Archive for the ‘Staffing’ category

Mercer on the Move

June 14, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

This week I attended Mercer’s always well managed and informative analyst forum in Boston, MA. The meeting was focused on the talent consulting line of business.

Talent Management on the Rise

Mercer research indicates that human capital issues are a top CEO concern and managing talent is becoming a board of directors’ issue, moving beyond the traditional CEO succession planning and compensation to overall talent and workforce planning. The new Mercer Talent Barometer Survey, which was introduced at the 2013 World Economic Forum, reports that 60% of the 1,200 global companies surveyed are investing more in talent, but only 30% feel that their workforce plans are highly effective.

The business of talent has become both exciting and disruptive, with possible new entrants, globalization, media, innovations, and opportunities. (Talk about new entrants, eHarmony is considering getting into the talent matching game!)

With a possibility of double-digit growth, the talent group looked at how to grow across the talent value chain by expanding its services, tools and technology offerings for talent, rewards, and communications to increase growth and leverage Mercer’s depth of experience and capabilities.

The answer will become apparent over the next few months as more packaged solutions are launched that combine consulting, information, and technology to meet the needs of clients that want a less-customized consulting approach with “off-the-shelf” packaged and reusable services and tools.

Workforce Planning Versus HR Analytics

Some elements that will be leveraged are already mature and solid revenue producers. Surveys, benchmarks, and analytics for compensation/total rewards and job structures are a more than $200m line of business. Globalization of the revenues is already well on its way, with about equal distribution from North America, Europe, and emerging markets across 57 countries.

Instead of focusing on HR analytics, Mercer is emphasizing data acquisition and integration, data modeling, as well as data visualization as it applies to a wide range of workforce and data that drives business results. This may mean a consulting and outsourcing services engagement, it may mean workshops and training, or self-service use of integrated SaaS technology platforms with one or more Mercer products.

Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast

There are a lot of moving parts in Mercer’s strategy to create an integrated talent solutions portfolio.

It is brought together under the go-to-market Talent Impact label that includes new and existing products and services to forecast, engage, mobilize, reward and assess talent. Behind the scenes Mercer will be streamlining its own architecture into fewer and more integrated technology platforms to support the new offerings.

There is a lot to be done in a short time, but that is in alignment with the “think big, start small, and move fast” philosophy of Orlando Ashford, senior partner and president of Mercer’s talent business. Mercer is on the move!

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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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The Fertile Ground of HRO Innovation

February 9, 2012

Kelly Services’ recent announcement of its new Office of Innovation was fascinating as the company has long been a leader and innovator in the staffing services field. Go global, check. Provide MSP, check. Add RPO, check. Add consulting, check. Launch mobile access applications, check. Supply chain management, check. Its success shows in the results, with 2011 revenues totaling $5.6 billion, a 12% increase over 2010.

To find out more, I had a lively discussion with Kelly Services’ Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Rolf Kleiner. Basically, Kelly Services has already done so much that it is focusing on new solutions and capabilities to remain ahead of the competition and keep up with its many Fortune 500 clients.

According to Kleiner, the company has always done well with the “little I” incremental innovations that improve and enhance its current services and capabilities. Kelly Services is also looking for new “big I” innovations, those that can move the needle on results and set precedents within the company and in the marketplace. It was felt that by adding more visibility and vetting larger scale opportunities, the Office of Innovation will be able to identify, develop, and bring new innovations to market faster.

Kleiner plans to set up a “pull” process for ideas that includes many stakeholder groups including employees, clients, suppliers, and other industry experts. He likened the process to farming. It will take working with the communities of interest on an on-going collaborative basis to develop a harvest of ideas.

There were several items I found especially interesting. One is using this effort as an opportunity for talent management. Some proof of concept and development projects will be managed by the Office of Innovation and will provide highly visible opportunities for those assigned. When projects are managed outside of the normal lines of business, integration and communications will be maintained which brings reality to planning and brings market needs and innovation participation deep into the infrastructure and culture of Kelly Services.

Also, there is a very crisp vision for the strategic initiative and clear criteria for the kind of innovation opportunities that are being sought. There is solid alignment with the goals of the company, scale for sizing market opportunities, and an openness to solutions that could include internal developments, partnerships, supplier networks, etc.

Finally, the selection of Kleiner as head of the Office of Innovation is a strong indication of Kelly Services’ seriousness with this endeavor. He reports directly to the CEO and his previous assignment was as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the KellyOCG group, which provides consulting and outsourcing services. The pulse of the market, the voice of the customer, and the operational beat of the business are all fresh and fertile ground for Kleiner’s new challenge.

Our NelsonHall HRO team always advises clients to look for service providers that can meet today’s needs as well as offer partnership for meeting the needs of tomorrow. How is your HRO vendor focusing on the 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.

U.S. Jobs Grow – How Will It Impact HRO

February 7, 2012

By now, most have heard last Friday’s favorable jobs news.

In the U.S., 243,000 jobs were added in January, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.3%, and as noted on one of the staffing provider’s earnings calls last week, down to 4.2% for college graduates. Government jobs have contracted as expected, while the private sector had the gains in the services industry, specifically in leisure, hospitality, education, healthcare, and retail, and in manufacturing, including construction.

Also last February 3, Randstad reported a five-point rise in its U.S. Employee Confidence Index.  The index measures the workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment. This is the biggest increase since the survey started seven years ago.

With good reason to be optimistic, many RPO providers are realizing the gains with increased hiring volumes by existing clients. Even before this welcome employment news, 2011 had been a good year for HRO. In RPO, many vendors achieved significant growth, including Kelly OCG, whose RPO revenue was up 40% year-over-year from 2010; Pinstripe was up 58% y-o-y with 21 new contracts and extensions; and for Q4, Kenexa reported an RPO growth of 54% y-o-y.

But the benefits go far beyond RPO. Increased hiring bodes well for providers of payroll, benefits, and learning as the number of employees they serve increases. For example, ADP, who already pays 1 of 6 U.S. employees, announced the number of employees on its U.S. client payroll increased by 2.8% in fiscal Q2 2012, for the period ending December 31, 2011. Benefits administration providers including Aon Hewitt, Fidelity, and Mercer reported numerous contract awards in 2011. In MPHRO, in North America, ADP won several new contracts, while IBM was awarded a large MPHRO contract with Air Canada and NorthgateArinso awarded a seven-year MPHRO renewal by Fifth Third Bank. In learning, vendors including Raytheon, Xerox, and Accenture won several contracts. There are more updates to follow on learning as NelsonHall is currently conducting a global learning BPO market analysis.

However, a few words of caution by ManpowerGroup were given last February 3 that demand is expected to continue to fluctuate and it would be prudent for employers to adopt flexible workforce models that include: full-time, contingent, and virtual-skilled workers to ensure productivity.

There are a few key implications here:

  • Providers who haven’t yet provided recruitment services that include RPO, MSP, and Contingent Workforce services would be prudent to evaluate doing so and/or consider partnering with a vendor that does
  • Given the ManpowerGroup statistic that 52% of U.S. companies are struggling to fill key jobs, focus on the development and retention of talent is more paramount than ever. Buy-side organizations should be continuously monitoring employee satisfaction, reviewing attrition rates, conducting exit interviews to find out why people leave, and developing action plans to improve organizational effectiveness. If buyers do not have this capability, they may want to consider a talent management vendor who can help them, which has become a key HRO vendor focus and for good reason!

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

RPO Continues Its Stride in Q2 2011

August 16, 2011

If you didn’t pay attention to the news and only looked at the recent financial results reported by staffing and RPO providers, you’d think that everything is fine with the global economy.  Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights including year-over-year revenue growth in Q2 2011 compared to Q2 2010 and some numbers of contracts awarded:

  • Talent2 (fiscal year 2011 for period ending June 30) +26%, RPO +57%
  • Kelly Services +16%, KellyOCG + 22.5%, and RPO ~+50%
  • Kenexa +59%, RPO + 45%
  • Manpower + 24%, ManpowerGroup Solutions +21% with 37 RPO deals closed in Q1 and 31 new RPO contracts awarded in Q2
  • Pinstripe won or extended 15 RPO contracts in H1 (revenue not reported)
  • SeatonCorp +20%, PeopleScout +95% with 9 new RPO contracts signed.

Why was growth and the number of contracts awarded so high when the sad reality of the news headlines is that there are debt problems, slowdown in GDP growth, and a continually high unemployment rate?   Well, that is precisely why!  There are several reasons including:

  • Organizations who have had to downsize are turning to RPO because they don’t want to invest in hiring recruiters and associated staff only to potentially downsize again (i.e., it’s better to outsource recruitment to a vendor that can provide variable pricing and who can scale up or down quicker than the client)
  • Obtaining  better quality of candidates and quality of hire from an outsourcing specialist
  • Allowing HR to work as a strategic partner and in-conjunction with the RPO vendor to engage employees and retain talent (instead of focusing on hiring)
  • Wanting to get out of the technology management business, which isn’t usually a client’s core competency
  • Reducing time to hire, improving hiring manager satisfaction, etc.

In addition to revenue growth from new contracts and renewals, growth comes from existing clients that have increased their hiring volumes. Other sources of growth are from contracts won in prior quarters that take several months before fully ramping up.

RPO does not look like it is going to slow down anytime soon.  In NelsonHall’s HR Outsourcing Confidence Index, published in June, pipeline growth reported in the prior quarter was higher for RPO than all of the other HRO services.

At NelsonHall, we’ve seen an increase from buyers wanting to know who we see as the leading RPO providers by country and region. Buyers, are you evaluating outsourcing recruitment, if you haven’t done so already?

Gary Bragar,  HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall

Staffing and RPO Surpassing 2010 Y-O-Y Results

May 9, 2011

As bullish as I’ve been on RPO, results reported to date for staffing and RPO providers have exceeded even my expectations.  As we all know, 2009 was a down year for hiring, but then there was a big turnaround in 2010 and in RPO, most vendors I interviewed for my recently published RPO report said that revenue and hiring are back to pre-recession levels. Although hiring has picked up in the U.S., I don’t think any of us would say it is going gang-busters yet.  But in comparison to overall staffing results for Q1 2010 that averaged ~12% revenue growth, Q1 2011 has about doubled thus far.  Let’s take a look at some Q1 2011 results to date and how they compare year-over-year to Q1 2010:

  • Manpower up 24%
  • Hays up 18%
  • SeatonCorp up 25% and its RPO business PeopleScout is up 103%
  • CTG up 22%
  • SFN up 6% and its RPO business in SourceRight Solutions is up 83%
  • Randstad up 22%
  • Kenexa up 59% and its RPO business is up 56%.

I do believe that the rest of the year will be strong for staffing, but it’s hard to believe that RPO will maintain quite the same momentum.  That said, hiring will improve and I agree completely with Manpower’s findings on May 6th stating that  U.S. companies must hire again as workers are stretched to the max doing more with less.  In my view, it’s been this way long before the recession, mostly in part to how Wall Street rewards companies for their performance, but we’ve reached a tipping point and I’m almost certain this is not just a U.S. phenomenon.

But instead of just reading about it, come join us at the HRO Forum in Las Vegas May 24 – 25 that combines the HRO, RPO, and MSP Summits along with the HR Demo Show.

As a speaker, I’ve been extended an offer to invite buy-side HR execs with a 60% discount and also an offer for a limited number of RPO buy-side practitioners to be able to attend all four Summits for free, get reimbursed for travel up to $500, and get 2 hotel nights for free. If you are interested, then send me an email at gary.bragar@nelson-hall.com and I’ll send you the info/codes to register.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall