Posted tagged ‘SFN Group’

HR Tech Another Success: Part I

October 16, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

HR Tech was again a very worthwhile investment of my time. Here are some highlights of the new Outsourcing Track presentations I attended:

  • Cisco Uses RPO to Help Hire Up to 15,000 a Year:Using a hybrid co-ownership model, the Randstad Sourceright recruitment team works alongside the Cisco recruitment team to provide services including sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding. Services provided are primarily in the Americas, but may expand into EMEA and possibly Asia where Randstad Sourceright has a presence. Using the hybrid model, Cisco has been able to cut its $120m talent acquisition spend in half.
    • Mark Hamberlin, VP HR Global Staffing, Cisco
    • Rebecca Callahan, President RPO, Randstad Sourceright
  • Ericsson Outsources Global Payroll in Manila:Ericsson issued a RFI to 25 vendors, then created a short-list of 5, and ultimately selected Talent2. Managed payroll services provided by Talent2 for Ericsson in Southeast Asia and Oceania include 4,500 employees in 12 countries, which prior to outsourcing had 12 different payroll processes. Manila is the shared service center. Major benefits obtained by Ericsson thus far include: reduced risk management, minimized complexity of dealing with local tax laws, and ease of expanding into new countries.
    • Mark Howes, HR Director Asia Pacific, Ericsson
    • Mary Sue Rogers, Global Managing Director, HR Managed Services, Talent2
  • Whirlpool Leverages RPO to Transform Talent Acquisition:Pre-RPO recruitment was decentralized and lacked consistency and methodology in its sourcing approach. Business partners were also spending a lot of time doing transactional work including screening and reviewing resumes. Kenexa’s RPO services include: sourcing, screening, administration, candidate management, creation of employment value proposition, and management of the candidate experience primarily in North America with some testing in Europe. KPI’s include: time to fill, quality of the candidate slate, diversity slate, and end-user satisfaction.
    • Lynanne Kunkel, VP of HR, Whirlpool North America
    • Rudy Karsan, CEO, Kenexa

Here are highlights from my RPO meetings:

  • Pinstripe and Ochre House: Pinstripe has won 12 new RPO contracts YTD and its partner Ochre House continues to win new contracts in EMEA including North Africa and the Middle East as a result of its acquisitions of TAAHEED and Carmichael Fisher in early 2012.
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions: New contract wins YTD include 40+ RPO deals globally in 20 countries. It has also expanded existing clients into new geographies including a U.S.-headquartered firm that expanded into China and Southeast Asia and a Spanish-headquartered firm that expanded throughout Europe and Latin America.
  • Randstad Sourceright: Currently with ~100 RPO clients, it won 18 new contracts YTD. Four of its new wins are global deals as a result of the merger of Randstad and SFN Group, which was completed in September 2011. Its fastest growth has been in the mid-market.
  • The RightThing, an ADP Company: Total RPO client count is at 80+. YTD wins include several enterprise and mid-market clients with ~50% as new clients and ~50% as existing ADP clients that added RPO services.
  • WilsonHCG: Primarily serving large and mid-size clients, WilsonHCG also has small clients with <500 employees. The company has a 94% satisfaction rating with candidates and hiring managers across clients.

Stay tuned for my next blog where I will discuss additional meetings I had with Patersons, IBM, Hogan Assessments, SHL Assessments, Secova, ADP, Equifax Workforce Solutions, HireVue, and JobVite.

In the meantime, NelsonHall just published its fourth global RPO market analysis.

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HR Tech: Another Winner!

October 6, 2011

Kudos to Bill Kutik and everyone involved in planning and organizing the 14th Annual HR Tech Conference that took place October 3 -5. Surveys are still being collected, but I’d rate it as a success! As an analyst, I did attend a couple presentations and briefly visited the showroom floor but, the majority of my time was spent in small meetings learning about new outsourcing contract activity and technology offerings, which included demos.  Highlights from some meetings included:

  • IBM, already a major global MPHRO and LBPO provider, winning three significant contracts in the past month with clients headquartered in three different continents including a MPHRO contract with Air Canada (press release issued this morning). More to follow on the Air Canada win as well as the other MPHRO and LBPO contract awards as those press releases are issued.
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions’ RPO business continuing to grow at > 50% thus far in 2011 with dozens of new clients added YTD in countries that include: U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, Japan, U.K., Israel, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, and France.
  • ADP’s demo of Vantage HCM, which is initially targeted in the U.S. for organizations with 1,000 – 20,000 employees.  I was impressed with the performance management capabilities and the overall ease of use, which included setting goals, identifying competencies, weighing performance to goals, linking performance to compensation, succession planning, etc. I could easily see how this platform can make an organization’s talent more effective, especially when combined with project management and implementation consultation.
  • Kenexa’s recent announcements that include: launching Social Solutions for Recruiting and its new performance management suite, 2x Perform, which integrates performance management, succession planning, and compensation; a partnership with Skillsoft to integrate its e-learning content and SkillPort platform with Kenexa’s talent management platform and 2x Perform; a partnership with The Brooklyn Group to increase RPO presence in Australia; and a partnership with HR GlobBlog for global talent advice.
  • SourceRight Solutions, whose revenue has been growing from both new contract wins as well as existing clients increasing hiring volumes, with the biggest news that Randstad completed its acquisition of the SFN Group for ~$771m last month. SourceRight will be the RPO arm for Randstad and with combined company revenue of ~$22 bn, of which ~80% are in Europe, expect great opportunities abroad as well as continued success in North America.
  • Mercer’s Human Capital Connect, which combines talent management technology for performance management, succession planning, and compensation. It uses the PeopleFluent platform and a client success team that does a readiness assessment and stays with the client for life. Since its launch in mid-2010, a few major clients have been won, but names cannot be disclosed.

I attended twelve other meetings, demos, and presentations I’ll write more about in a future blog, but for now common themes are that HRO is thriving and that vendors are introducing new offerings for clients to improve talent management. Yes, technology combined with consultation is important and is most effective by organizations trained in how to do performance management.

Gary Bragar, HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall

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Randstad Acquisition Frenzy… This Time in North America Acquiring SFN Group

July 29, 2011

A pretty big acquisition happened last week in the staffing and recruiting industry. Here is the backdrop.

On July 20, 2011, Randstad announced that it is going to acquire SFN Group to expand in North America. Randstad is headquartered in the Netherlands and SFN Group in the United States. It is a cash tender offer at $14 per share. Approved by both boards, the acquisition, now subject to regulatory approvals and a tender offer of at least 50% of SFN Group’s outstanding shares, equates to ~$771m. This is a premium of 53% over SFN Group’s closing share on July 19, 2011. The acquisition is expected to close in September 2011.

The Randstad Group will have combined revenues of ~$22bn / €17bn (pro forma as of March 31, 2011). In North America, the combined company will have $4.6bn in revenues (pro forma as of March 31, 2011) from the following service segments:

  • 52% Staffing
  • 39% Professionals
  •   9% HR Services including payroll, managed services, and RPO.

Randstad, who already has sizeable revenue in North America, now becomes a major force. Randstad, which had full year 2010 revenues of €14,179m, obtained 13% of its revenues (or €1,848m) from North America, which equates to over $2.6Bn. The SFN Group had full full year revenues of $2,053m. Approximately 80% of Randstad’s 2010 revenues were in Europe.

So, is Randstad trying to conquer the staffing world via acquisitions? Its last acquisition was in August 2010, acquiring FujiStaff Holdings to strengthen its presence in the Japanese staffing market. Since 2006, Randstad has merged and partnered with five other companies in Japan to provide staffing services that include temporary and permanent hires, contract staffing, and internal recruiting for industries that include healthcare, real estate, and construction. Since 2005, Randstad has been acquisitive elsewhere  in growing its staffing business including in:

  • U.K.
  • Germany (3)
  • Netherlands
  • China
  • Switzerland.

Randstad now also picks up SourceRight Solutions’ RPO business, which NelsonHall estimated as the third largest RPO provider in North America in its 2011 RPO market analysis report. SourceRight’s RPO business has had significant year-over year revenue growth in H1 2011. Its RPO business has primarily been in North America, but expect for it to expand into Europe by 2012. More to follow in a future blog…

Gary Bragar,  HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall

RPO Growth Confirmed and Back on Track

February 14, 2011

Since my January 12 blog, All Signs a Go for RPO to Grow, I think it’s safe to say we are back on track with many providers stating that volumes are back to pre-recession levels.  Vendors including Kelly, SFN, Manpower, SeatonCorp, Kenexa, and Hays all reported double-digit total company revenues for the quarter ending December 31, 2010 (Talent2 were for the six months ending December 31, 2010).  RPO revenues were not reported separately, but several vendors were able to share that RPO revenues grew 50% – 70%.

That’s certainly terrific evidence that hiring volumes from existing clients has increased and that many new RPO clients were added in 2010 by all the vendors.  In Q4 announced RPO contracts included:

  • Manpower’s global contract with Rio Tinto
  • Hays’ contract with American Express in Europe
  • Futurestep’s global contract by Cummins, Inc.
  • The Talent2 and Allegis Services Group Alliance global contract with an unnamed financial services company
  • PeopleScout’s contract extension by Waste Management in the U.S.
  • Alexander Mann Solutions’ contract with Santander in the U.K.

For evidence of an increase in demand for job movement and hiring, I point to SFN’s Employee Confidence Index, which showed the highest employee confidence in nearly a year.  Also, four in ten workers stated that they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

What do I think?  Having recently completed twenty-seven interviews for my next global RPO market analysis (to be released within the next few weeks), I can say that 2011 will be another strong year of growth for the RPO industry.  It will be tough, but not impossible, to outdo 2010.  The report will include a revenue forecast by geography among numerous other data.

I’m bullish for several reasons including the need for scalability, and I also think a new phenomenon, expected a few years ago, will finally begin to occur in the latter part of 2011 and will ramp up over the next few years.  Baby boomers will finally begin to retire as 401(k) plans have been nicely recovering to pre-recession levels, which will increase their confidence and financial security.  This will create a huge shortage of talent in the workforce.  Employers should be wise to make sure they are doing succession planning and preparing for how they will do knowledge transfer before employees leave. This provides a great opening for staffing assistance and for all the ancillary services around workforce planning and talent management. The opportunity is coming for RPO to move up the value chain from an operational resource for staffing and recruiting to a strategic consulting partner in global talent management.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

Customer Service More Important than Ever – Even for HRO

January 21, 2011

Spherion recently released its new customer service survey results conducted by Monster.  Results show that nearly three quarters of consumers make a purchasing decision based on customer service, second only to quality and price.  That’s huge!  As a former quality trainer and college adjunct, I’ve been studying customer service for quite some time.  According to prior research by TARP, Technical Assistance Research Program, the figure was close to two-thirds, which indicates that the demand for better customer service has gotten even stronger.

Consumers are fed up with the lack of good customer service and thanks to more service provider competition, buyers don’t have to put up with bad service.  Consumers can simply go elsewhere.  Granted when it comes to HRO, the switch is not as easy, since it cannot be done by each individual client employee, but collectively, they can make their voices heard through internal communications that the provider may not be aware of immediately (which is why SLA’s alone don’t always tell the whole story).  Here are just a few things HRO service providers should do to keep clients happy at the individual participant level; otherwise this would be a white paper, not a blog!

  • Ensure polite, courteous, and responsive service representatives in everything you do, e.g. Are you as responsive with a tier 2 inquiry or problem that needs the help of an SME as you are tier 1?
  • Be easily accessible, e.g. when providing an 800 number for clients for particular service questions, if there are several prompts that must be selected, why not include the prompts to select in the original communication.  Test your own IVR as a user.
  • Have user-friendly technology.  For websites that may be infrequently used, e.g. checking pension cash balance or 401(k), is there an easy way to check and reset passwords for users that can’t remember?  Are you providing simple instructions for infrequent transactions, e.g. annual enrollment?  Also, web information changes over time, so periodically check for broken links and user friendliness.

In my current RPO market research study, a track record of delivering quality customer service, including obtaining client references, is one of the top vendor selection criteria, as it was in my recently published learning BPO study.  The Spherion survey is a reminder that customers will not be shy about sharing bad experiences.  It’s best to be certain you know how your client’s employees really feel.

The good news is that HRO providers are, for the most part, providing a high level of service.  For example, SourceRight Solutions, SFN Group’s RPO unit, was the top enterprise RPO provider in HRO Today’s 2010 RPO Bakers Dozen and it was rated number one in quality of services by provider clients.  SourceRight Solutions was also only one of four companies to increase the satisfaction of existing customers while growing its customer base (the others included Kenexa, Pinstripe and AMS).  I tip my hat to SFN Group for conducting the survey and for walking the talk!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

All Signs a Go for RPO to Grow

January 12, 2011

RPO recovered quite nicely in 2010, back to pre-recession levels.  But will clients do much hiring in 2011 and will this growth continue?  All signs I see point to yes.

The January 7 USA Today article titled “For Jobs, Signs of a Recovery” stated: “For the first time since the Great Recession began more than three years ago, the job market is expected to show strong gains this year as consumers spend more and businesses cast off their hesitancy to hire.”

Also, the SFN Group Employee Confidence Index increased in December showing that “…more workers are confident in the strength of the economy and more are likely to make a job transition in the next 12 months.”

Opinions are coalescing that there will likely be increased hiring in 2011, generating more revenue for RPO providers from current clients who pay for services largely on a variable basis, i.e. per hire.  Why are new clients outsourcing RPO, which is also fostering growth?  I recently conveyed my thoughts in an RPO article for the December 2010 issue of HRO Today based on RPO interviews I’ve recently conducted for my third global RPO market report to be published Q1 2011.  Here are a couple of the key points:

  • Internal client recruiting HR departments have drastically reduced their HR and recruiting staffs during the last recession, yet again.  Thus, clients do not want to reinvest in rebuilding their recruiting departments only to downsize again.  Buyers are finding it is better to outsource to a provider that can quickly scale up and down to meet fluctuations in hiring needs, while helping clients to better control expenses by not incurring the fixed costs of an internal recruiting department; especially during slow hiring periods.
  • Even with high unemployment levels, there is still a shortage of talent.  With an increased number of candidates searching for jobs, how does a limited recruiting staff go through all of those resumes to discover the best talent and be responsive to applicants who may someday be potential clients if they’re not already?  RPO is a great way to get access to the latest selection and assessment tools when there is no money to invest in capital expenditures.

As the hiring market improves, voluntary turnover is also likely to increase, further creating opportunities for RPO.  As the war for talent picks up, auxiliary services like employment brand management will increase, creating more revenue opportunities.  Expect overall RPO revenues to be nicely higher in 2011.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

Early Q2 Earnings Reports Indicate Very Solid Year-Over-Year Results in Staffing and RPO

July 29, 2010

With the 2Q10 earnings reporting season underway, all to-date announcements point to a good quarter for HRO, particularly in staffing and RPO. For example:

This morning, SFN Group (formerly Spherion) announced a company-wide revenue increase of 25.6 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter a year ago. And revenues for its outsourcing business, SourceRight Solutions – which provides RPO, managed service programs and professional continent services – were up 100 percent year-over-year, with its RPO services revenue up 80 percent year-over-year.

Additionally, on July 21 Manpower reported revenue growth of 20.9 percent year-over-year for 2Q10, and SeatonCorp on July 15 announced revenues for its RPO business increased 53 percent in the first half of 2010.

While we still need to hear from the likes of Kelly Services, Adecco, Kenexa and others, results are positive thus far, and I believe they will continue. Even though unemployment is likely to remain high throughout the year, as indicated by NelsonHall’s quarterly Outsourcing Confidence Index, demand remains strong for RPO as companies look to outsource their recruitment functions for improved quality of hire, scalability and lower cost. And even with the bad unemployment numbers, there will always be pockets of hiring not only to backfill attrition, but also in high growth industries where new jobs are needed and in companies that downsized to the bone during the recession.

Further reason for optimism: the headline of a July 19 Workforce Management article read, “Workforce Staffing Could Hit Pre-Recession Levels in Two Years at Many Large U.S. Firms.” (You can read the article by registering for free at: www.workforce.com.) The article, per results of a recently-completed Accenture survey, stated that just over half of large, recently downsized U.S. companies plan to boost staffing and reach pre-recession levels by 2012. The survey also found that only 13 percent of executives plan to reduce their employee base over the next 12 months, and that the percentage of U.S. companies focused primarily on investment in growth-oriented activities, such as hiring, will rise from 24 percent today to 37 percent within the next 12 months.

Yet, the article also stated the planned growth won’t come easily, quoting David Smith, the survey’s managing director, who said, “A lack of relevant skills may present a hurdle for companies as they position themselves for growth. Companies need to rethink how they equip employees with the skills required to be competitive today.” Hmmmm….could this signal a resurgence of outsourced learning? If I were a betting man, I’d say the odds were there.

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall