologies specializing in the milling of large-scale moulds. The post-Vendée Globe boom as well as this diversification mean that Lorima “is recruiting dozens of people and for the first time really must invest in an HR mission to integrate the necessary skills to meet the requirements of this strong growth”, notes Vincent Marsaudon.
Solutions: increase, training, promotion and enhance the empoyer brand
In this context, beyond the inevitable question of remuneration, increases of 3 to 7% seen last July against 0.5-2% in previous years, in-house training occupies is a top priority at Lorima. “In September, we took on seven work-study students for the layup part for the first time, with the hope of keeping them with us,” adds Marsaudon.
Beyond that, team cohesion is also a higher importance for this SME that is currently recruiting a production manager to train foremen in management functions. Along the same lines, Luc Talbourdet, for whom “the best recruitment is the one you don’t have to do”, relies on internal promotion and Avel Robotics’ ability to offer career development through the integration of young people, who, by gaining experience, can in turn train newcomers.
Behind these challenges, the idea of the employer brand strength emerges, encouraging SMEs in competitive sailing and advanced boating to really promote and highlight their strengths. All the more so as the health crisis has raised new expectations on the part of executives who are in full employment. With a rate of unemployment, which falls to 3.7% for this type of high added-value position, the criteria of geographic mobility, flexibility, teleworking, and CSR commitments are increasingly in play.
“There are so many concepts to be highlighted on multiple different levels and channels to pique the interest of candidates who are looking at large groups and other sectors such as those focused on engineering and R&D,” said Amira Avril. “As a start-up, we communicated a lot on this aspect during our fundraising. This serves us well now today, it is a positive consequence, “agrees Luc Talbourdet, while commercial communication is indirectly developing strong arguments in terms of recruitment. An area that is now rightly among the new themes supported by Bretagne Développement Innovation.