HRO Get Ready for the Human Age

ManpowerGroup reported its 3Q 2011 earnings last week, a bit more on that later. First, I want to highlight a “big idea” approach to talent management that the company has launched. Speaking at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jeffery Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO, announced that we are on the cusp of “Entering the Human Age.” According to Joerres, in the Human Age, talent is the key differentiator for business success and technology becomes the great leveler, allowing skilled individuals to vault the restrictions of national borders, and increasingly, of when and where they work.

Many of the elements ManpowerGroup addresses are already known in the world of HR and HRO. The impact of the technology-enabled globalization of talent, the need to simultaneously deal with an aging workforce while engaging a mobile new generation, and the growing mismatch in available labor versus skilled talent. All of these lead to the need for a new strategy and approach to attracting, developing, and retaining talent.

The future of talent envisioned in the Human Age is both hopeful and daunting as we are only entering the transition period with a long road ahead. It is a future in which employers would benefit from a consulting/outsourcing partner with the scale and scope of ManpowerGroup, with $22bn in revenues and a presence in 80 countries.

I love big ideas that come from HRO service providers showing that HRO can be more than transaction, technology, and contact center cost and efficiency management. Big ideas can also lift and differentiate a company’s brand.

One of the keys to brand management is consistency and constancy of messaging. IBM is doing a very good job of taking a big idea phrase, i.e., smarter planet, connecting it to its brand, and naturally to its consulting and services. Going one step further, IBM makes the concept a central theme running throughout its strategic initiatives. For example, the HRO team had to show how its investment initiatives supported one or more of the six imperatives for a smarter planet.

ManpowerGroup is making a good start. The speech in Davos was backed by a special ManpowerGroup website for more information on the Human Age, including a 58 page booklet outlining the concept and providing research and experienced insight on changes that will be integral to the new age. Other 2011 white papers from ManpowerGroup are picking up the phrase and it was also used in its 3Q 2011 earnings report. Further use across the external website, news releases and other collateral, as well as internal use will strengthen the connection to ManpowerGroup.

For 3Q 2011 ManpowerGroup reported revenues of $5.8bn, up 16% overall and 9% in constant currency. EPS were $.97, up 43.5% from $.62 in the prior year quarter.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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Explore posts in the same categories: Brand Management, financial results, hr outsourcing, hr outsourcing research, hro, hro research, nelsonhall, Talent Globalization, Talent Management

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