Our human capital and our values

Through their professionalism and commitment, Colas' people form the base on which the Group's success rests. Colas' future therefore depends on our human capital; there are three priorities to enhance this: attracting people, building loyalty and fostering development, built on the cornerstone of our corporate values.

01 Attracting


Promoting the image of the business and its development prospects

Colas carries out a wide range of activities to attract talent at all levels, overcome the traditional image of our businesses and provide information about how modern, complex and dynamic they are and the opportunities they offer: taking on thousands of paid interns, holding open days, speaking in schools and universities, carrying out poster campaigns, etc.

Attracting new recruits

To plan ahead and support our development, Colas must ensure that our human resources are regularly renewed and expanded. In order to replace leavers and maintain our growth drivers, Colas hires several thousand people per year. Recruitment of new graduates in France, based on a strong willed internship program that is at the heart of the Group’s HR policy.  

This year, Colas has obtained “Top Employers 2019” certification, a five-step process including an independent audit and analysis of several hundred managerial and HR practices.

Opening up to diversity

Maintaining the business' collective intelligence also means encouraging and protecting staff diversity. As well as complying with legal rules, Colas' human resources policy is open to greater gender equality, employment for older people, employment for people in difficulty (the long-term unemployed) and the recruitment and reintegration of employees with disabilities.

The Group’s diversity policy is multifold, and is adapted to suit the sociology and legal framework of each country in which we operate. 

The Gender Equality policy focuses on three areas: attracting more women, recruiting women in all trades, retaining female talent and fostering women’s career development.

For the year 2020, for COLAS SA and COLAS France (due to the grouping on January 1, 2021 of the 6 regional road companies in mainland France into Colas Centre-Ouest renamed COLAS France), the results of the Gender Equality Indexes are as follows:

  • COLAS SA : 89 points / 100 points 
  • COLAS France : Incalculable


02 Building loyalty

Building loyalty

Developing loyalty to secure long-term employee relationships

In a business that values its human capital, the only valid policy is a long-term one: the relationship between the business and its employees must be a lasting one. To this end, Colas seeks to ensure that the Group's day-to-day working environment is characterized by respect, fairness, dialog between management and labor, and the recognition of merit, and that employee benefits and the principle of overall compensation continue to apply.

Attractive compensation

Colas' overall compensation policy is a key component in developing loyalty. The Group's staff receive both a fixed and a variable component of salary (in line with achievement of set targets, fulfillment of responsibilities and business performance). In addition, the Group offers retirement, death and disability plans, health insurance and savings products as local legislation allows. In various countries including France, staff also benefit from profit-sharing agreements and can sign up for employee savings schemes. This policy aims to balance immediate purchasing power with benefits encouraging staff loyalty.

High quality social dialogue with labor relations

Labor relations within the Group are founded on a decentralized dialogue that is led at a local level. 

In Mainland France, social dialogue is now exercised within 274 Employee Representative Bodies, given the gradual roll out of CSE structures. Each profit center is able to adapt compensation, jobs, workforce, working times, preventions, to fit with specific local needs.   

In its international units, Colas adapts it social policy to fit with local legislation.  Collective bargaining agreements are negotiated with trade unions to which employees belong. 77% of Colas company with over 300 employees have personnel representation in Frances as in Euope and Africa. 

In North America, social dialogue is exercised via professional trade unions. Besides, companies also organize information meetings to ensure social dialogue.

03 Fostering development

Fostering development

Improving staff skills and career paths

Once a staff member has been recruited and has become a loyal employee, he or she must be able to continue to develop within the business, for the greater benefit of both the employee and the business.

Supporting internal promotion

"Upward mobility" is one of the centerpieces of Colas' strategy; in order for internal promotion to operate effectively, it is essential that staff who are promoted receive proper training. 

"Colas schools"

To facilitate staff induction, promotion and adaptation to changes within our business areas, 37,608 employees of Group received training in 2019, representing nearly 114,481 days of training. As well as training delivered by the Group via the Colas Campus and Colas University, the Group's subsidiaries offer a very wide range of activities: the school of railway professions opened by Colas Rail in France, a training center in Morocco, joint US/Canada training programs, training on site risks in the Indian Ocean, training on compliance with European standards in Romania, etc.

Created in 1990, the Colas University is designed to provide an opportunity to learn and exchange, thus serving as a durable ‘breeding ground’ for Group managers.  In a partnership with three renowned graduate schools (ENPC, HEC and North Carolina State University), the Colas University proposed a four-prong professional education path.  There are two entities, one for French employees in French-speaking countries, and the second for English-speaking employees, organized in the United States. 

A policy in favor of mobility

Mobility has three benefits in a group as huge and diverse as Colas: it enriches careers, it enables the business to adapt to market fluctuations, and it boosts the sharing of best practice. Colas is therefore in favor of mobility, in particular via a dedicated unit, an intranet, job opportunity boards and temporary staff assignments in a different subsidiary. This policy is a particularly effective way of protecting jobs while responding to declining activity in certain geographical areas or regions.

Passing on knowledge and values

Developing skills also means passing on expertise. Compagnons de la Route - consisting of about 800 of our top employees - plays a key role in this area, as do the mentors assigned to its new members. This approach also forms part of our thinking in relation to employment for older people.

04 Our values