Weathering the Weather in HRO

I am weary of Winter and ready to get on with Spring! A record setting Winter snow storm just blasted the East Coast of the U.S. this past weekend, and more snow is heading this way by mid-week. London has also seen the heaviest snows in twenty years. Some areas are prepared for lots of snow and can handle it with aplomb and as an economic boom. But in cities like London, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., big snow is disruptive, dangerous and a budget buster.

At least we are seeing signs of the coming Spring in HRO, with a generally upbeat tone to most of the earnings calls, even as most vendors continue to report revenue declines and offer guidance of relatively flat revenues for 2010.

Winter is not yet over

For example, last week ADP announced that its Employer Services fiscal Q2 2010 revenues were down two percent compared to 2009. ADP saw client payrolls down five percent leading to a drop of seven percent in payroll and tax filing revenues, reflecting continued workforce reductions at the end of 2009.

ADP’s Employer Services revenue growth will be constrained until payroll volumes increase, which are expected to start improving in the first half of 2010.

An expected thaw is on the way

HRO vendors reporting results that are less bad compared quarter over quarter and the universally reported increased pipeline activity are indicators of a thaw.

For example, for ADP, the view beyond payroll revenues, which includes HRO services, remains more optimistic based on three percent increases in each of the last two quarters. And ADP’s small business sales have increased, largely due to the successful introduction of Workforce Now, a new payroll, benefits and HR services SaaS platform for the less than 100 employee market. Workforce Now has already added 2,000 clients since its introduction in October 2009.

According to ADP, larger employers are starting to reengage in new services discussions, but remain slow to make contract commitments. Even with the uptick in the small market and the beyond payroll services, the overall decline in revenues driven by smaller payroll pays and lower client fund balances keeps the forecast for FY 2010 ES as flat to down one percent.

With some signs of the coming Spring

ADP is confident enough that the economic recovery is starting that it plans to begin modest hiring to have more sales and service personnel onboard and trained to take advantage of increased opportunities.

The truth is, Winter is still not over. We need to see an increased rate of contract signings Then we need to see positive revenue gains not clouded by currency exchange rates. And a few larger HRO deal announcements would help warm us up nicely.  

For awhile yet we will continue to see mixed signs of recovery and there is likely another Winter storm or two to weather. Still, I can almost hear the birds of Spring chirping…can you?

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: hr outsourcing, hr outsourcing research, hro, HRO contracts, HRO providers, nelsonhall, payroll outsourcing, SaaS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s