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The recent RCSA International Conference held in Queenstown had a variety of industry speakers and one of the most interesting was Barry Asin, the President of Staffing Industry Analysts who, as the name suggests, compile data and undertake research on the staffing (recruitment) industry on a global basis.

There was so much of interest that Barry shared, I thought I would split it across a couple of blogs to ensure that you don’t get bogged down with information overload.

In this blog, I’ll share some of the current industry data that Barry provided and in next week’s blog, I’ll go into the future scenarios for the industry that Barry speculated on.

Fact #1

The global staffing market in 2013 was worth an estimated USD$416 billion (using sales rather than gross profit).

The contribution per country breakdown saw a top ten that looked like this:

Rank Country Value (USD$) Global market share Forecast 2014 growth
1. USA $124 billion 30% 7%
2. Japan $58 billion 14% 4%
3. UK $37 billion 9% 7%
4. France $29 billion 7% 2%
5. Germany $25 billion 6% 5%
6. Australia $21 billion    5% 1%
7. Netherlands $17 billion 4% 0%
8. Canada $13 billion 3% Not supplied
9. Brazil $8 billion 2% 4%
10. Italy $8 billion 2% Not supplied


Fact #2

The three largest staffing companies (by sales) in the world have combined global sales that equate to the combined global sales of the next thirty largest staffing companies. The three largest recruitment agencies, globally, hold a combined market share of approximately 17%, which is the same combined Australian market share that the three largest recruitment agencies in Australia (Hays, Skilled, Chandler Macleod) account for.

The per country breakdown sees a global top ten that looks like this:

Rank Company Country HQ Global sales 2012 (USD$ million) Global market share
1. Adecco China 26,407 6.51%
2. Randstad Netherlands 21,972 5.42%
3. Manpower USA 20,678 4.97%
4. Allegis USA 9,548 2.29%
5. Recruit Japan 6,265 1.50%
6. Hays UK 5,829 1.44%
7. Kelly Services USA 5,451 1.31%
8. USG People Netherlands 3,699 0.91%
9. Robert Half Int. USA 3,658 0.88%
10. Tempstaff Japan 2,521 0.60%
16. Skilled Group Australia 1,902 0.47%
23. Chandler Macleod Australia 1,582 0.39%


Fact #3

Employers across the globe spend over $3 trillion on contingent staff of all types. The spend is allocated as follows (2012 data):

  • Temporary workers from recruitment agencies (11% of global contingent worker spend)
  • Independent contractors (67%)
  • Other types of temporary workers (22% eg freelancers, independent consultants, internal temp pools, fixed term employees, statement-of-work consultants/workers)


Fact #4

Employer contingent staffing spend through Vendor Managementystems (VMS) and Managed Service Providers (MSP) is the fastest growing segment of the contingent market (annual growth of 23% and 19% respectively). The 2014 market size of each is estimated as follows:

  • VMS (USD$122 billion)
  • MSP (USD$82 billion)

Statement of Work (SoW) is the fastest growing part of each of these markets with growth of 39% in VMSs and 61% in MSPs between 2012 and 2013.

The area of almost-certain massive future growth is online staffing (eg Freelancer, Task Rabbit etc) and I will outline the highlights of Barry’s data and forecasts in this area in my next blog.

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