Companies in this industry provide temporary staffing, outsourced HR management, and employee placement services. Major companies include Allegis, Kelly Services, ManpowerGroup, and Robert Half International (all based in the US), along with Adecco (headquartered in Switzerland) and Randstad (the Netherlands).
Companies compete to fill talent pools with skilled employees. Some companies may concentrate on manual labor or administrative skills, while others specialize in scientific, IT, or professional attributes. Talent shortages can be problematic, and some staffing firms provide training to enhance skill sets. The success of recruitment programs helps to secure major contracts with large commercial or government clients. 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.
Products, Operations & Technology
The US industry is divided into three major segments: temporary help services (about 50% of industry revenue), professional employer organizations (about 45%), and placement agencies (about 5%). By volume of jobs, temporary help services accounts for 81% of employees, followed by PEOs (10%) and executive search services (9%).