Solène Missol, Director of Human Resources at Ducerf: “It's up to us to make candidates seek us out!”
Within the structural policy of the Ducerf group, recruitment is now a central axis for our development. This is why we recently created the position of Director of Human Resources to expand the HR Department. Solène Missol has been chosen to take up this challenge, and with two goals: to set up new processes for management of the group's human resources, and to bring in new generations during a period of strong investment.
Which path led you to join the Ducerf group?
Solène Missol: after studying business, I decided to resume my studies a few years ago and took a degree course and then a master's in human resources. I turned to this sector as it very varied and has a large human side. One needs to be constantly in touch with the news and to be multi-tasking: training, recruitment, legal, coaching managers and employees... I was quickly brought up to positions of responsibility: HR manager for a group of 1,200 people in the plastics industry, HR manager in industry, HR manager for a holding company that manages points of sale in supermarkets, hotels and shops...
You took up your new position as Director of Human Resources in October. What attracted you to this position?
Solène Missol: the Group offers me the opportunity to take up real challenges. Ducerf requires a lot of processes to be put in place to develop the HR Department within the company. When I arrived, the department was forced to focus on payroll and administration due to the size of the company. As Director of Human Resources, I will be able to develop the social aspects, the human side. I can improve the dynamic and provide support for employees. I would say that the goal is to place strategic focus on human resources.
“The change of generation is very rewarding”
This is a human-oriented position in a Company which has valued this aspect since the beginning...
Solène Missol: Yes, I have enjoyed the human and family side since I arrived. That was what I was looking for. I like to work at these kinds of companies where the leaders and the employees are all stakeholders in the group’s development. Everyone contributes to the progress of the company in their own way. Moreover, it seems to be continuing despite a strong context of change due to the handover from the 4th generation of leaders to the 5th. The change of generation is rewarding for everyone. So, being able to develop human resources at a time like this is a good opportunity.
Is the change of generations within the staff also a big challenge?
Solène Missol: Yes, absolutely. The main challenge in the generational changeover is to avoid losing key skills. It is important to plan for retirements and to develop skills management techniques. This requires the implementation of new processes.
The idea is also to maintain a link between the old and new generations by developing certain tools such as mentoring, apprenticeships and work placement.
“You need to be much more proactive in recruiting”
How are you going to attract young people?
Solène Missol: Young people don’t have the same desires and needs. They are looking for more of a life/work balance. This generation will also leave a company more easily. In terms of attractiveness, we will need to continue on our path and make the right choices. It's up to us to make candidates seek us out!
In specific terms, how is recruitment going?
Solène Missol: We need to be much more proactive today, to use more recruitment channels and reach a wider range of people. It all depends on the type of candidate we are looking for. We will often contact schools and organise open days to fill the more unusual positions. The job market is changing, and we need to go out and find our future employees rather than wait for them to come to us.
“You need to pay attention to working conditions”
Where is the Ducerf group currently in terms of recruitment?
Solène Missol: Edouard Ducerf already recruited a lot of people last year. A huge generational change occurred with almost half of the sawmill staff being replaced. The good thing is that we are very a attractive company. This is great for our group, especially in a sector such as timber, where certain profiles can be difficult to find.
Does the new generation involve different personnel management strategies?
Solène Missol: Yes, because they are demanding as employees and will not hesitate to leave the company if they are not satisfied. However, we mustn’t forget about the other employees either!
The challenge is to retain employees by creating good working conditions while preserving the company’s profitability.