Adecco SA (VTX:ADEN) is the largest staffing company in the world by revenue-- $33B in 2007. Adecco provides temporary and permanent staffing for industrial, office, financial, engineering, and information technology positions. Adecco charges its clients for finding, evaluating, training, and placing employees into the client company.
The staffing industry is highly influenced by economic cycles due to its reliance on hiring. However, Adecco is less prone to economic cycles of individual countries due to the geographic diversity of the company. Adecco operates in 60 countries. With the exception of France (33%) and the USA and Canada (15%), each of these countries accounts for less than 10% of the company's total revenues. Adecco's diversity also means that it is vulnerable to changes in foreign exchange rates. Adecco states revenues in euros and about 44% of the company's revenues comes from outside the European Union.
Although Adecco is the largest staffing company, its net income margins are also among the lowest in the industry at just 3% of revenue. Adecco primarily places low skilled labor and as a result, makes less per placement than some of its more specialized peers. The company depends on quantity over quality and has to place large numbers of workers in order to operate profitably. Adecco says it had over 700,000 workers placed each day during 2007.  Several of Adecco's core markets, such Europe and Japan, have been experiencing decreasing birth rates over the last decade. Some even have birth rates below replacement rates, making aging populations a concern in the short term and decreasing populations a concern in the long term. Both of these trends can negatively affect Adecco because aging and decreasing populations make it more difficult to replace retiring workers. The majority of the European population will be over 40 by 2020.
Adecco is the largest staffing company in the world with revenues of $33B in 2007. It has 37,000 employees in 60 countries and places 700,000 people into jobs at Adecco's 150,000 client companies everyday.
Adecco Staffing offers permanent and temporary jobs in mostly industrial and office positions. Industrial and Office position revenues combined accounted for 76% of Adecco's revenue in 2007. Since then, the company have shown growth in capital and net income earnings.
Ajilon Professional provides specialized professional staffing and consulting for IT, finance, accounting, and engineering positions.
Lee Hecht Harrison career services deals with outplacement, leadership development, coaching, and career development. Outplacement services mostly includes counseling for fired employees.
Adecco is so large that social and macroeconomic trends in its core markets can impact it - in particular, staffing companies do better when a country's population is younger, as a younger population means more consumers and workers. But in Adecco's core markets, populations are getting older and birthrates are low. A birth rate of 2.1 is what is needed to maintain a population, anything below that means that the population is below replacement and is shrinking. Several of Adecco's major markets have this problem: France = 1.6, Italy and Spain = 1.2, Western Europe = 1.5, and Japan = 1.3. A birthrate of 1.2 means that in 20 years the working age population will shrink 30%. Many European countries are importing labor, in particular muslims, to make up for these low birthrates. Over 50% of all births in the Netherlands will be non-European in 12 years. However, there are countries like Japan, that will not import workers. As a result, by 2020 about 20% of the Japanese population will be over 70 years old.
The American Staffing Association (ASA) took a survey in 2006 which found that 91% of managers wanted flexible staffing and 66% of workers said that flexible work time was important. From 1970 to 2000, daily temporary employment has increased from less than 250,000 to 2.7 million. Also, as of January 2008, over 33% of workers in Japan are considered temporary workers, this compares to 23% in 1997. However, temporary employment is still succeptible to economic conditions. Temporary employment is usually a leading indicator of overall employment: in a down economy temps are let go first and in a booming economy temps are first to be hired. Since June 2007, temporary employment is down 5.7% in the US. Labor productivity is another important indicator for staffing companies because when labor productivity increases, labor demand falls and vice versa.
In June 2008, the EU made a directive that addressed the positive impact temporary staffing has on the labor market. The directive requires countries in the EU to make at least the minimum requirements specified by the directive. Some of these actions include banning all laws that discriminate in any way and adding a law against disability discrimination. France has already lifted restrictions on permanent placement; however, restrictions are still prevalent in other countries. In Spain, temporary staffing is prohibited in the construction industry, as well as public services (Belgium does not allow temporary staffing in public services either). A report by Eurociett, the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies, stated that if only two of the recommended actions of the directive are adopted by six EU countries, then by 2012 about 570,000 more jobs could be created.
Only 15% of Adecco's revenue comes from the US and Canada. The rest is spread across the globe, but is mostly concentrated in Europe, particularly France (33% of revenues in 2007). Its only market in Asia is Japan with 6% of company revenues. The geographic diversity of Adecco's business lessens the impact of economic cycles in any one country. This is particularly important in the staffing industry given the high correlation between economic cycles and labor demand. However, France makes up a third of Adecco's business so the company is most prone to the country's economic conditions, as well as its strict labor laws. France's government is very involved with the labor laws and, as an example, even stepped in to stop Alcatel Lucent from cutting too many jobs at the French offices after the merger in 2006.
Adecco is based in Switzerland and reports revenue in Euros. About 56% of the company's revenue came in the form of Euros,but the remaining 44% is subject to foreign exchange rates. If the Euro depreciates then the company's international revenues will be higher and vice versa. In 2007, Adecco's revenue growth was 3%, but it was 6% at constant currency. This was because the value of the Euro increased against key currencies, such as the dollar, and the international revenues were lower because of it.
Adecco is the largest company by revenue in the $75B staffing industry. Adecco's primary competitor is Manpower (MAN). Adecoo and MAN are the two largest staffing companies in the world, they both get about a third of their revenues from France, and they both largely offer low skilled and unspecialized staffing. Parts of Adecco's business, particularly its Ajilon division, also competes with more specialized firms such as the highly profitable Robert Half International (RHI).
|Company||Revenue (in millions)||Net Income (in millions)||Return on Equity||Offices||Number of Clients||Number Employed in permanent, temporary, and contract positions||Countries Occupied|
|MPS Group Inc.||$2,100||$87.1||8.98%||230|