IN FOCUS: Four Big Themes Spearheaded By European HR Organizations

As recently as two years ago, all new HRO trends came from the U.S. But fast-forward to November 2006, that will forever mark the date when the big HR transformation trends started on the east side of the Atlantic. Here are the four trends that made headlines from this year’s HRO World Europe Conference.

by Jay Whitehead, Harry Feinberg

When we started HRO World Europe in November 2004, we felt just a slight bit imperialistic. Sure, we featured the big HRO deals from Great Britain—BP and BT. And we had our local partners, our friends from SharedXpertise in Brussels. But all the big trends, topics, and to-do’s were American.

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2007 Resource Guide

The Fifth annual largest and most authoritative listing of HR service providers.

by HROT Staff

In today’s HRO market, there are lots of vendors to choose from, and the HRO Today 2007 Resource Guide is solid proof of this. With more than 1,000 providers serving 18 categories, HR professionals have a variety of solutions that meet their functional, cost, and geographical needs. The selection process can be overwhelming indeed.

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Weichert Completes Acquisition of PwC’s Mobility Business

Weichert Relocation Resources has completed its acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s (PwC) Global Mobility Services (GMS) practice in the U.S. This acquisition positions Weichert Relocation Resources as the one of the country’s leading assignment management and expatriate administration service provider, offering customers access to a large team of global workforce mobility experts, enhanced technology and deepened, end-to-end assignment management capabilities including tax compliance.

“We’re seeing more companies seek to consolidate their domestic and international activity under one global supplier in an effort to reduce overall costs, sharpen competitive edge, and optimize performance,” said Aram Minnetian, president and CEO of Weichert Relocation Resources. “This acquisition has accelerated our ability to address this growing customer need and offer the convenience of a true one-stop global workforce mobility solution.”

With the completion of the acquisition, PwC’s U.S.-based GMS team has become part of Weichert Relocation Resources’ Global Mobility Solutions group under the direction of senior vice president Jane Malecki.

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Unilever Finalizes Contract Terms In Blockbuster HRO Deal Estimated to Be Worth over $1B

In one of the largest enterprise, end-to-end HRO contracts ever, Unilever said it has finalized terms with Accenture to provide a broad range of HRO services ranging from recruitment to payroll processing and performance management in 100 countries. The seven-year agreement covering 200,000 global workers—estimated by one industry advisor at $1.04 billion (around €800)—will begin in July, but the companies declined to disclose financial terms.

Unilever has long rumored to have selected Accenture for the engagement, but an announcement about the deal had been delayed for months. Company officials had indicated last fall that the accord could have gone into effect as early as March, but the complexity with the deal may have pushed negotiations and the start date back.

Unilever said the agreement is designed to transform its HR operations and functions through greater efficiency and effectiveness as part of the company’s “One Unilever” program. The consumer product giant in recent months has outsourced a number of domains, including F&A functions to IBM late last year. In October, it awarded an IT outsourcing contract to Accenture for parts of its European operations.

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HRO and the City

Thousands gather annually in New York in the spring to get more than an academic discussion of outsourcing at NY HR Week. They get down and dirty with buyers, providers, and other industry thought leaders in an all-out, two-day HRO festival.

by HROT Staff

How do you capture and keep the attention of some 4,000 high-level HR professionals for two days? Try sending them to HRO World as this year’s NY HR Week, which encompasses HRO World, drew a record number of attendees and exhibitors.

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Hewitt Associates Expands Benefits Outsourcing and Consulting Relationship With Catholic Health Initiatives

Hewitt Associates, a global human resources services company, announced today it will provide HR business process outsourcing (BPO) services to Catholic Health Initiatives, a national nonprofit health corporation. This is an expansion of the companies’ benefits outsourcing and consulting relationship, as Hewitt has provided defined benefit outsourcing services to Catholic Health Initiatives since 2001 and benefits consulting services since 1989.

Under the new 10-year agreement, Hewitt will provide HR BPO services, including contact center, recruiting, relocation, health and welfare, and workforce administration services to approximately 45,000 Catholic Health Initiatives employees in the U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"For most companies, HR administration is not a core business," said Mike Wright, HR outsourcing sales and accounts industry lead at Hewitt. "HR is Hewitt’s core area of expertise and has been for 65 years. We’re excited to have the opportunity to leverage our deep HR content knowledge and process experience for the benefit of Catholic Health Initiatives and its employees."

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HRO World 2006: Looking Back, Looking Forward

HRO World’s chairman looks back at HRO World 2003-2005 and helps us look forward to 2006.

by Jay Whitehead

April 26 and 27 will represent either the last HRO World Conference in New York City of which I will be chairman, or not.

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Movin’ On Up

Relocation specialists are broadening their offerings as employers consolidate vendor base.

by Andy Teng

Any HR professional involved in relocating employees knows how complicated and time-consuming this chore can be. A myriad of loose ends must be addressed in moving a worker from, say, Fort Worth, TX to Beijing, China. That’s why companies are increasingly relying on outsourced relocation specialists to help them manage the broad needs of employees on the move, everything from real estate to moving services to neighborhood orientation.

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Esurance Selects Mobility Services International to Drive Its Growing Relocation Needs

– Online Auto Insurance Company Anticipates Multiple Relocations By Years End – 

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (June 13, 2005) Esurance is on the road to relocation success.

Mobility Services International (MSI), a leading relocation management company serving the employee mobility needs of corporations worldwide, today announced that San Francisco-based Esurance, a direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company with more than 150,000 policyholders throughout the United States and a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd

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