French recruiters seek expats at Paris job fair

Anyone within reach of Paris and in need of work could do worse than heading down to Place de la Concorde on Thursday and Friday, where 2,000 top recruiters will be taking CVs as part of the annual Paris Pour Emploi job fair. There are 15,000 jobs up for grabs.

French recruiters seek expats at Paris job fair
Career advice and workshops, as well as 2,000 top recruiters will be taking CVs at this year's Carrefour Pour Emploi job fair in Paris on Oct 3rd and 4th. Photo: Bpsusf/Flickr

With record numbers, including expats, looking for work in France these days, this week’s job fair at Place de la Concorde in Paris could be just the opportunity many are looking for.

The annual convention, named Paris Pour Emploi organization, will bring together 2,000 recruiters from top French companies, and thousands of qualified and ambitious job-seekers.

Organisers say there will be 15,000 jobs up for grabs over Thursday and Friday.

The fair, orghanised jointly by the local authorities and "Carrefours Pour l'Emploi" has grown over the last decade to become the largest recruitment fair in France. This year's forum will be particularly geared towards helping people with disabilities find work. 

SEE ALSO: 10 TIPS on writing the perfect French CV

“There will be plenty of companies there from all over Europe, looking for English-speakers and applicants who speak a variety of languages,” a spokeswoman from the Carrefours Pour l'Emploi told The Local on Wednesday.

“It’s a huge space, and aside from meeting recruiters, there will be practical workshops on strategies for finding the right job in France,” she added.

SEE ALSO: TOP 10 Recruiters in France in 2014

The event will feature companies of various sizes and from a wide range of industries (see guide below), and boasts at having directly led to 50,000 hirings in the last decade.

No advanced booking or registration is required and admission is free. Jobseekers should be prepared to walk to find work however, with the fair spread out over 1,000 square metres.

Organisers are hoping to at least match the record set in 2012, when nearly 5,000 jobs were filled and candidates handed in around six CV's each on average.

SEE ALSO: 10 TIPS on finding work in France

This week's job fair comes just days after a report from a leading careers advice organization in France revealed that 400,000 job vacancies are going unfilled every year in France, primarily due to a lack of qualified candidates.

The report, by the COE (Careers Advice Council), found that a combination of unattractive careers and under-qualified applicants was causing a shocking number of hiring processes to be abandoned.

As French daily Le Figaro points out, the worst gap between jobs offers and competent candidates is, perhaps ironically, to be found in those French industries suffering worst in the economic crisis.

This means metal-workers, technicians, graphic designers, and industrial mechanics are most in-demand at the moment.

Anyone with questions regarding the job fair is advised to call 01-53-95-15-15. Otherwise, make your way to Metro stop Concorde or Assemblée Nationale between 9am and 6pm on Thursday and Friday, armed with a CV and a firm handshake.

Metro: Place de la Concorde. Lines 1, 8 and 12

For more details about the event and the companies that will be there, check out this guide (in French).

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Paris Jobs Fair, 2013. Carrefour Pour Emploi

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.