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DOSSIER Recruitment difficulties among opticians: how to remedy them?

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Many media made it a topic this year. Recruitment difficulties have become systematic, almost endemic. Restaurateurs or bakers forced to change their opening hours due to lack of staff… The optical sector is no exception. Why ? How to cure it ? We try, in this new file to clear some tracks…

Difficulties in recruiting: the Big Quit on the front line

The staffing problems started well before 2022. Almost two years earlier, in fact. In question ? The Covid pandemic which raged in the year 2020, and which is still not over, has transformed the world of work. Never, moreover, in the history of humanity, had such a questioning of our professional models taken place. And especially not in such a brutal and rapid way.

However, when the virus struck, and the whole world found itself cloistered in order to curb its spread, we pensions prepared. Of course, those responsible for staying open, the "essential businesses", had to be the first to adapt. For the others, no particular concern. Many had experimented with teleworking with varying degrees of success, but the tools were there, the desire to finish it as quickly as possible.

However, not everything went as planned. Of course, as the lockdowns continued, the global economy suffered. We realized the difficulties in a globalized system where everything is connected. Then came the internal, family and personal issues. Many working people have had the feeling of missing out on something, whether it's their family life, professional life, lack of time… Suddenly, the criteria for choosing a "good job" were modifying. On the other hand, with the climate crisis intensifying, the questioning of an energy-intensive system without added value was making its way.

The questioning was such that a new phenomenon appeared: the Big Quit. This was the name given to the wave of resignation that overwhelmed the world of work. In France, in the fourth quarter of 2021, there were 518,000 resignations, 8,000 more than the record set at the end of 2008, in the midst of the economic crisis. And this record was quickly beaten in the first quarter of 2022, with 523,000 resignations. A phenomenon that can be found everywhere in Europe, but also in Canada and the United States.

The youngest, from generation Y, are the first to take this new "quest for meaning", at the antipodes of previous generations.

The place of opticians in the midst of recruitment difficulties

In the optical sector, recruitment difficulties have been known for a long time. In 2018, a survey conducted by acuité.fr already showed how hard it was for store managers to expand their team. At the time, only 28% of them (47%) had no problem recruiting. But the difference is that at the time, almost half believed that lack of skills was the main cause. Today, it is above all the lack of candidates that is lacking.

Above all, the rates are no longer the same. Since September 2022, 95% of opticians have experienced recruitment difficulties (according to a new survey conducted by Acuité). The lack of candidates is the main reason for this for 75% of respondents. Lack of skills has dropped to 25%. On the optical decision makers portal, nearly 1,500 job advertisements are still to be filled. A record.

Faced with the urgency, many players have decided to take the bull by the horns.

What can be done to overcome these difficulties?

How to make the job of optician more attractive? This subject, we seized it a few months ago on the blog . The perpetual questioning of a sector seems essential to us. Especially when he moves very fast. Highlighting this questioning, these changes remain essential.

Training is already coming up to date. A reform is still under study. The Krys group has decided to create and launch its own CFA (Alternance Training Center) called "L'École par Krys Group." This school "will allow the cooperative to overcome the recruitment difficulties affecting the sector and to build up a pool of talents equipped with all the know-how and know-how essential to the reality on the ground at Krys Group ."

Round tables were used to discuss issues around recruitment difficulties. The subjects: how to restore all its attractiveness to the profession and intergenerational management: better understand generation Z. Because the first element, as we have seen, remains on the attractiveness of the generation which arrives on the labor market.[= ]

The glassmaker Zeiss has deployed an advertising campaign to promote the profession of optician, again and again targeting the youngest.

Also, it then appears obvious that, faced with the new criteria chosen by the latter, all sectors will have to adapt to a new dimension of the value of work. A value that still exists, of course, but which takes very different forms. Some sectors will not only have to question themselves, but deal with their imponderables. A trade will remain a trade, but it can stand out. Whether in the approach (environmental, digital…) or in the model (different relationship of subordination, greater trust placed in employees, home travel …), it will become necessary to make more than adjustments.

Dominique Cuvilier sums up the idea quite well, speaking of an " economy of attention to attract their future collaborators in search of meaning and very attentive to the balance between life professional and personal life". Opticians will have to "capture this new dimension " to overcome their recruitment difficulties.

This time, the questioning will be more marked than the previous ones.
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Sources: acuité.fr , frequencyoptic.fr