Performing Transforming Innovating

Quote from CEO Quote from CEO

“By delivering Performance, Transformation and Innovation, we will support our financial commitments to our shareholders and our commitment to make the future work for everyone.”

Alain Dehaze,
Chief Executive Officer

Looking back on 2018, there is much for our colleagues around the world to be proud of.

Significant progress was made in the transformation and digitalisation of the Adecco Group, as we continued to ‘Perform, Transform and Innovate’. The investments that began in 2017 and continued in 2018 are now starting to deliver positive results, laying strong foundations for 2019 and beyond.

Leveraging the workforce megatrends

In 2017, we identified six key megatrends – geopolitical & economic uncertainty; the gig economy; skills imbalances; the new demographic mix; automation, AI & machine learning; and digitisation, big data & analytics – that are driving change in how people live and work, and in the HR solutions industry.

The megatrends create significant opportunities for the Adecco Group and, given our ability to respond to the changing landscape, the long-term outlook is positive. Our long-term strategy will continue to build on the progress made during 2017 and 2018, allowing us to create more value for our customers and broader society.

Our competitive strengths

Some competitiors

  • Knowledge of complex labour regulations
  • Ability to manage large contingent workforces
  • Strong brand portfolio

Few competitiors

  • Global distribution (>100,000 enterprise clients)
  • Rich workforce data assets
  • Trusted on compliance & data security

Our unique assets

  • Widest scope of end-to-end HR solutions (including up-/reskilling)
  • GrowTogether – a fundamental upgrade of our core solutions, driving differentiation and extending our cost-leadership
  • Most comprehensive portfolio of digital HR platforms

From a fragmented to a more consolidated industry

The Adecco Group is the global leader in HR solutions but we have only 5% market share in staffing and permanent recruitment. The drivers of industry fragmentation are now reversing, and the Adecco Group is well placed to expand its market share.

Technology enables us to differentiate our offering versus traditional competitors and raises barriers to entry for smaller players. Our scale and expertise give us a competitive edge over new entrants, and our brand ecosystem offers holistic solutions to clients, across all of their workforce needs.

Digital and rising complexity will encourage consolidation of the highly fragmented industry

Pie chart

The Adecco Group is the global market leader with only 5% market share

The Group’s digital evolution…

  • increases economies of scale
  • creates opportunities to differentiate
  • raises barriers to entry
  • allows access to new markets/segments

Strategy into action

Our Perform, Transform, Innovate strategic agenda drives growth and profitability, supported by two strategic initiatives – GrowTogether and New Ventures.

  • Perform delivers growth and strong cash flow in a cost-disciplined, returns-focused way. We are driving out underperformance, and rolling out proven commercial strategies focused on segmentation, pricing and permanent recruitment.
  • Transform strengthens our core business through greater efficiency and service differentiation, driving profitable market share gains.
  • Innovate captures new opportunities in areas such as digital, and leverages our brand ecosystem to offer complete workforce solutions.

Transforming our core with GrowTogether

Our GrowTogether programme, launched in 2017, is at the centre of the Group’s transformation agenda. We are reimagining the delivery of our solutions in the digital age, with customer-centricity at the heart.

GrowTogether is now scaling up and delivering real results in the markets where it is most progressed, such as the US, UK and France. In 2018, it delivered the first EUR 50 million productivity savings, in line with the target, and in 2019 we expect a further EUR 70 million savings. GrowTogether is also strengthening our Net Promoter Score.

New Ventures open attractive new markets

We are creating solutions that complement our existing portfolio and build real competitive advantage. We are co-creating with leading technology companies, such as Infosys and Microsoft, scaling up internal projects and embracing value-enhancing buy-and-build acquisitions.

Over the last two years, we have added leading platforms in online staffing (Adia), freelance (YOSS), digital permanent recruitment (Vettery) and re/upskilling (General Assembly): all high-value, high-growth businesses. We have a clear right to win in these new areas, leveraging our market knowledge, data and client relationships.

A strong digital portfolio: online platforms and skills development


Digital Platforms

We have established leading digital platform businesses that focus on the three most relevant areas of HR solutions: Staffing, Permanent Recruitment and Freelance/Contractor.

  • Staffing Co-created with Infosys

  • Permanent Recruitment

  • Freelance Co-created with Microsoft


Digital Skills

The addition of General Assembly to our ecosystem is a game-changer

  • Upskilling and Reskilling

Leveraging synergies between our brands

The combined power of our businesses and brands is brought to life through our ecosystem. It sets us apart from the competition, and allows us to create customised solutions to meet our customer needs.

The ecosystem model provides unique synergies, efficiency and flexibility, delivering a truly 360° service offering. For example, co-ordinated through a single global advisor, a tech client can reskill its workforce with General Assembly, facilitate career transitions with Lee Hecht Harrison, build a bespoke project team solution through Modis, and receive support for general staffing from Adecco.

A future that works for everyone

As a leader, it is our duty to set an example for sustainability and social value creation in our industry. In 2018, we launched a new global sustainability framework, aimed at fully integrating sustainability in our business.

We are training more people, through up/reskilling, in-work training and apprenticeships. We want to be the employer of choice, and to enable wellbeing, livelihoods, and the right balance between flexibility and security. We advocate for a new social contract for work.

Through the Adecco Group Foundation, we extend our positive impact, focusing on work-readiness for underserved populations and workforce vitality, supported by CEO for One Month and Win4Youth.

Looking ahead

Our core business is cyclical and we are monitoring the economic outlook carefully. While the external environment is undoubtedly more challenging than 12 months ago, internally we are stronger, thanks to the significant progress made during 2018.

We begin 2019 optimistic about the future. Whatever the short-term trends, the investments that we have made, and continue to make, will leave us well positioned for the long term. By delivering on our Perform, Transform and Innovate agenda, we will support our financial commitments to our shareholders and our commitment to make the future work for everyone.


Alain Dehaze,
Chief Executive Officer