How many recruitment agencies are there in France?

Illustration nombre de cabinets de recrutement


How many recruitment agencies are there in France?

We have made an estimate of the number of recruitment agencies in France from 2005 to 2019.

From 2005 to 2016

The latest information found on the INSEE website is more than 10 years old and dates back to 2005. At that time, there were nearly 1,600 recruitment firms or agencies in France, according to INSEE. This is the same number for temporary employment agencies. In terms of typology, it is interesting to note that one firm out of 5 is created by an individual entrepreneur and that 80% of firms have less than 5 employees.

APEC figures for 2007 confirm the figure of 1600 recruitment agencies in France. If we estimate the number of recruitment agencies in France in 2010 and add the numerous bankruptcies linked to the crisis at the end of 2008 and the creations over the last 3 years facilitated by the auto-entrepreneur status, we can estimate that there were approximately 1500 recruitment agencies in France in 2010. This figure is confirmed by the Cercomm guide which announces for this year 1480 firms.


It is estimated that there are between 1600 and 1700 recruitment agencies in France. Indeed, the weak growth of the last few years has not allowed a strong growth in hiring and therefore in the creation of recruitment agencies. The Cercomm guide shows 1600 firms listed for the year 2016.

From 2017 to 2019

Economic activity is better than in previous years. The INSEE figures are quite good, employment in France is increasing. However, at the same time, a study by Apec shows that companies are using recruitment agencies less. The share of recruitment firms in their recruitment has dropped from 35% to 29%. This concerns both recruitment firms and hunting firms, even if the latter are less affected. It is estimated that the number of new firms is not increasing much, and that the growth is mainly benefiting existing firms. The Cercomm guide shows 1655 firms listed for the year 2018.

It is therefore estimated that there will be 1,800 recruitment firms in France in 2019. We offer you the link to the 2020 list of the 260 best recruitment firms according to “Les Echos“.

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HR managers are very satisfied with recruitment agencies

Here are the main findings of the study conducted by TNS Sofres in March and April 2011 on the satisfaction of recruitment agencies:

1/ Recruitment firms are recommended and appreciated by candidates and HRDs,

2/ HR managers who often use recruitment agencies, and who put them in competition with each other,

3/ A very positive opinion of recruitment agencies in general,

4/ Satisfaction is linked above all to discretion and availability, as well as to the professional skills of the firms,

5/ Firms recognized for the quality of the candidates proposed,

6/ The HRDs expect above all the recruitment firms to evaluate and select candidates, as well as to follow up and react quickly.

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