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Banks shine in LinkedIn's latest ranking of the best places to work in France


From luxury retail to construction and insurance firms, LinkedIn has published its latest "Top Companies" list for France — and it seems that banks are a popular choice.

Moving up six places from last year's rankings, international lender BNP Paribas has been named as the top business to work for in France this year.

To create each of its "Top Companies" lists, the professional networking platform evaluated each company against four pillars, including how much interest and engagement a business has, along with job demand and employee retention.

With a user base of more than 610 million, LinkedIn compiles lists to see which companies best suit certain countries, including France, Brazil, Germany, and the United States. In France alone, LinkedIn has confirmed to CNBC that there are over 17 million members.

Here are the top 10 businesses to work for in France:

10. Orange

Global headcount: 151,000

One of the largest mobile and internet service operators in Africa and Europe, Orange needs a strong workforce to keep its 264 million customers happy. Inside the company, the telecoms group aims to offer a "unique experience" for its staff, with Orange committed to workplace wellbeing. Some of Orange's key priorities include training up its employees so that they are equipped with the right skills for the future, and offering agile ways of working.

9. L'Oreal

Global headcount: 86,000

Leading the way in beauty, L'Oreal's products are found in stores worldwide, with the cosmetics group having more than 30 brands, including Maybelline New York, Diesel and Garnier.

A L'Oreal nail polish display sits inside a department store in Paris, France, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.
Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images

L'Oreal is constantly looking to innovate and wants to make sure every product it sells by 2020 has an "improved environmental or social profile"; which may be done through eco-designed packaging, or respecting biodiversity with sustainable sourcing of raw materials.

8. Bouygues Group

Global headcount: 129,000

As a diversified services group, Bouygues has three core divisions: construction, media and telecoms, all of which are covered under its five subsidiaries, which include Colas, TF1 Group and Bouygues Telecom.

While the company may have a lot of operations going on, the entire group shares three main principles: trust, fairness and respect.

7. Engie

Global headcount: 154,500+

As climate change and the perception around energy evolves, so has this company's focus — with it even having changed its name in 2015 from GDF Suez to Engie.

Today, the utility group is aiming to innovate and improve energy efficiency, with an objective to become a leader in the zero-carbon transition.

A technician of the French multinational electric utility company Engie inspect the electrical panel of a windmill in Radenac, western France.

Between 2012 and 2018, the firm more than halved its CO2 emissions, and promotes this message through its values and workforce — with two thirds of employees being involved in energy efficiency solutions.

Employee well-being is of major importance to Engie, with the company having incorporated several practices to accommodate workers, including teleworking, in-service training, and reverse mentoring.

6. AXA

Global headcount: 160,000

With a mission to offer protection to its millions of clients – 105 million at present — AXA asks employees to put customers first and foremost, as part of the business' four key values.

The insurer is currently trying to transform itself from being a "payer to partner for its customers" for all by next year. Its CEO, Thomas Buberl has previously said that insurers are often seen as having a "reputation of being bill payers, whereas customers actually expect much more from us."

To achieve this, AXA is looking at extensive digitalization, along with challenging its employees, by encouraging staff to upskill and embrace qualities of a leader.

5. Groupe Credit Agricole

Global headcount: 141,000

The first of many lenders to appear in the top 10, Credit Agricole has over 30 brands to choose from, with its services ranging from retail and investment banking, to specialized financial services.

Logos of French banks Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas
Damien Amien Meyer I AFP I Getty Images

Inside the group, Credit Agricole aims to offer a flexible working environment and training, while encouraging its staff to be quick-thinking and innovative when it comes to decision-making.

According to the company, it hires over 15,000 new staff members each year, from work-study trainees to full-time workers.


Global headcount: 156,000

With 70 houses under its name, LVMH knows what it takes to make a name for itself in the consumer space. On the recruiting front, the luxury goods maker looks to secure and develop the "most talented" of individuals — whatever their experience or background is.

The brand wants someone who embraces a dual mindset: one who values the company's history, while also demonstrating an entrepreneurial and agile attitude.

3. Groupe BPCE

Global headcount: 105,000

Seen as the second-largest banking institution in France, Groupe BPCE looks to offer a range of options to its customers, from investment, financing and savings solutions, to cash management.

The Groupe BPCE, parent group of Natixis, headquarters are seen in Paris, France.
Fabrice Dimier | Bloomberg | Getty Images

So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the lender wants to hire talented individuals to keep its status as a banking leader.

To do this, the lender offers various training courses for all career levels, stating that it is determined to offer staff the tools needed to design and advance their growth in the company.

2. Societe Generale

Global headcount: 147,000+

Another popular bank to grace this year's list is Societe Generale, which has made a large jump from last year's ranking of 15th best employer in France. At present, the lender serves some 31 million customers around the world and offers a range of services, including asset management, retail and investment banking.

Inside the group, Societe Generale has four core principles which are shared amongst employees: a desire for innovation, responsibility, commitment to client satisfaction, and embracing the collaborative team spirit.

1. BNP Paribas

Global headcount: 202,500+

BNP Paribas has shot up from last year's place at number seven, to be named the most sought after employer in France for 2019.

A general view of the Milan and Diamond Tower tower at sunset on October 24, 2018 in Milan, Italy. 
Fabrizio Villa | Getty Images News | Getty Images

To encourage employee retention, BNP Paribas looks to promote professional career development, with various educational programs available and four training centers dotted around Europe and Asia.

According to the group, more than half of its overall headcount take on new company roles almost every three years, and at least 145,000 employees have gained an advantage from taking a training program. In 2018, the bank was a recipient of the "Top Employers Europe" certification for the nurture and development of talent, as well as outstanding employee conditions.

Click here to see the full "Top Companies" list for this country, and others on LinkedIn.

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