The service sector in Hauts-de-France

Our region is a heavy hitter in the services sector, with a high concentration of specialists in customer relations, service outsourcing, banking, insurance and digital services. Result: a robust ecosystem that produces targeted know-how and skills with genuine added value for your business. Find out why Majorel, Booking.com, IBM, Altimance, L’Olivier Assurance and other top companies chose Hauts-de-France as the place to grow.

The service sector in Hauts-de-France

Our region is a heavy hitter in the services sector, with a high concentration of specialists in customer relations, service outsourcing, banking, insurance and digital services. Result: a robust ecosystem that produces targeted know-how and skills with genuine added value for your business. Find out why Majorel, Booking.com, IBM, Altimance, L’Olivier Assurance and other top companies chose Hauts-de-France as the place to grow.

Arrow in a target

Fertile ground for finding new customers

When you’re scouting a new location for your business, the customer catchment area is the first thing you analyze. Hauts-de-France offers an unparalleled location within easy distance of leading European decision-making centers.

Your customers are already here

Our region boasts a concentration of customers like no other. When you locate here, you gain a major advantage for generating leads.

Major customers in Hauts-de-France

Leading companies are headquartered here, and the region is home to tightly-knit, industry-specific ecosystems with a high concentration of players and the capacity to create value and jobs. And because Hauts-de-France is home to so many industries, you’ll find exceptional potential for B2B lead generation here as well. We excel across a range of areas, and that’s a powerful asset for growing your business.

Best sectors Hauts-de-France
Best sectors Hauts-de-France
Outreach of the hauts-de-France

Easy access to customers in Paris and Northern Europe

Our location gives you a huge competitive advantage: a tightly woven business community like no other.

Within a 300-km radius of Lille you can:

  • quickly reach five major decision-making centers: Paris, London, Brussels, Luxembourg and Amsterdam.
  • set up your business close to current and future clients
  • penetrate a one-of-a-kind market with €1,500 billion in disposable income

Boost your recruitment capacity

Fast facts

#2 region for education in France: Hauts-de-France is a young, densely populated region with major urban centers.

  • 6 million inhabitants
  • 33% of the population is under 25
  • 2nd-highest population density in France
  • #1 for continuing education in French

The people you need

Some 57,000 people are available right now to work in the Hauts-de-France service sector1. When you locate here, you avoid the frustrations of a tight labor market—and that’s a big advantage. In fact, it’s so easy to recruit in Hauts-de-France that our market is the envy of many European regions.

1Source: French National Job Centre 2019.

Group of people
Teacher in front of students

Qualified international talent

Thanks to our location—close to the border and in the heart of international trade—it’s easy to recruit multilingual employees here. Our population includes:

  • 25,000 foreign students
  • over 200,000 residents from outside France

Higher employee engagement

In Lille, average turnover for back-office operations is just 10%­—a clear sign of the employee loyalty you need to save on recruitment and training costs.

Average annual turnover in major European cities

Source: EY/NFI – 2016

Teleworking in Lille

The global Covid-19 panic has had an undeniable impact on work habits and work spaces. Bottom line: the trend towards teleworking has accelerated significantly.

According to the French Labor Ministry, by the end of March 2020, one in four employees in France was teleworking—and that’s an advantage for Hauts-de-France.

Thanks to its quality of life, its connection to major European cities and its abundant coworking space, Lille is rated France’s best city for teleworking.

Top French cities for teleworking

#1 #2 #3
Lille Bordeaux Lyon

Source: France Attractive rankings for the French news magazine Le Point

Competitive payroll costs

For many businesses, controlling labor costs is essential to success. Did you know that Hauts-de-France offers highly competitive salaries?

According to a 2016 study of back office positions by EY, the region’s costs are:

  • 6% lower than those of its leading European competitors
  • 15% lower than those of its leading French competitors

Want to compare us with other European cities? Check out our payroll cost-comparison tool.

Annual salary for a back-office manager – EY/NFI, 2020

City Annual salary
BEAUVAIS       63.379 €
ARRAS       64.298 €
LILLE       73.789 €
NANTES       74.249 €
LYON       82.056 €
AMSTERDAM       89.323 €
PARIS LA DEFENSE       91.854 €
BRUSSELS       100.362 €
LONDON CANARY WHARF       102.818 €
DUSSELDORF       110.003 €

Source: EY study, 2020

Annual salary for a back-office supervisor – EY/NFI, 2020

City Annual salary
ARRAS     45.927 €
BEAUVAIS       51.591 €
NANTES       51.898 €
LILLE       53.753 €
LYON       59.705 €
PARIS       61.236 €
BRUSSELS       72.569 €
AMSTERDAM       74.436 €
DUSSELDORF       79.617 €
LONDON       82.809 €

Source: EY study, 2020

Annual salary for a qualified employee – EY/NFI, 2020

City Annual salary
ARRAS       28.576 €
NANTES       30.256 €
BEAUVAIS       31.307 €
LILLE       31.518 €  
LYON       38.034 €
PARIS       40.767 €
BRUSSELS       43.233 €
AMSTERDAM       49.624 €
DUSSELDORF       49.628 €
LONDON       53.465 €

Source: EY study, 2020

Service officer in front a computer

Specializing in customer relations recruitment

Hauts-de-France is France’s #1 region for customer relations­—a natural legacy of our pioneering role in distance selling. We offer a selection of specialized partners that can help you find the talent you’re looking for.

Need help recruiting?

The perfect real estate solution for your service business

With our competitive real estate prices and close ties to the Paris Region and Northwestern Europe, Hauts-de-France is the location of choice for your service operation.

Lille is the #3 market for office space in France. According to BNP Paribas Real Estate, the city set a new record in H1 2019:

  • over 145,000 sq m rented in the Lille office market, up 38% from H1 2018
  • future (one year) availability of 275,000 sq m (incl 38% new space)

Other cities in the region are extremely attractive as well, including Arras, Valenciennes, Beauvais and Saint-Quentin. With so many opportunities, you’ll easily find the space you need to grow your business in Hauts-de-France.

Le First Smart building

Cost of an office, existing stock (€/sq m/year)

Source: EY/NFI – 2020

Keep real-estate costs under control

When you’re scouting a new location for your business, it’s critical to consider real-estate prices in your target regions. Choose Hauts-de-France to keep your costs under control.

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