Institut de Soudure provides inspection, testing, design, research, training and certification for industrial companies. Its 8,000 customers include major corporations in sectors such as oil and gas, manufacturing, transport, chemicals, energy, and construction. The company says: “The strength of Institut de Soudure lies in the men and women who commit themselves every day alongside our clients, at every stage of their project.” We asked Benoît Serreau, Director of Human Resources, to describe how the company supports and nurtures its most vital resource: employees.

Swiss Life: What elements of employee benefits are particularly important to you when it comes to supporting your company’s success and growth? Why?

Institut de Soudure:

Being a responsible company is all about appreciating and supporting every one of our 1100 employees. The men and women who work for the Institut de Soudure Group are at the heart of our business and we make sure that it is a great place to work. To this end our approach is very focused on human resources, featuring efficient management, individual accountability, and the sharing of objectives as well as common values.

We have worked particularly hard to set up effective support for our mobile employees, paying specific attention to the relocation conditions for both employees and their families. We also ensure that our employees benefit from complete and comprehensive insurance, covering their retirement, risk, and health needs.

In addition, faced with the gradual deterioration of the state pension system, the Institut de Soudure Group decided in 2013 to set up a supplementary defined contribution pension plan (Article 83) for its entire workforce, paid for exclusively by the company. Our primary motivation with this is to enable our employees to benefit from extra income during their retirement. We also want to make our employees, particularly the younger ones, more aware of the need to plan for retirement as early as possible.

Swiss Life: Institut de Soudure works in Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. With employees in such diverse environments, what is most important to you when setting up employee benefits?

Institut de Soudure:

Founded in 1905, with 25 locations in France today, we are now an international group operating in over 40 countries. Being able to offer effective employee benefits coverage is therefore of huge importance; every new employee should feel protected, whatever their function or location. We regard comprehensive insurance coverage and assistance services as indispensable.

Swiss Life: We know that you give high priority to employee integration and satisfaction. What makes Institut de Soudure uniquely attractive for new employees? Do you think that well-designed employee benefit packages help to attract and retain good employees?

Institut de Soudure:

As a service company, the integration of new employees is very important to us. Every year 100 new employees decide to join us. Each one embarks on an integration programme to help them better understand their new work environment and our company culture, and how to build their technical expertise. The results of the various internal surveys conducted with our employees regularly highlight the importance of our employee benefits programme. And the arrangements we have in place definitely set us apart and help us to attract and retain employees.

Swiss Life: Swiss Life France has been offering pension solutions for your employees since 2012. What are your impressions of the solutions and services we provide? How satisfied are you with the team managing your portfolio? Could you share some experiences with us?

Institut de Soudure:

We have been working with Swiss Life France for several months, in particular on setting up a supplementary defined contribution pension plan (Art.83) for all our employees. Following a selection stage involving several possible partners, we chose Swiss Life France. There were several factors behind this decision. First: the quality and competitiveness of the business offer. Second: the innovative nature of the offer, due in particular to partnership with Oddo Pinatton for asset management. Finally: the availability and quality of the people who took part in the negotiations.

We have been very pleased to find that the attention paid to our group did not end when the supplementary pension plan was signed. The teams at Swiss Life France have provided us with the same high level of support during implementation. So we have been entirely satisfied with the customised offer and step-by-step implementation support provided by the Swiss Life France teams.

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Benoît Serreau, Director of Human Resources of the Institut de Soudure, for participating in this interview.



Benoît Serreau 


Director of Human Resources of Institut de Soudure
36 years old and a business school (Ecole de Commerce) graduate specialising in market finance. He joined the Institut De Soudure Group in 2002 as a strategic analyst, and subsequently assumed responsibility for management control, as Deputy Head of Operations in France then Regional Director of the Ile de France/Centre region. Since 2011 he has been Director of Human Resources and a member of the Group Executive Committee. 


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