154 buyers, providers, advisors, consultants, and European HR leaders who have made a major impact on HRO in 2005.
If the collective knowledge of this year’s Superstars were contained in one volume, you might have a collection of books stretching from Manhattan to Madagascar. Not only is this year’s group of buyers, providers, and advisors smarter—what did you expect with 12 more months of wisdom under their belts?— but their ranks have swelled by 16 additional standouts. It just goes to prove that as the industry expands each year, so does the number of HRO leaders.
We’re often asked about how our Superstars are chosen. There are no secret formulas, and it’s a difficult process considering how many people make a difference in HRO. The simple fact is that these 154 individuals had the vision, influence, tenacity, and plain ol’ chutzpah to leave their mark in the HR world. Among the buyers—here and in Europe—they have risked their careers to help their organizations transform HR. The provider superstars, on the other hand, have been superb in building excellent processes and the supporting IT, infrastructure, and staff to execute on clients’ behalf. The advisors have also been instrumental in directing the industry down the right path, matching compatible parties for ideal marriages, and conducting the appropriate studies that help the players make heads or tails of the trends.
Of course we could not do it alone. A crack panel of industry veterans played a role in our selection methods. We could name names but then again, journalists should never reveal their sources.
With that aside, here’s what many of you have looked forward to: our three Big Predictions for the year ahead.
One: More major—and we mean really major—deals are on their way in the new year. Following the recent blockbuster signings by companies such as DuPont, we’re salivating to hear about the details of the deals involving Unilever, the Royal Mail, the U.S. Postal Service, and a few other global employers. Collectively, these heavily rumored signings will affect hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives.
Two: Consolidation continues among Tier 1 (enterprise-wide) providers. Making money is still tricky in this business, so look for a couple of mega-mergers in the HRO world. Last year we predicted the number of players would shrink from 27 to 24—we were a year early in our prognostication. At the end of 2005, 26 remain standing, but it’s almost certain that two will be snatched up by competitors by this time next year. Stay tuned to HRO Today to find out if your provider becomes shark bait.
Three: Buyers will learn to speak the language of providers and, once and for all, voice their true needs. The expectation gap—that chasm between what’s anticipated and what’s delivered—will narrow as buyers figure out that SLAs are the not the only building blocks of governance. HR professionals will learn to specify not just transactional metrics but quality ones as well.
We hope you enjoy our look at HRO’s 2006 superstars. And, as always, we encourage your input on how to make next year’s report even more informative and useful.
–Jay Whitehead, Publisher, HRO Today
Click here to view a PDF of the Superstar feature.