it is possible to find a job while doing sports

It is barely 9 o’clock and people are already standing at the gates of the Jean Bouin Stadium, in Blanc-Mesnil, in Seine-Saint-Denis (93). Jogging outfit and sneakers on her feet, Fatiha, 37, comes looking for a job. This morning it is not around a table that she meets her potential future employer, but at a running track. This former specialist trainer, unemployed for six months, will be integrated into a team of ten people, made up of job seekers and one or more recruiters, who will continue masked.

Fatiha will not know who the employer is until the anonymity is lifted in the early afternoon. “I’m going to feel like I’m being spied onThe game will be to find out who the employer is. We may soon find out, if there’s one with a bureaucratic side that’s a bit stuck, it’s instantly exposed! But we can always be surprised by appearances she jokes.

Less formal than a traditional interview

She feels more comfortable with this way of recruiting: “I like it much more than traditional interviews with questions about your qualities and your mistakes”, she trusts. Like the 100 or so job seekers who attended, she was contacted by Pôle emploi, which organizes the event in collaboration with the French Athletics Federation, the National Sports Agency and Paris 2024 – the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. His profile was studied upstream to verify that he met the requirements of the position.

“Employers tell us every time they might not have hired such and such a person in the context of a traditional interview,” explains Olivier Meneux, regional attractiveness and youth manager at Paris 2024, who financially supports the operation. Organized a hundred times a year, this initiative is of interest in Seine-Saint-Denis, the second French department most affected by unemployment, with 10.5% of inhabitants not working in the last quarter of 2021 INSEE said.

Don’t let yourself be exposed

Candidates must run in relay. “To go as fast as possible, you have to use your arms”, coach advises. It is barely ten o’clock and it is already above 30°C in the municipal stadium. Some participants are having a hard time. But they will not be judged on the quality of the sport, recalls Olivier Meneux.

The idea is also to allow employers to flush out skills in candidates in addition to purely professional skills. I analyze behaviour, but you should not say it too much, otherwise I will be exposedexplains Angélique softly, a recruiter trying to stay incognito. We see those who encourage, those who lag behind, those who can’t, but still try not to disappoint the team… It’s super interesting they detail.

A total of eleven companies are present. And 87 vacancies are filled for 120 candidates, especially in sectors that struggle to recruit, such as mass distribution, construction, healthcare, transportation or community services.

After lunch it is time for revelations. Can the employer under you report? A man dressed in the Atlético de Madrid shirt stands up. “But no! We didn’t think it was you at all!” shouted his teammates. “I think I have infiltrated well, I was not seen”, the interested person has fun before explaining through the microphone that he is recruiting bus drivers for the RATP. In some groups, less surprisingly, the candidates had already identified the employer.

CVs are not forgotten

Long queues arise to be able to talk to the recruiters. The majority of candidates brought their resumes with them, even if they weren’t supposed to… A man in his forties just finished his job interview, he’s mixed: “It’s okay, it went well. But I was asked for a cover letter” he says a little discouraged. “It’s normal, we told you it would just be the first stage of recruitment,” reassures him as an advisor to Pôle emploi.

“What does lead to a bit of frustration is that we don’t recruit right away. There is then a more formal interview explains another recruiter. According to figures from Paris 2024, an average of 60% of job seekers still get a job after these encounters.