Dear friends, Dear clients, Dear partners,

A new year 2022 is opening to us and I would like to thank you for supporting our development by entrusting us with your research, your applications or your advice.

The recovery plans initiated by the European countries in 2020 have been successful as companies have achieved record results in 2021.According to the INSEE’s October 2021 business report, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the margin rate would be 0.6 points above its average level in 2018.

In Europe, the year 2021 was highlighted by a few important indicators:

GDP growth in the Eurozone and the EU: during the third quarter of 2021, GDP increased by 2.2% in the Eurozone and by 2.1% in the EU compared to the previous quarter.  During the third quarter of 2021, U.S. GDP increased by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter (after +1.6% in the second quarter of 2021)

Employment growth in the Eurozone and the EU: the number of employed persons increased by 0.9% in the Eurozone and the EU in the third quarter 2021 compared to the previous quarter. In the second quarter of 2021, employment increased by 0.7% in the Eurozone and by 0.8% in the EU

A rising inflation rate: it is estimated at 4.9% in November 2021, compared to 4.1% in October, according to an estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Among the main components of inflation in the euro zone, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in November, followed by services, industrial goods excluding energy and food, alcohol & tobacco.

A falling unemployment rate: in September 2021, the eurozone unemployment rate was 7.4%, down from 7.5% in August 2021 and 8.6% in September 2020. The EU unemployment rate was 6.7% in September 2021, down from 6.9% in August 2021 and 7.7% in September 2020

A €7.3 billion surplus in the euro zone’s international trade in goods: according to initial estimates, euro zone exports of goods to the rest of the world were €209.3 billion in September 2021, up 10.0% from September 2020 (€190.2 bn). Imports from the rest of the world were 202.0 bn euro, an increase of 21.6% compared to September 2020 (166.1 bn euro). As a result, the euro zone recorded a surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world of 7.3 bn euro in September 2021, compared with +24.1 bn euro in September 2020. Intra-euro zone trade reached 191.5 bn euros in September 2021, an increase of 16.4% compared to September 2020

Over the period January to September 2021, Germany recorded a trade balance of +146.1 bn euros, the Netherlands +55 bn euros, Italy +41.3 bn euros, Belgium +23.2 bn euros, Austria -9.4 bn euros, and France -75.7 bn euros, which means that there are significant differences between the euro zone countries.

In this particular 2021 context, working practices have continued to change:

– We shared Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s optimistic vision of the future of work in our article:

– With the acceleration of teleworking and the rise of video conferencing, we shared some simple tips to mitigate some of its negative effects:

– Finally, in a widely acclaimed article, we highlighted the increase in burnout, erosion of corporate culture and “ghosting”:

2022 is shaping up to be a particularly busy year economically and socially, with the euro zone economy expected to grow faster than forecast this year as it recovers from the pandemic recession and continues to grow strongly in 2022 with the beginnings of lower government deficits and moderate increases in public debt.

The Commission said gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro would grow by 5.0 % this year after a 6.4 % recession in 2020. It forecasts growth of 4.3 % in 2022 and 2.4 % in 2023.

In this context, how will employee behaviours change and how will companies respond?

– Faced with burnout, some companies are already trying to curb the phenomenon by offering training or coaching solutions via remote platforms. Will these external solutions, operated in volume, meet the expectations of employees seeking attention and personal recognition from their organization? It would be relevant to validate the effectiveness of these solutions via an external survey conducted by an independent institute.

– Loss of meaning for employees: some multinationals (the most affected by this syndrome) are starting to offer employees the possibility of reserving working days dedicated to projects they would like to develop themselves. This is the case for large IT groups. Will this meet their expectations in terms of meeting the promises made by their organization, on issues related to business performance but also on others related to governance, the environment, social issues or the well-being of employees?

Today, faced with these major challenges, we are aware of the important role we play, as “recruiters”, to make the link between our candidates and our clients. It’s not just a matter of putting two parties in touch with each other, but of contributing to bringing them meaning and value.

In 2022, Alhambra International will focus more than ever on companies that take care of their employees and their environment.

On behalf of the entire Alhambra International team, I wish you a very happy 2022, full of happiness, awareness and respect for these values that we share together!

Anne-Charlotte Vaillant