Annual Report 2015

Our strategy

We partner with our associates and our clients, serving individuals and enterprises with our full range of services globally and locally. This is what makes us unique.

The strategy of the Adecco Group is to be alongside our associates and clients at each phase in their life cycles. As the world’s leading provider of HR solutions, in over 60 countries and territories we offer all HR services to clients and every day we place around 700,000 [1] associates at work.

Candidates and associates
We support job seekers from their very first career steps, giving them an opportunity to start to build valuable skills and to gain the work experience required by the job market. We help people identify roles that will allow them to re-enter the working world and provide them with the training to do so. A temporary job can often lead to permanent employment. The Adecco Group offers talent development services, including training, coaching, and counselling, to enable all our associates to reach their professional potential and goals. Our career transition services help individuals move into new roles in cases of redundancy, by preparing and guiding them during the phase of career change. They are assisted with the preparation of their CV, in job market orientation, in setting up interviews, and during the final placement. We aim to accompany our associates throughout every phase in the worker life cycle.

When a great idea is ready to be turned into a business, we support our clients through the start-up and growth phases. We find the right people, with the right skill sets, to join companies on a temporary or permanent basis and contribute to their success. Growth and expansion can also mean mergers and acquisitions; human resources need to be carefully managed and maintained; and changes may need to be made to the organisation. The Adecco Group has the services and skills to support clients through all of these phases and more. Once the client’s company structure matures, we help to manage the attrition of people or to optimise business processes through outsourcing solutions. Should circumstances require a client to downsize operations, we help by deploying staff to increase business efficiency and effectiveness. Whatever the phase in the client life cycle, the Adecco Group strives to provide an HR solution.

Strategic priorities

In January 2016, the Adecco Group presented its evolved strategic priorities. Reflecting emerging trends in the world of work, we have introduced new priorities that are critical components of our future success, while reaffirming existing priorities that remain highly relevant across our business. The leadership team is very focused on implementing all of the priorities across the organisation.

Segmentation means tailoring our go-to-market approaches and delivery models according to client size and needs, allowing us to maximise our value and service proposition to different client profiles. This approach deepens our relationships with our large clients and increases our penetration of the small- and medium-size enterprises (SME) segment, driving growth and profitability. In 2016, we will continue to roll out our specific operating models for different client segments, such as Onsite solutions and our tailored SME approach, into further countries.

Permanent Placement
The global market for permanent placement is estimated to be worth approximately EUR 44 billion 2 per annum. The Adecco Group has a sizeable permanent placement business in several countries, but our global market share accounts for around 1%2. Permanent placement represents only 2% of Group revenues but 10% of gross profit. Our ambition is to grow this business significantly, increasing our geographical scope and building a global critical mass to become the clear leader in this profitable market. In recent years, we have invested signi­ficantly to establish a strong base of experienced permanent placement teams with a culture of excellence, providing a firm foundation for accelerated growth in the coming years.

Professional Staffing & Solutions
The Adecco Group is a global leader in professional staffing worldwide. An essential part of the Group’s strategy is to increase the share of revenues generated from Professional Staffing, driving growth, profitability, and resilience through-the-cycle. This segment, with above-average growth and margin potential, accounts for approximately 31%2 of the global staffing market but only 23% of the Adecco Group’s revenues. In professional staffing, where penetration rates are still significantly lower than in general staffing, growth will be driven by scarcity of talent, evolving working practices, and higher wage inflation for qualified personnel.

In order to capture these trends, we will continue to roll out our key Professional Staffing brands, such as Modis and Badenoch & Clark, in our major markets.

The Adecco Group offers outsourcing solutions to clients who want to move beyond the traditional use of temporary staffing. In such outsourcing, we deliver value to clients not only by providing flexibility in their workforces but also by managing and optimising the whole of a particular labour-intensive activity. We have a leading offering in the outsourcing of processes such as logistics, call centres, and field sales and marketing.

We are the global leader in career transition and talent development through our Lee Hecht Harrison business. The counter-cyclical nature of career transition is a good hedge during economically difficult times, as this business peaks during recessions. Our large-scale and flexible approach to cost management enables Lee Hecht Harrison to achieve double-digit EBITA margins throughout the cycle.

Large multinational clients increasingly seek to outsource their HR processes. With a global footprint and extensive know­ledge of local labour markets, the Adecco Group is ideally positioned to take advantage of this trend. Our comprehensive solutions offerings are market-leading. They operate under the brand names Pontoon and Beeline.

Our new priority of Digital builds on our previous focus on Information Technology. The world of technology continues to evolve rapidly, and we will drive the digitisation of our current business and processes further and faster. The ambition of our new priority is to become a true digital innovator and to create new markets for us. Our efforts are aimed at enhancing our cost leadership position, but also at maximising our revenue-generation opportunities. For instance, we aim to develop online staffing to address new customer segments and their specific needs, as well as using big data to predict the future demands of our customers.

We define Engagement as a combination of employee satisfaction and retention. Attracting, developing, and retaining our employees is essential to building successful long-term relationships with clients and associates. Engagement propels individuals’ motivation and continued high performance. A better, longer-lasting relationship with our clients and associates protects our business and is a competitive advantage both from a revenue and from a cost perspective.

Working practices are evolving and we need to keep up in order to retain and develop our people. Under the umbrella of the Adecco Academy, we provide a wide range of learning and development opportunities for our employees throughout the Group. The regularly conducted Great Place to Work® survey on the job satisfaction of our own employees gives insight into how we can continuously improve our working environment. More information can be found in the chapter ‘Our people’ on pages 21–24.

Thought Leadership
Thanks to our global scale and unrivalled breadth of HR services, we are uniquely positioned to provide valuable insights into the world of work. Our goal is to be perceived as the leading labour market expert. For society as a whole, we advocate for better regulation and bringing new perspectives to the labour market in areas such as talent competitiveness, training, and apprenticeships. We strive to use our global reach, insights, and brand voice to give guidance in the world of work to governments, organisations, and individuals globally. By leveraging our insights and expertise, we create superior value and experiences for our clients, associates, and candidates.

What makes us unique

The Adecco Group offers a complete range of HR solutions and services along the life cycles of clients and workers in more than 60 countries and territories around the world. This means we provide solutions to enterprises and individuals globally. We are the largest provider of general and professional skills and through our network we place around 700,000 [1] associates at work every day. We are a major global player in both Managed Service Programmes and Recruitment Process Outsourcing, allowing customers to outsource the management of their contingent workforce and large-scale hiring programmes. Furthermore, Lee Hecht Harrison is the global leader in Career Transition and Talent Development. We partner with our associates and our clients, finding the best fit for the skills and aspirations of talents to the evolving needs of enterprises. Coupled with our global reach and decentralised management approach, which fosters entrepreneurship and enables adaptation to local market conditions, we are a trusted and reliable partner for all stakeholders. What makes us unique is our global reach and our broad, comprehensive range of leading services and solutions.


[1]Average 2015