In a country famed for labour strikes that can paralyse swathes of the economy, Hollande proposed a model similar to that in neighbouring Germany where "social dialogue" can head off damaging disputes.
"France has not developed a culture of negotiation," Hollande said, as he opened a two-day "social conference" in Paris saying the most efficient economies are "those able to forge lasting compromises".
He said France needs to "make our social model evolve to better guarantee" the country's financial security, adding that controlling public finances and reducing the debt were a question of France's "future sovereignty".
He proposed giving social dialogue more prominence in the debate over the country's economy and even to "inscribe its role in the constitution".
"The moment has come to put France in motion, there is no time to lose," Hollande told about 300 people gathered for the conference.