Buy, Build, and Go: ADP Acquires The Right Thing

ADP maintains the momentuem of its buy, build and go strategy to become a full service HRO service provider with the acquisition of The Right Thing (TRT). Coming late to the MPHRO game, ADP is wasting no time in becoming a principal player by building out its portfolio through rapid development of proprietary HR technlogy platforms and the acquisition of leaders in adjacent human capital management service lines. (Also see ADP has a Platform for HRO Success.)

By filling in the last major piece of the MPHRO services puzzle, ADP is the first MPHRO vendor to acquire a end-to-end RPO specialist. It will continue to offer its current recruitment administration and technology services and add the option of TRT’s RPO fully featured capabilities including sourcing, onboarding, employment branding, etc. As with the 2010 acquisition of Workscape, this opens up new client markets while maintaining its line of basic services.

The cross- and up-sell opportunities are great, given ADP’s client base of over 500k. The Right Thing, an ADP Company, brings in ~80 RPO clients mostly from the large market and it gains access to ADP’s midmarket client base. ADP adds more of the richer HR services needed by larger and more complex clients, or as Terrance McCrossen, ADP Division Vice President of Startegy and Marketing said, ADP is putting  more HR in HRO.”

The RightThing is first in North American 2010 revenues and fourth globally according to NelsonHall’s Targeting RPO market analysis. The ADP global sales and distribution network will pave the way for faster multi-country growth, one of the hottest trends in RPO, and a long-term TRT ambition.

The enriched MPHRO portfolio, client bases from Workscape and TRT, along with growing acceptance of platform services moving into the large market, all will be fuel for ADP growth. With fiscal year 2011 revenues, ending June 30, at ~$9.8bn.  At that size it takes big moves to noticeably move the revenue meter. The combined ADP will yield an estimated >$10bn in FY 2012.

Major ADP news has been coming out rapid fire, but behind the scenes many of these moves were in the planning, assessment, and dating stage for some time. ADP had been researching its RPO options for as long as two years because ADP understands a company is more than a sum of its parts, portfolio, footprint and net present value. It was also looking for a cultural match in customer dedication and a leadership team that would be open to staying with it longer term because of the increased opportunities to achieve their own goals and ambitions.

The new ADP Human Capital Management additions have a focus on talent management. An important space for HRO, although the usual path is to start with consulting and add outsourcing. I can’t help but speculate that in due time a partnership or acquistion of a HR consulting company may be in ADP’s future.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

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Explore posts in the same categories: hr outsourcing, hr outsourcing research, hro, hro research, Human Capital Management, multi-process hro, nelsonhall, recruitment process outsourcing, rpo research

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One Comment on “Buy, Build, and Go: ADP Acquires The Right Thing”


  1. I would like to ask one thing that whether HRO (Human Resource Outsourcing), RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) and PEO (Professional Employers Organization) are the same or not? If some one can put some light on these.


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