Our business, strategy and KPIs

Our two distinct market approaches in the General and Professional Staffing businesses, coupled with a decentralised country approach, form the heart of the Adecco Group strategy.


Our business

Global leader in HR services

As the world’s leading provider of General and Professional Staffing solutions, we place over 700,000 associates on a daily basis and offer a wide variety of services to our more than 100,000 clients around the globe. These fall into the broad categories of temporary staffing, permanent placement, outplacement, outsourcing (MSP/VMS/RPO) and consulting.

In 2010 we generated the majority of our business – 92% of our revenues – in the temporary staffing segment. Permanent placement represented 2% of revenues, outplacement 1%, while outsourcing, consulting services and others accounted for 5%.

In addition to the above classification of our services, we segment our business into two distinct categories, according to the skill requirements of our clients.

  • For positions requiring general skills, we offer our clients tailored solutions, focusing on industry know-how and cost leadership, with the aim of building longer-lasting relationships with motivated candidates. This segment is referred to as our General Staffing business, and represents the majority of the Adecco Group business, accounting for 75% of total revenues in 2010 (Office & Industrial and Emerging Markets).

    Within the General Staffing segment, we make a further distinction between the Office and Industrial businesses, which represent 29% and 71%, respectively of General Staffing revenues excluding Emerging Markets.
  • To fill positions requiring professional skills, we need experts who can talk to experts to find the right candidates. Our aim is to provide challenging consecutive assignments, ensuring talent retention and skill enhancement for our candidates. This segment represents our Professional Staffing business, and in 2010, generated 25% of Group revenues. Within Professional Staffing, we divide our services into the following business lines: Information Technology (IT), Engineering & Technical (E&T), Finance & Legal (F&L), Medical & Science (M&S), Sales, Marketing & Events (SM&E) and Human Capital Solutions (HCS), the latter mainly representing our outplacement business. We considerably enhanced our Professional Staffing business in size and scope with the acquisition of MPS Group and took the global lead.

How we are organised

We are organised in a geographical structure. The geographies in which we operate are France, North America, UK & Ireland, Japan, Germany & Austria, Benelux, Italy, Iberia, Nordics, Australia & New Zealand, Switzerland, as well as Emerging Markets. The heads of each country or region have operational responsibility for both the General and the Professional Staffing business lines. Additionally, we have introduced a global organisational structure for our Managed Services Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management Software (VMS) businesses as well as for the career transition and talent development business (outplacement), which is operated under the brand name Lee Hecht Harrison.

What sets us apart from the competition

As the global leader in HR services in terms of size, we also excel when it comes to efficient service delivery. Cost leadership, especially in the General Staffing market – itself characterised by lower margins – is a clear advantage. The size and global reach of our business enable us to take advantage of the trend towards globalisation. Our worldwide presence and leading market position in numerous countries mean we can offer local support to internationally active companies when they expand into new countries. Coupled with our decentralised management approach, which fosters entrepreneurship and enables adaptation to local market conditions, this places us in a strong position.