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“It’s motivation that counts”: behind the scenes of the recruitment campaign for new Transilien SNCF agents

“He who tries nothing, gets nothing, is that the expression?” says Alexandros, 29, in front of the train driving simulator installed by Transilien SNCF Voyageurs in the middle of its recruitment forum.

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“It’s motivation that counts”: behind the scenes of the recruitment campaign for new Transilien SNCF agents

“He who tries nothing, gets nothing, is that the expression?” says Alexandros, 29, in front of the train driving simulator installed by Transilien SNCF Voyageurs in the middle of its recruitment forum. This “train enthusiast since he was little” came with his hands in his pockets, without a CV but with a smile, hoping to glean some valuable information on how he could become a train or RER driver. An apparent nonchalance which could be stigmatizing in any job interview, but which does not seem to be a problem this Tuesday, February 6.

There, at the Stade de France where Transilien SNCF organizes its annual recruitment forum to raise awareness of the company and its professions, and try to convince as many people as possible to join them, the HR Director of Transilien at SNCF Voyageurs Isabelle Graillot assures that “it “It’s motivation that takes precedence.” “There is no particular profile, we have a lot of people in the second half of their career, retraining, a little fewer young people,” explains the latter, who insists on the fact that there is “no of diploma constraints, nor of age limits”. “Except for jobs related to maintenance which require a minimum of skills,” she admits.

In total, more than 2,400 people registered for this "XXL event", says its CEO Christophe Fanichet, praising in passing the attractiveness of his company, which recruited 1,350 agents including 600 drivers last year, on an objective initial of 900, and receives no less than 250,000 applications each year. However, “the quality of service” of his company “depends on the number of employees we have to carry out the service”. In 2024, it therefore estimates that it will need “more than 900 additional employees including 400 drivers to be able to meet its commitments” and “achieve 100% of the nominal offer” required by the contract which binds it to Île-de-France Mobilités ( IDFM).

Hence the organization of this big rally, where most of the people interviewed are primarily looking for information about the company. This is the case of these three friends, aged 18, 21 and 24, who are instinctively heading towards the profession of reception agent. “I wanted to take a closer look at the different professions that surround me in everyday life,” underlines one of them. Other candidates like Karim, 39, are already further along in the recruitment process. The person who is a site manager for the Eiffage group has already obtained an interview to become an RER or train driver, and is very interested in the idea of ​​joining a large group such as SNCF. He works two jobs to provide for his family and says he “invests a lot in work”. “I’m going to see what they offer me, I’m in the middle of the recruitment process but I’m ambitious. We’re going to test,” he says.

A little further on, the stand dedicated to security agents is always full. Behind the counter dressed as a security officer, Christophe answers everyone's questions on questions related to "training, remuneration and geographical area", he specifies. “Most of the interested people come to collect information and ask questions, but I still received a few CVs,” rejoices the one who assures that “there will be big needs for the Olympic Games in particular.” To apply, you must be at least 18 years old and commit to following an 8-month training course, half of which is at the Security University and the other half in immersion, for a starting salary of between 1500 and 1600 euros. net per month, not including bonuses.

Also read: “We have the workforce” for the Olympic Games, assures the CEO of SNCF Voyageurs

Opposite him, Josselin, a young 27-year-old hairdresser, is attracted by the SNCF and the job security that goes with it, and will post his CV on the internet after his meeting with Christophe. At 29, Chanika is determined to leave the RATP where she is a bus driver to join the competition. Referring to the days of rest lost in her company and the lack of attractiveness, she hopes that the SNCF will be more generous. “There are many more benefits, and the salaries are better,” she believes, aiming for a position as a train driver. According to Transilien's HR department, drivers' salaries start at 35,000 euros gross per year, "depending on their profile." Or around 2000 euros net per month.

“We have no concerns about attractiveness,” assures Isabelle Graillot, according to whom the idea of ​​doing “work that makes sense (...) in a large international group where career prospects are important » is a real factor in attracting new profiles. In terms of social benefits, the SNCF is committed to offering “a global package”, in particular to help its agents find accommodation in the region. “Each agent who wishes is offered accommodation less than 20 km from their assignment within four months of being hired,” she says. “There is no subject of attractiveness in our professions,” confirms Christophe Fanichet, praising the course offered to all employees. “We can start as a shunting driver, then as a RER, Transilien line driver, then become a TER or even TGV driver,” he argues, also adding “the possibility of territorial evolution”, while the SNCF is present throughout France. And to conclude with his key argument: “By working at the SNCF, those who want to do ecology will be able to do ecology for real.”

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