Companies in this industry provide temporary staffing, outsourced HR management, and employee placement services. Major companies include Allegis Group, Kelly Services, ManpowerGroup, and Robert Half International (all based in the US), along with Adecco (headquartered in Switzerland) and Randstad (the Netherlands).
The global staffing market is expected to have a valuation of $542 billion by 2024, according to Reportlinker. The factors driving this growth include the rising volume of mergers and acquisitions, declining unemployment rate, increasing industrial production, and growing popularity of the online recruitment process. North America is the fastest-growing market followed by Europe and Asia/Pacific region.
The US staffing services industry includes about 53,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $400 billion. The industry includes executive search services and professional employer organizations (PEOs), which are also covered in separate industry profiles.
Companies compete to fill talent pools with skilled employees. Some companies may concentrate on manual labor or administrative skills, while others specialize in engineering, IT, or professional attributes. Firms with a large network of offices tend to have the best advantage due to agreed-upon pricing or markup on services rendered. During economic downturns, clients typically reduce employment of temporary employees before conducting permanent staff layoffs. Pricing competition, which is stiffer among providers of clerical and industrial personnel, may intensify during periods of economic instability.
Other competitive factors include the emergence of online staffing platforms and other disintermediation methods, as well as the risk that customers may decide to handle staffing internally or to divide their staffing needs among a broad group of competing providers. Companies also face competition from professional business outsourcing and payroll service companies. While some companies have been working on shifting to automation and digitization of their businesses, the pandemic accelerated the trend and affected how and where work is performed. This led companies to leverage innovative sourcing solutions that are also flexible such as gig platforms, independent contractors, and other talent pools.
The staffing services industry is fragmented, with low barriers to entry. In the US, the 50 largest companies generate a little less than half of industry revenue.
Growing with New Technology -- As new technology continuously shapes the workforce needs, companies may need to provide training, assessments, and long-term development paths to help clients and workers enhance their skills. Some tasks performed by people are being replaced by robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.
Enhancing Efficiencies -- Companies can use economies of scale in back-office and marketing functions to improve operational efficiency. Companies adopt a variety of technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM), applicant tracking system, vendor and order management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and data analytics.
Successful Sales and Marketing Campaigns -- Companies depend on successful marketing campaigns to attract and retain customers and skilled workers. Firms also rely on direct marketing to customers, traditional and digital advertising, job boards, and social media campaigns to reach clients and job candidates.
Companies to Watch:
Adecco is a leading global HR services firm. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and has operations in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia/Pacific region.
Randstad follows Adecco in global staffing services ranking by revenues earned. The Netherlands-based firm operates in Europe, Asia, and North America and provides IT, industrial, and general temporary staffing services.
Manpower is one of the global leaders in workforce solutions and services, with over 2,200 networks of offices in 75 countries. The US-based company operates through its brands Manpower, Experis, and Talent Solutions across Europe, the Americas, Asia/Pacific, and the Middle East.
Products, Operations & Technology
The major segments of the US staffing industry are temporary help services, professional employer organizations, and placement agencies. Accounting for
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms