Founded in 1948 by attorneys Elmer Winter and Aaron Scheinfeld, ManpowerGroup began when a substitute typist was needed to work on a project with a tight deadline, but they were unable to source a temp. This led them to ask other businesses how they dealt with staffing emergencies, but there was no satisfactory answer. That’s how Winter and Scheinfeld identified the gap in the market for a temporary help agency — and ManpowerGroup was born.
From humble beginnings in an office in Wisconsin, they now have 28,000 employees globally, servicing four million clients in 80 countries every year. They’ve been recognized for the seventh consecutive year as the World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining ethical business practices. ManpowerGroup has also been named one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies for the 14th year consecutively – and is one of just 40 companies to be named in both lists in 2017.
When ManpowerGroup acquired Clarendon Parker in 2007, the Middle East’s largest recruitment and employment solution provider, they set themselves up to become a market leader for professional recruitment, HR consulting and business solutions in the GCC. With 2 offices based in Dubai, they now serve the entire region, leveraging the opportunity to provide recruitment and HR services in a climate where companies are searching for flexible workforce solutions.
This aligns with their vision to lead in the creation and delivery of innovative workforce solutions and services that enable clients to win in the changing world of work.
“Our values are people, innovation and knowledge. We adjust and adapt, but our core values, vision, and goals haven’t changed.”
Country Manager, Thailand, Vietnam and Middle East
Tailored Solutions to Fit Market Needs – “One size fits one, not one size fits all”
“After the global recession, we saw buying behaviours change. Clients became more sophisticated in the ways in which they hire and the reasons why they hire. They are a lot more cautious and hire selectively – looking for particular skillsets and often using their internal capability to recruit.”- Safiyah Alli, Regional Operations Director
While this might have posed a challenge to traditional staffing agencies, ManpowerGroup saw it as an opportunity to adapt to a changing market. By investing in technology and consulting with clients to make them aware of outsourcing solutions, it offered companies the ability to be more agile and drive productivity through flexible workforce strategies in the shifting global economy.
ManpowerGroup provides a range of solutions through four connected brands – Manpower, Experis, Right Management, and ManpowerGroup Solutions. Engaging with potential clients as a consultancy enables ManpowerGroup to provide integrated solutions based on where the client is positioned today and where they want to be in the future.
“We provide our clients with innovative solutions that take their whole business into perspective – solutions they might not have even thought about” says Simon.
With ManpowerGroup’s consultative approach, a client may work with several individuals who are experts in their fields. From a recruitment perspective, ManpowerGroup ensures that people with the right knowledge and expertise are employed. For example, the person interviewing a potential CFO candidate must be knowledgeable in that field to understand what the role requires – thus ensuring they will place the right person for the job and assess competencies effectively.
ManpowerGroup’s 360-degree approach when interacting with clients allows them to offer a tailored solution. As part of this process, when placing candidates they take a holistic approach to fully understand the client’s services and structure, as well as facilities and range of benefits they offer their employees. Having full information allows for effective solution-selling, and results in positive feedback and referrals. “We love referrals. If we do a good job with clients and candidates, they will recommend us,” says Simon.
Empowerment and Autonomy is at the Heart of Their Culture
“We’re admired because we look after our people, it’s one of our biggest priorities. Happy productive people deliver more, which benefits our candidates, our clients and our communities.”
Regional Director of Shared Services and Regional Leader of Right Management
ManpowerGroup places millions of people into new jobs every year. By providing empowerment, autonomy and support from within the organization, ManpowerGroup’s people are better able to help others move up the career ladder and achieve their full potential, while helping clients meet their strategic business goals.
The company measures employee engagement at a global and regional level through ManpowerGroup’s Annual People Survey. “We believe in our people and their feedback is taken very seriously – it impacts how we run our business,” says Rima. By creating a high performance, collaborative learning culture, employees feel valued – and bring their best selves to work. This results in employee loyalty’ ManpowerGroup retains staff for many years, which provides both our clients and candidates with consistency and helps build long term partnerships.
ManpowerGroup believes that empowerment and autonomy allow its people the opportunity to grow. “We don’t micromanage, we set standards and expectations and provide a support structure to guide our employees, while recognizing performance and talent. This has a positive trickle-down effect that affects every person in our organization,” Rima explains.
An all-female leadership team is another way in which ManpowerGroup distinguishes themselves. “We don’t discriminate, we provide a supportive workplace environment with a performance-based approach, flexible hours and the opportunity to work from home,” says Simon. “This creates a climate where women can thrive.” By supporting their female staff, ManpowerGroup drives conscious inclusion to support positive change in the world of work, and advises clients and the wider community on how to effectively do the same.
“We also launched an Emerging Leader programme in 2014, an on-going platform for an equal number of global male and female candidates within the organization, with the goal of building leadership capabilities,” adds Rima. With stretch assignments, development tools, executive coaching and mentoring, it provides practical ‘on-the-job’ experience to the leaders of tomorrow.
A Brand that Cares for Both Clients and Candidates Alike
When ManpowerGroup acquired Clarendon Parker, they were new and untried in the market. They needed a growth strategy that would recognize their global brand and reputation as the most admired and ethical company in their industry, while accessing under-represented markets that were traditionally difficult to enter.
“LinkedIn’s collaborative approach really appealed to us. We worked with our relationship manager to understand and improve our business, open our brand to other markets, increase lead and placement times, improve response time, increase followers, and source high quality local and global candidates – while tapping into passive candidates.”
Showcasing all four of their interconnected brands on one platform allowed clients and candidates to understand their 360-degree approach. Sharing videos and white papers – that covered topics such as employment trends, conscious inclusion, how to build a strong personal brand, and how to work in an uncertain environment – also enabled ManpowerGroup to position themselves as thought leaders. The result?
Followers doubled and people started reaching out and connecting with the brand, which ensured more traction in terms of leads.
“Our advice is to align the company’s strategy with its desired outcomes in parallel to anticipating future market trends and uncertainties. Always be prepared and invest in new tools and technology to support the business; that’s where you’re going to get the most return on your investment,” says Veronica.
Utilizing the Right Tools for the Job
Using LinkedIn for business development also proved fruitful, allowing ManpowerGroup to build their brand with potential clients. ManpowerGroup could identify key stakeholders in an organization and contact them directly, providing opportunities for new business. “Through LinkedIn it has become very easy for me to find the details of senior individuals I need for business development,” says Arif Aslam, Key Account Manager, Contract Staffing and Outsourcing.
The history of a potential client, what type of people they have hired in the past, and a profile of the individuals they hired are valuable insights used to develop rapport with the client, which is essential to build trust and understanding in a new client relationship. This helps ManpowerGroup to speak the same language as the client, understand their issues and cater their offerings accordingly.
“We use the various functionalities that LinkedIn provides at different levels in our business. Our resources use it to attract candidates, our consultants use it as a business development tool, I use it to connect with stakeholders and to build our brand in the market. It’s not just a candidate-sourcing tool, it’s all-encompassing,” Arif continues.
Ethics and Compliance at the Forefront of the Business
As one of the pioneers of outsourcing solutions in the region, ManpowerGroup is very strict on compliance. To be compliant, they must first understand the market, their client’s needs and the regulations of the country they are working in.
“We are very clear in how we communicate. We set client and candidate expectations from the start, and only deliver solutions that we know we can provide,” says Ponnamma Belliappa, Recruitment Consultant.
ManpowerGroup works with clients to mitigate risk, providing service with a high ethical standard that abides with regulatory frameworks. On the candidate side, they help clients to ensure that the process the candidate goes through is a good experience – as this experience will impact both their brand and their client’s brand.
“As workforce experts, we want to do the right thing by our candidates. Our candidates will one day become our clients. We must understand the environment and deliver a solution that is in the best interest of all parties, that’s where ethics come in.”
Regional Operations Director
“Ethics and compliance are ingrained in the DNA of our people. It’s what we’re proud of and that’s what we transfer across to our candidates and clients – and why we get repeat business,” Safiyah explains.
“The best part of my job is closing a position. It’s so rewarding when both your client and your candidate tell you they are happy,” concludes Ponnamma.
Manpower Group employees are proud to be part of an organization that drives and promotes inclusion, empowerment, engagement and mobilization, while ensuring compliance at every level of operation with their vast network of clients and candidates; it’s this that results in the title of “Most admired and ethical company” being awarded year after year.
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