Hays revenue up 13% for fiscal year, sees strong conditions

Hays plc, the world’s sixth-largest staffing firm, reported strong growth in its global operations in its fiscal year ended June 30. Turnover, or revenue, at the London-based firm rose 13% both on an actual and “like-for-like” basis, which measures organic growth of continuing operations at constant currency. Net fees, or gross profit, rose 12% like-for-like.

Hays noted strong conditions in the majority of its markets, and conditions in the UK remained stable.

(£ millions) FY 2018 FY 2017 % change % change like-for-like FY 2018 (US$ millions)
Turnover (revenue) £5,753.3 £5,081.0 13% 13% $7,566.5
Net fees (gross profit) £1,072.8 £954.6 12% 12% $1,410.9
Gross margin 18.6% 18.8%
Profit for the year £165.8 £139.1 19% $218.1

The strongest growth in gross profit occurred in the company’s “Rest of World” segment, which comprises 28 countries, including the US. Hays reported it is investing significantly in the US and Canada; gross profit rose by 28% in the US and by 16% in Canada. However, gross profit in Mexico fell by 2%.

In Germany, the company’s largest market, Hays reported strong growth in gross profit, although earnings were affected by three fewer working days than the prior years.

Gross profit by region

(£ millions) FY 2018 FY 2017 % change % change like-for-like FY 2018 (US$ millions)
Australia and New Zealand £199.4 £180.7 10% 14% $262.2
Germany £276.0 £230.3 20% 16% $363.0
United Kingdom and Ireland £258.2 £252.9 2% 2% $339.6
Rest of World £339.2 £290.7 17% 17% $446.1

“Looking ahead, conditions remain positive in virtually all of our markets,” Chief Executive Alistair Cox said. “We are investing significantly in key growth markets where we see structural and market share opportunities, notably Germany, France and the USA.”

Share price and market cap

Shares in Hays closed down 4.34% in London to £194.00. The company had a market cap of £2.93 billion.

Adecco’s North America regional head to step down; firm announces new exec, other changes

The Adecco Group named a new executive to oversee its North America, UK and Ireland operations when present leader John Marshall, who served 20 years at Adecco, steps down on Dec. 31 from the role of regional head of North America, UK and Ireland.

Sergio Picarelli will take over Marshall’s role, the company announced. Picarelli will also retain his present responsibilities which include global oversight of Lee Hecht Harrison, General Assembly, Badenoch & Clark, and Spring Professional. In addition, Picarelli will take on the oversight of Pontoon, the company’s MSP and RPO business.

As part of the move, Picarelli will relinquish his present responsibilities for Italy, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He had joined The Adecco Group in 1993 and its executive committee in 2009.

Adecco also announced that Enrique Sanchez will assume regional responsibility for Italy, Eastern Europe and MENA, in addition to maintaining his responsibility as regional head of Iberia. Sanchez also joined The Adecco Group in 1993 and has been a member of its executive committee since 2009, leading its Iberia and Latin America businesses.

Federico Vione, regional head of North America, UK & Ireland, general staffing, will take over additional regional responsibility for Latin America from Sanchez. He joined The Adecco Group in 1999 and has been a member of the executive committee since 2009.

Franz-Josef Schürmann, currently chief sales and innovation officer, has decided to pursue opportunities outside The Adecco Group and will be leaving the company at the end of 2018. The CSIO position on the executive committee will not be replaced. The roles of global head of sales and global head of digital operations will report directly to Group CEO Alain Dehaze.

“This enhanced management structure expands the responsibilities of proven leaders within The Adecco Group, illustrating the depth of experience and strength of our Executive Committee,” Dehaze said.

The Adecco Group added that there will be no changes to the group’s external segment reporting structure as a result of the above executive committee changes.

Harvey Nash revenue up 25% in first half of year

Global staffing provider Harvey Nash Group plc, a UK-based staffing provider with US operations, reported in a “trading update” today that revenue for the six months ended July 31 rose to £527 million (US$692 million), up 24.9% from the same period in the prior year. The company attributed the increase largely to increases in contract recruitment, managed services and IT outsourcing as a result of both organic growth and acquisitions; permanent recruitment has been broadly flat.

Gross profit rose 11.2% to £51.7 million (US$67.8 million).

Harvey Nash this month announced it struck a deal to be acquired by its largest shareholder. The deal values total shares in Harvey Nash at £98.7 million (US$127.9 million). The acquiring firm is The Power of Talent Ltd., which is controlled and managed by DBAY Advisors Ltd.

Shares in Harvey Nash closed down 0.76% today in London to £130.00. It had a market cap of £94.4 million.

Most recruiters say job more difficult, skilled labor shortage

Most recruiters, 62%, say their job is more difficult today than it was a year ago, according to a survey released today by Monster Worldwide Inc. This continues an ongoing trend as 67% said their job is more difficult than it was five years ago.

Additionally, 59% of respondents said it is more difficult to get quality candidates than it was a year ago and 62% reported it’s more difficult than it was five years ago. Fifty-nine percent said there is a shortage in the skilled labor they require, and 52% cited competition from other recruiters as a pain point.

Recruiters are only passing 44% of candidates on to hiring managers while wishing they were passing along at least 54%.

The research found 83% of recruiters are now taking a multi-solution approach to attract higher-quality candidates, according to the research. Top tactics include direct outreach to candidates, traditional job ads, posts on company/career websites and social media advertising.

Monster provided a few insights based on the survey:

  • Bring marketing to the core of recruitment. 67% of recruiters said they felt that they needed to understand marketing to be successful, yet only 36% of recruiters surveyed used employer branding strategies.
  • Create balance between digital and humanity. 64% of recruiters said they felt they needed to be digital experts to succeed today. And while 70% of recruiters said their organization is keeping up digitally, 64% believe they don’t have the right digital tools to make the job easier. And another 51% said that technology makes it harder to connect with humans.
  • Optimize your processes with data and analytics. 50% of recruiters said they are anxious about using their time efficiently, and 67% feel that they need to be analytics experts.

“Today’s strong economy is increasing the overall demand for talent, so recruiters are under tremendous pressure,” said Monster COO Bob Melk. “That underscores the need for an integrated recruitment strategy spanning the entire candidate lifecycle — from employment branding that introduces candidates to the cultural differences that demonstrate how your company is a great place to work, to social recruiting that targets passive candidates and engagement tools that let you connect via text messaging and chat.”

Monster commissioned the nationwide online survey of in-house recruiters, recruiters at staffing firms and recruiters who specifically target healthcare. The survey was fielded by Research/Now among 442 recruiters, between June 4 and June 11, 2018.

Staffing CEO faces visa fraud charges

The CEO of two Bellevue, Wash., IT staffing providers was arrested this week on a charge relating to a visa fraud scheme, the US Attorney’s Office announced. Pradyumna Kumar Samal served as CEO of Divensi and Azimetry, which supplied IT workers such as software development engineers to major corporate clients. However, the Department of Justice said Samal led a scheme involving forged and fraudulent documents to get visas for specialty occupation employment.

Smal submitted, and directed his employees to submit, forged and false application materials to the US government, making it appear as if two corporate clients already had agreed to use several foreign-national employees named in the applications, according to the department. However, neither client had agreed to do so.

The documents included forged letters and fraudulent statements of work, which appeared as if they had been signed by senior executives at the two clients, according to the department. After US Citizenship and Immigration Services relied on the false representations and approved the applications, Samal’s companies left those foreign nationals unpaid until and unless they were able to place them at actual end clients.

Nearly 200 workers may have been brought in under the phony applications, according to the department. The employees also paid Samal’s companies a partially refundable “security deposit” of as much as $5,000 for the visa filings, regardless of whether they were assigned to any projects that provided them with income.

The criminal complaint was filed under seal in April 2018, and Samal was arrested on Tuesday, as he arrived in Seattle from an international flight. Visa fraud is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.