Archive for the ‘Asia Pacific’ category

Highlights and Trends in the HRO Market for H1 2013: Part 1

August 7, 2013
Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

It’s hard to believe that H1 2013 is complete, which makes it an ideal time to recap highlights and trends from the HRO world this year.

Overall Activity

There was a healthy number of new contracts awarded across all HRO service lines in H1 2013. In addition, renewals and contract extensions signed were consistent with H1 2012. There was, however, an increase in activity with organizations changing their existing service provider, particularly within benefits administration and RPO.

For the last few years, attention has been on the mid-market (500-10k employees), among other things, as an area for growth within HRO. Quarter-over-quarter, mid-market activity has made strides relative to the large market. In fact, in H1 2013, the majority of activity reported was from the mid-market.

Beyond HRO, the number of HR software contracts signed globally was up substantially compared to H1 2012. For example, in the U.S., ADP was awarded a contract for its Vantage HCM platform, including HR, payroll, benefits and onboarding modules, by The Paradies Shops covering 4k employees. In the U.K., Ceridian gained traction with its automatic enrollment module with Asda for 175k employees and WH Smith for 16k employees.

Payroll

Despite being a mature service line, payroll outsourcing does not disappoint. The biggest news reported in H1 2013 would have to be ADP’s acquisition of Payroll S.A., which will expand its LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina and Peru. ADP already had in-country services in Brazil, and had capabilities through GlobalView and Streamline to serve multinationals in other LATAM countries.

Other news within payroll includes Acrede opening an office in Singapore to expand its global payroll reach into Asia-Pacific. Growth opportunities in the region include Japan and South Asia-Pacific.

RPO

The RPO market continues to be a hot one to watch. Contracts were awarded in various countries, including the U.S., U.K. and China, and ~20% of contract activity in H1 2013 was from multi-country deals.

The level of M&A activity was consistent with H1 2012, but the level of RPO partnerships has dwindled. Nevertheless, RPO vendors were busy expanding service offerings and delivery capabilities, and launching new websites. Some examples include:

  • Randstad Sourceright launching an RPO integrated assessment program
  • Manpower U.S. launching a multi-channel delivery model
  • Ochre House launching a COE to drive innovation
  • Randstad Sourceright opening a shared services center in Budapest
  • Hays launching a new mobile website
  • AMN Healthcare launching a redesigned website.

Although technically within H2, it is timely to mention the Pinstripe and Ochre House merger.

Learning

After a rather long lull, the learning BPO market has shown many signs of improvement. New contracts include Raytheon and GM Korea for content development and training administration services, and delivery of sales and non-technical training.

GP continued its acquisition frenzy focused on strengthening and expanding its geographic footprint with Prospero Learning Solutions (Canada) and Lorien Engineering Solutions (U.K. and Poland). Not to mention Capita’s acquisition of KnowledgePool.

Stay tuned next week for more highlights and trends from H1 2013 that are specific to benefits administration and MPHRO. I’ll also share some insights on what to expect in H2 2013 based on NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index survey.

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Talent2’s Competitive Edge

July 8, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The NelsonHall HRO team recently spoke with Mary-Sue Rogers, Talent2’s global general manager for HR managed services, for an update on the major Asia-Pacific, pan-regional HRO service provider with ~2.6k clients across 30 countries. Its client base includes companies of all sizes in both the private and public sectors. The company had a busy fiscal Q4 2013 winning more than 60 contract awards across its service lines, including payroll, RPO, learning and HR advisory services.

The Asia-Pacific HRO Market is Competitive

Asia-Pacific is a huge and diverse region with many of the individual nations still considered “emerging markets,” with opportunities for long-term growth. Talent2’s in-region competitors are largely global HRO providers, some span all service lines and others go head-to-head-on a single service like RPO.

So how does a ten-year-young company compete with many of the biggest names in HRO? Its competitors also have in-region locations but find it hard to match Talent2’s 40+ HRO-dedicated locations supporting 31 languages in 16 Asia-Pacific countries, including parts of the Middle East. In May 2013, Talent2 further expanded its operations in support of the Asia-Pacific region by opening a service delivery center in the Philippines.

Succeed With a HRO Competitive Edge

It is a core part of providing multi-country services to offer local subject-matter expertise on employment rules, regulations, taxation and compliance reporting, and all of the competitors can provide such services directly or through vetted local partners.

Talent2 demonstrates deep knowledge of local regulations as well as cultural and business environments. It knows the nuances that others may miss, which can help develop a service offer that is right on the mark for design and cost. For example, in the first instance, Talent2 addresses the following questions:

  • What style of payroll service center support is preferred by employees in different areas of its region?
  • What are the differences in an MNC headquartered in the West versus one headquartered in the target region?

As a result, 50% of its clients use multi-country services led by payroll and followed by RPO. Some start with one targeted country and add more over time.

Quality services and competitive pricing, along with its deep knowledge, provides a winning combination for Talent2, achieving a NelsonHall estimated ~10% growth in FY 2013.

Then Change to Remain Competitive

Talent2, which became a private company in 2012, is working its way through its stated development roadmap. The multi-pronged plan is focused on upgrading and rationalizing its technology platform to meet current and future client needs and going environmentally green to control internal costs and lower the total cost of ownership for its clients.

HR services are changing rapidly all over the world, as are client needs and interests, and no service provider can long rest on its laurels. Therefore, the question arises: does your HRO service provider’s competitive edge match your needs today, and will it tomorrow?

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HRO Inflection Points

June 28, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Everywhere around us inflection points are occurring. Inflection points are a sign that change is occurring that will create a new order of things. Whether we see them, understand their long-term implications, and leverage them to our advantage is another issue.

Social Inflection Points Impact HRO

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two issues impacting marriage law that will change who is entitled to marriage-related federal benefits.

Major social change invariably impacts HR and HRO services, and the marriage law rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court will have wide-ranging implications for workplace benefit plans in at least 12 states.

The long-term implications may take many years to become clear, but leveraging in the short term has already begun. ADP was the first HRO vendor I saw tweet about the court’s ruling by announcing an upcoming webinar on the changes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Mercer quickly followed with a ‘benefits administration alert’ letter.

Technology Inflection Points Impact HRO

As a disruptive technology, SaaS has started a global “cloud war” that is only just beginning. HR and HRO are just a small piece of the IT landscape and we will see skirmishes as new entrants and long-term leaders battle for market share, industry leadership and shareholder value as they transform not only technology offerings, but revenue streams and business models.

Oracle’s Larry Ellison has been in the news for the last two weeks reporting on earnings that were already impacted by SaaS and the cloud war. Here was one of the industry’s titans comparing Oracle’s SaaS revenues (annualized at ~$1bn) to comparable revenues posted by perennial competitor SAP and upstart Workday!

Upgrade or rip-and-replace decisions are becoming imminent for HR clients and HRO services providers. Many vendors, including Ceridian, Mercer and Talent2, are already developing integrated service platforms and more cloud offerings for organizations of all sizes.

Client Inflection Points Impact HRO

To identify current trends in HRO customer requirements I reviewed current (2013) sources, including NelsonHall’s Targeting Payroll BPO market analysis and HR Outsourcing Confidence Index, and also HRO vendor discussions. Further, I reviewed a research survey by Mandy Sim, a University Teaching Fellow with the Business School at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, entitled the HRO Adoption Survey Report 2012, which identified key Asia-Pacific HRO practices based on a survey conducted on delegates who attended the HRO Today Forum APAC 2012.

Following are my findings on what today’s HRO clients, across service lines and geographies, are wanting from prospective vendors:

  • Value for price, balancing cost with improved outcomes and business impact
  • Standardization of processes and technologies
  • Advanced subject-matter expertise and best practices
  • Scalability across services and geographies
  • Access to new tools, technologies and services.

Ready or not, change is coming to HRO. Are you ready for how will it impact you and your organization?

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Pinstripe’s RPO Analyst Day: Talent Forward

May 21, 2013
Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

I attended Pinstripe’s analyst day on May 15, 2013. It was combined with its Client Talent Forward Summit, with the theme “Commitment to Innovation”. Highlights of the day included:

Client Panel

Pinstripe discussed 10 recent innovations, of which a panel of four Pinstripe clients then discussed a few Pinstripe innovations that have benefitted their business, including:

  • Email campaigning: A proactive approach to creating candidate pools with active and passive candidates. This enables messaging a high number of candidates with relevant information – such as familiarizing candidates with potential hiring company announcements; e.g. “Did you happen to know we were named one of the best places to work 4 years in a row” or “We were rated as the safest operating room to work in St. Louis”. Email Campaigning has resulted in a two-to-three times increase in passive candidate responses
  • Video interviewing: Both live and prerecorded interviews of candidate presentations. Managers feel more informed of when to take candidates to the next step. Team interviewing is also conducted
  • Employment branding and social recruiting: All about making a connection with the candidate to “get them in the door”. Includes training and education on how to properly use social media to send out positive messages.

Client Tour

We toured the Brookfield facility where ~60% of employees work. The tour included:

  • Understanding how employees are recognized
  • How virtual employees are connected and communicated with as though they were onsite in Brookfield
  • Demos of some of the innovations, including email campaigns to build talent pipelines
  • A visit to the Impression Center.

The Impression Center, which receives 250k calls per year, is staffed by customer service experts who are imperative to potential candidates’ first impression of the company. Applicants and candidates can call the center with questions throughout the job offer, and live chat is also offered. First call resolution is 96% with 97% customer satisfaction. Over 63k interviews have been scheduled by the Impression Center. Candidates may still contact the recruiter if needed; however, by using the Impression Center there has been a 97% reduction of calls to recruiters, allowing them to focus on their primary concern – recruiting.

Pinstripe Analyst Briefing

Pinstripe has grown from ~450 employees and ~73,000 hires in 2011 to ~575 employees today and nearly 100,000 hires in 2012. Most recruitment contracts at Pinstripe are end-to-end, full service RPO as opposed to projects. Several of the more recent contracts have been second- and third-generation RPO clients. Pinstripe’s partnership with Ochre House, formed in 2009 to deliver RPO in EMEA and Asia-Pacific, has been awarded several contracts to fill multi-regional hiring needs. Both companies attribute their success to sharing similar values. Honeywell is an example of a second-generation client now expanding beyond North America to Europe that Ochre House will serve. Combined with Ochre House, RPO is provided to ~85 clients in 45 countries in 23 languages.

Summary

One of the key messages taken from this summit is that Pinstripe is keenly focused on the candidate experience and a positive work environment for its employees to excel at satisfying client needs. It is therefore of no surprise that Pinstripe recruiters have an average of >9 years’ experience.

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Asia Pacific, Talent2, and HRO

June 15, 2012

Asia Pacific is the emerging market of the most interest to HRO service providers, especially RPO vendors. Most of the big names in HRO/RPO are building or expanding scale there to take advantage of the higher than average growth rates. ADP and NorthgateArinso are well-established in the region, and Futurestep, GP, Kenexa, ManpowerGroup, Mercer, and Towers Watson have all made recent acquisitions in China, Hong Kong, India, and Australia as the fastest way to get more feet on the ground in this expanding market.

Still considered an emerging market, some Asia Pacific countries are already mature including Australia and Japan, while others are truly experiencing the first rush of growth. Each country has different needs and challenges and HRO service providers need to bring a lot of service line experience and local knowledge to the table. While one industry needs a high volume of entry-level employees to meet demand, another, a bit further on the maturity scale, needs management-level employees with the experience to manage and continue growth of a more complex enterprise.

Newer entrants should not forget that there are regional providers already on the ground; one of the largest is Talent2, which covers the entire area and a bit beyond. Talent2 has continued its solid pace of contract wins across the Asia Pacific region. An example from the public sector is contractor procurement and management for 13 agencies of the Queensland government. In the private sector, contract wins included payroll, RPO, and learning, and cover Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and even the Middle East.

With ~1,700 employees, Talent2 supports 30 countries in 30 languages from its 46 offices and service centers located across 19 countries. With its scale and services it should be no surprise to find that Talent2 is, according to NelsonHall, the HRO leader in Asia Pacific.

Perhaps it is reasonable then that Talent2 has attracted interest from investors wanting to take it private. Morgan & Banks Investments (MBI) and Allegis Group have entered into an agreement to acquire the company, which will remain operationally as Talent2 if the deal is successful. MBI represents current major stakeholders and Allegis is already a Talent2 RPO partner. It will be interesting to see if privatization allows Talent2 to fuel even more growth in and outside of the Asia Pacific region.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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