2016 Annual Report

Material factors
impacting our business
Prioritising and managing
what matters most
A leader and force for good in the world of work.
The Adecco Group aspires to empower people, fuel economies, and enrich societies by providing opportunities for meaningful lifetime employment.
Our goal is to give security and prospects for individuals and provide companies with the critical talent and solutions to stay competitive. We continuously strive to offer lifelong opportunities and meaningful work to all our colleagues employed with or through The Adecco Group. We make our labour market insights and experience available to governments and society at large to shape policies for the welfare of economies and society and aim to be a thought leader in the world of work. As a result, we will be able to generate good returns for our investors.

To achieve our ambitious goal, we have to take into account the capitals we need in an ever-changing environment and the global megatrends impacting our industry in the areas of: Technology, Demographics, Sociology, Regulation and Political economy. We want to become the ‘go-to’ partner for all issues relating to the world of work and a true value creator for our stakeholders and society at large.

Understanding and prioritising materiality

Our most material factors are those that have the greatest impact on our ability to create value. To assess and prioritise material factors, we seek to understand the concerns of our key internal and external stakeholders, while taking into account global and industry key trends.

As part of this process, in 2016 we engaged with a range of internal stakeholders from various departments including HR, Compliance Reporting and Risk Management, Investor Relations, Procurement, International Sales, Tax and CSR at both Group and country level. We gathered and analysed their insights regarding the most material factors for our business, particularly in relation to stakeholder groups and industry key drivers.

Material Factors

In 2016 we also launched a project called ‘Face’ to engage with a range of stakeholders to design the future of The Adecco Group Customer Experience. In total, over 700 interactions took place with clients, associates and candidates. We created focus groups and interviewed Adecco Group branch managers and HR consultants. In addition, we held insight sessions with representatives from Gen Z and start-up companies. Out of this experience, we defined ‘Moments of Truth’ in the interaction between the various groups of people. These help us to understand what we do well, where we must do better, and how we can improve to meet and exceed expectations.

Engagement in stakeholder dialogue with an even wider range of groups around material factors will be an increased priority for us going forward. We believe it is the best way to understand the needs of the various groups we serve and interact with, and it enables us to appropriately assess the value we create through our ‘Perform, Transform and Innovate’ approach.

Today, businesses are only as good as their ability to adapt to new developments. Our goal, in the rapidly transforming world of work, is to become the most credible and trusted workforce solutions partner, ensuring our success and subsequently success for our stakeholders. Our material factors are critical to our ability to create value and are highly relevant to our economic, social and environmental contribution.

For each material factor, we take into account relevant risks and opportunities. Actively managing both – risks and opportunities – needs to be done through an integrated risk management process that leads to organisational understanding of uncertainties across business units and functions, creating a cultural change. The section below shows the value we create, the material factors, risks and opportunities as well as the metrics we use to assess progress.

Our material factors
People management
  • Dimension of value creation Meaningful lifetime employment: we further strengthen our worldwide leadership position by creating rewarding careers with a purpose and lifelong development opportunities. We do this by attracting and retaining skilled people who are passionate, dedicated and focused to continuously strive for excellence. Risks Failure in finding, managing, valuing and keeping people can impact many aspects of our ability to conduct business and deliver results. These include the ability to maintain a stable work environment, service quality, satisfy our clients, candidates and associates, and further develop our business. Opportunities We seek to lead by example. We are in the people business which means that inspiring and enabling the best people is fundamental. Being a great place to work and attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent, demonstrates that our expertise enables us to deliver outstanding results.
  • Metrics • Great Place to Work® results

    • % of employee retention rate

    • % of female share of employees/females per hierarchy level (Global)

    • % of people with a disability in select subsidiaries

    • % of age distribution of employees

    • # of global programmes for employee development

    • # of achieved kilometres through Win4Youth sports performance by employees

Customer relationship management
  • Dimension of value creation Trusted advisor on total talent solutions: our business is built on relationships and the confidence and trust of our clients, candidates, and associates. Understanding our stakeholders’ needs, fostering and maintaining relationships and growing together are vital to progressing our business and tapping into new ways of working together. Risks If we are not able to provide solutions that help our clients, candidates, and associates navigate the changing world of work, we may miss growth opportunities or be negatively impacted by industry consolidation. Not being able to foster long-term relationships with customers and analyse as well as actively manage key data to improve interactions and service can result in customer loss. Opportunities By broadening our service offerings and anticipating economic, social, and technological change, we seek to become a more valuable service partner – both to those who seek employees and those who seek employment. By working hand-in-hand with our clients, we may reduce the degree of cyclicality inherent to our industry.
  • Metrics • % of share of satisfied clients and associates

    • # of clients engaged in Win4Youth

    • # of Adecco Way to Work™ interns with clients

    • Associate safety
Compliance & risk management
  • Dimension of value creation Expertise in all areas of total workforce solutions: we are a people business and a trusted advisor to our clients when navigating in and preparing for an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Leading by example and adhering to highest ethical standards is therefore part of our licence to operate. Risks Failure to conduct business ethically and in a compliant manner will negatively impact our reputation and financial performance. As a result, our credibility to provide employees, clients, candidates, and associates with the guidance they expect from us will be impacted and can result in reduced satisfaction and subsequently in customer loss as well as diminish our attractiveness as an employer. Opportunities Working closely together with governments and regulators will ensure that we can anticipate and shape labour market developments. It also ensures that we are operating in compliance with local laws and have a focus on longer-term risks and opportunities in the workplace.
  • Metrics • The Adecco Group Compliance & Ethics (ACE) training on fundamental ethical business practices (completion rate in %)

    • ACE reporting according to issues

    • Labour rights

    • EcoVadis Supply Chain assessment
Corporate citizenship
  • Dimension of value creation Recognised thought and change leader: being at the pulse of economies, we can lead and shape societal and workplace change, ensuring that our business makes a positive difference in co-creating more inclusive societies and workplace environments that focus on talent and skills. Risks There must be a strategy to contribute to the ‘greater good’ by investing time, money and in-kind contributions into specific co-operations and programmes. If activities are not tied to the business strategy and follow a clear purpose, there is a risk of underleveraging synergies between philanthropy and business objectives. In addition, not being able to concretely measure investments as well as missing KPIs can result in unsatisfactory results and random, uncoordinated action. Opportunities By working collaboratively to create positive societal value and thought leadership regarding workplace change, we can build long-term strategic alliances with clients, governments, and institutions. This will help attract and engage our employees, candidates, and associates while creating deep and lasting relationships.
  • Metrics • Amount of money donated to Win4Youth foundations

    • # of employees engaged in Win4Youth

    • # of sports events organised for Win4Youth

    • # of internships created through Adecco Way to Work™

    • # of Adecco Group countries and brands with a ‘CEO for One Month’

    • # of athletes supported in their career development through the IOC & IPC Athlete Career Programmes

    • % of Adecco Group markets with specific integration programmes for vulnerable groups
  • Dimension of value creation Improving our productivity: Because productivity and efficiency go hand-in-hand, investing in our effectiveness through new delivery models and enhanced digitalisation will do both, support business growth and reduce our environmental impact as well as that of our clients. Risks Without the right infrastructure, we will not be able to compete in offering new services and delivery models. This will have a significant impact on our growth and profitability. Without continuously striving for efficiency and adapting our infrastructure to a changing labour market environment, we will risk losing client, candidate and associate engagement and miss improving our cost structure and environmental footprint. Opportunities Becoming a leading innovator in emerging digital trends and successfully leveraging data could improve our efficiency and better serve our clients, candidates, and associates. It will also enable us to predict trends in specific markets and enables us to adapt or change our delivery models in a timely manner.
  • Metrics • Score EcoVadis

    • Score CDP Disclosure Project (Investor & Supplier Module)

    • Scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emission reduction
Full 2016 Annual Report