Wall Street Journal (01/23/12) John Revill
Staffing company Adecco SA is preparing for another bumpy ride as the chances of another recession in Europe increase. The fortunes of providers of temporary staff such as Adecco, ManpowerGroup, and Randstad Holding NV are tied closely to the economic cycle. “In 2012 we will likely head into a mild recession in Europe,” predicts Adecco chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire, adding that he foresees only a slow recovery in Europe after that, as companies hold back on their hiring plans. However, he adds that “in the mid- and long term we are very optimistic because our industry has high structural growth potential.”
European companies have fewer permanent staff and fill in the peaks with temporary workers, says De Maeseneire. “The only jobs that are being created now are flexible jobs,” he notes. Adecco has been expanding into professional staffing, including white-collar positions such as engineers and doctors. As part of this strategy, earlier this month Adecco bought Japanese professional-staffing company VSN. The firm has also boosted its counter-cyclical out-placement business through the 2011 acquisition of U.S.-based Drake Beam Morin.