Through Guillaume Laurens
” 30 minutes “. That’s what it took, on paper, to be hired at Sabena Technics, after visiting his future workplace, this Thursday, December 2, 2021 at Cornebarrieu (Haute Garonne), at the gates of Toulouse. This aeronautical subcontractor, which works mainly for Airbus, organized from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a funny recruitment event called “1 appointment = 1 permanent contract”.
Painting and decorating airplanes
“It is not by holding round tables that we will recruit painters! »Chants Philippe Rochet, CEO of this group, which employs around 3,000 people worldwide, including 2,250 in France and 120 in Cornebarrieu, where the site of the group specializing in the painting and the decoration planes. Among its 120 employees in the Pink City represent 95 painters, called to work on the A320 and A350 programs. And these are precisely 40 positions for aeronautical painters which were to be filled this Thursday.
Signature of the CDI upon discharge
In the vast, brand-new hangar which adjoins the Airbus sites and the runways of Toulouse-Blagnac airport, the candidates, often young, come in droplets in the process of getting a job this Thursday. In the program ? Visit of the workshop, individual interview with one of the eight human resources managers dispatched to the site … and upon leaving, if that matches, signature of a CDI.
10 recruitments in two hours
“Recruitment is more difficult than before the Covid”, assures Philippe Rochet. To get out of the game, the CEO wanted “to think outside the box and according to him, whatever happens, the operation will be a success:” We have never managed to recruit so many staff in such a short period of time. time ! »In the space of two o’clock this Thursday, ten candidates were already distributed from Cornebarrieu with a CDI in their pocket …
“We wanted to recruit at the foot of planes, to show candidates what we are doing.”
“I don’t have a diploma, they told me it was okay”
“I don’t have a diploma, but they told me it was okay”, smiles Jérémy, 18 years old, behind his mask. He did not come out with the precious sesame, but did not give up all hope of being hired. The young man, who wants to enter the working life, seems satisfied to have tried his luck, and discovered this universe: “The interview went well. The problem is, I don’t have the license yet to drive… Or, the buses don’t get here until 6:30 am and he should be there a little earlier. I will see with my family if they can bring me. They have to call me back in two weeks ”.
The employees… make the visit!
Jérémy, like the others, was introduced to the tasks to be accomplished at Sabena Technics and the daily work … by painters themselves. These are indeed 30 company employees who are responsible for visiting the premises of their future colleagues.
Ryan, aeronautical painter for four years at Sabena Technics, explains why he accepted to participate in this operation in his company:
Hiring at the minimum wage, then 1,850 euros net within three years
The working conditions remain, of course regularly on the carpet during visits or interviews. And salaries are “displayed in black and white”, assume the boss. Here the employees are hired at minimum wage over 13 months, with some advantages (works council, meal vouchers, etc.) and an increase for overtime or night work. But the company guarantees them that “if all goes well, three years later, they will be at 1,850 euros net per month for a painter ”.
And whatever the profile of the candidate, with experience or not, his training will be fully supported by the company, so that he can acquire “the basics of the profession”, but also to ensure “an optimal position “.
“The people we recruit today have never painted a plane, and for the most part never painted at all. But that’s not a problem, because we will be training the candidates from A to Z. motivated by this work and integrate them into our teams “.
“In the red” in Toulouse, not at group level
This immersive hiring session took place in the company’s fourth hangar, a brand new building, inaugurated in March 2020 … a few weeks before the first confinement, which triggered serial turbulence throughout the industry. In charge of painting planes fresh out of Airbus factories, the Toulouse site was “the most impacted of the group by COVID”, confides its CEO. “We lose a lot of money in Toulouse, where the turnover has been halved, but this is offset by the solidarity of the group ”.
Sabena Technics, based in Orly, in the Paris region, is doing better on a global scale, and should return in 2021 to its 2019 revenue (500 million euros). But “Operating results are in the red” in Toulouse, where the group should achieve in 2021 “approximately half of the turnover, or 12 million euros”.
For 2022, he simply displays the ambition to “stop losing money” in Toulouse, before the activity starts again afterwards. For now, the local site and its brand new hangar are eating their bread: less than 100 planes left Cornebarrieu in 2021.
About twenty programs in one year
How to justify hiring 40 people, when we are losing money, and all the lights are not yet green? The CEO does not hide that Sabena Technics must compensate for a lack of manpower, after many departures during the crisis : “We see that the Covid has changed the relationship at work, and a lot of questions,” he blows. “We have not made the slightest social plan” (except for the stopping of an activity on a site in Polynesia, linked to the loss of a large contract from the Ministry of the Armed Forces, and not to the Covid, editor’s note), but we had many resignations over this period. “Over the last twelve months, around twenty employees have left the company ”, engages Pascal Pasteur, general manager of the Toulouse site.
The other issue is “Anticipation of the recovery”, insists Philippe Rochet. “We never develop without taking risks,” says the CEO, who wants to be in a position “to support clients. And for that, we need staff ”. Sabena Technics thus intends to respond to the “very ambitious ramp-ups of Airbus”, which has been taking over orders since the start of the school year … “We go around! “
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