Recruitment Strategy

Manpower vs Adecco vs Kelly Services: Which Global Agency Should You Choose?

Talent acquisition is a complex process that can deliver future leaders for your organization or innovative new customer solutions if executed correctly. When recruiting teams hire ill-suited candidates, it can be costly and time-consuming to repeat the process of refilling that role. 

Time is of the essence, particularly when filling temporary and contract roles, and organizations can’t afford to sacrifice productivity when employees are forced to take on an additional workload, or there are delays in executing a project. 

More companies today are engaging staffing agencies to improve the chances of making a successful hire in a timely manner and to reduce the workloads of HR teams with growing talent acquisition and management responsibilities. 

These responsibilities may include working closely with department leaders to formulate talent acquisition strategies to support long-term business goals and maintain competitiveness, developing training and career development programs to address the global talent shortage, and fostering employee relations to ensure high engagement and retention. 

In the current environment, competition for the most qualified talent is fierce, and new tactics are being employed to reach job seekers and passive candidates. To be successful, leaner HR departments and small businesses must rely on the breadth and depth of staffing agency expertise. 

These agency partners help them execute organizational changes or support surges in demand that can occur around the holidays - or drastic market changes - so that they can remain focused on core HR responsibilities.

The staffing agency landscape

This year, the global staffing industry is expected to grow by 9%, with 86% of revenue coming from temporary staffing, according to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). In the United States, a significant contributor to global staffing revenue, staffing and industry sales grew by 20% in 2021 - returning to pre-pandemic levels after a sharp decline in 2020. 

Despite the industry rebound, economic headwinds due to skill shortages, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and other factors are still impacting companies and influencing decisions to engage a staffing agency. With more companies relying on staffing agencies to fill their vacancies, your company’s HR department might be at a disadvantage without this support.

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How to select a staffing agency

Selecting the right staffing agency can seem like a daunting task, given the number of options and limited hiring budgets. Picking an agency that isn’t aligned with your company’s culture or is unable to deliver on your hiring needs can extend the time-to-hire and take your HR staff away from the day-to-day people management responsibilities of your organization.

Therefore, the process of identifying and partnering with a staffing agency should not be taken lightly or be completed in haste. Whether your company is engaging an agency for an executive search or contract workers for an IT project, it is essential to work with a company that gets your business and company culture. In-house HR teams should plan to take the following steps before working with a staffing agency.

Determine your company’s hiring needs

Are you looking to build up the capacity to handle a large digital project? Does your finance team need a temporary hire to cover a team member out on maternity leave? Maybe your company needs an influx of workers to handle the holiday surge. Regardless of what your company needs, a staffing agency has the expertise and deep relationships with professionals to help you achieve your goals quickly. Engaging an agency for your staffing needs is smoother and more successful when your team can clearly convey your talent requirements, budget, business goals, and company culture. 

Do your research

It is equally important to be familiar with the staffing agency’s business model, industry experience, fee structure, and track record. Read up on how long the agency has been in operation, check out testimonials and online reviews, and talk to peers about their experiences working with staffing agencies. It is also worthwhile to gain insight into their company culture and turnover rates since happy employees tend to generate better results for customers.

Know how they work

Learn about their hiring process, the steps they take to source and interview candidates, and the amount of time it takes to complete a talent search. Understand what their screening process entails and how much time is dedicated to cultivating their database. It is also critical to know what tools they have access to and deploy during a search. There are several recruitment solutions available, so it is worthwhile to do your homework so that you can ask if they are using particular tools. 

It is essential to gauge how experienced the teams are so that you know you are getting knowledgeable support teams and sound counsel. Many companies also conduct and publish their own market research, which can be a valuable insight into the job market. Obtaining intel about other companies they have worked with and noting your impressions of interactions with them is also wise.

If your recruiting team is planning to engage a staffing agency, consider starting out with an established global brand. These organizations have a proven track record, offer services to help with just about any hiring needs, and have a broad network of professionals in their database that they have cultivated relationships with for years. Let’s take a closer look at three well-known workforce solutions providers: Adecco, Kelly Services, and Manpower, to see how their staffing services stack up.

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Adecco was founded in 1957 and provides workforce solutions to companies in a wide range of industries, including automotive, retail and consumer products, manufacturing, creative and marketing, and professional, finance, and insurance. 

The organization is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with operations in 60 countries. Adecco is committed to preparing people and companies for the future of work by focusing on offering flexible and permanent placement, career coaching and training, and outsourcing and consulting services. 

In the United States, clients can customize solutions to help meet short- and long-term staffing needs. The company claims to have 1.4 billion candidate profiles of pre-qualified talent, which they have built through a combination of sourcing methods, including job fairs, mobile applications, and digital tools, social media, and candidate referrals. 

Adecco ensures that you get the most qualified professionals for temporary positions through its evaluation process, which includes prescreening, skills testing, and background or reference checks. Temporary employees have access to benefits, such as medical and dental insurance, through Adecco and can upskill for free before starting a new assignment. 

Competitive advantage: Adecco boasts the largest network of pre-qualified candidates and connects all types of workers. The company has special programs and partnerships to support a variety of communities. 

Kelly Services

Founded in 1946, Kelly Services began serving companies in Michigan before it grew to a 7,000-employee global enterprise. The company offers outsourcing, upskilling, temporary staffing, and on-site management services. Industry focus areas include professional and industrial, science and clinical, engineering, technology, education, and government. 

Kelly Services strives to unite “vital talent with great organizations.” Its contract staffing services employ a “streamlined hiring process” optimized for quick and cost-effective recruitment, on-site team management, and payroll services, according to the company. Kelly Services places over 250,000 people in professional and industrial careers per year. In 2021, SIA named Kelly Services one of the largest Life Sciences, Finance/Accounting, Office/Clerical, Education, Engineering, and IT staffing firms in the United States.

Competitive advantage: Kelly Services has deep industry connections and takes pride in its specialized brands focused on key sectors.


Manpower works with small and large businesses across all industries. Founded in 1948 in Wisconsin, the company now operates in 75 countries. Manpower considers itself to be a global workforce expert delivering contingent and permanent staffing, talent management and development, and outsourcing services. 

The company specializes in providing talent for companies in industries including manufacturing, energy, government, technology, and hospitality. These self-described “workforce geeks” have a methodology aimed at understanding your talent needs, using data and processes to help your company achieve its goals, and that enables them to confidently stand behind their results with an eye towards constant improvement.

Sustainability and ethics are key selling points for their organization, and they are deeply committed to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work, and Economic Growth. When working with this company, you can be sure that these considerations will go into the work they do for your business. 

Competitive advantage: Manpower prides itself on customizing solutions to suit the unique needs of every client. 

The bottom line

Selecting a global staffing agency like Adecco, Kelly Services, or Manpower means entering into a partnership to help your company reach any of its complex and unique talent acquisition goals. 

These companies bring deep expertise, a vast candidate network, and access to technology solutions like Manatal’s all-in-one recruitment software to enhance lean HR departments and fill vacancies with the most qualified talent in short order.

Start your 14-day Free Trial to learn why 10,000 staffing agencies and in-house recruiting teams are trusted Manatal to be their ultimate cloud-based recruitment solution. 

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