RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Two Become One

Manpower and COMSYS see an advantage in joining RPO and MSP forces.
By Debbie Bolla
Gaining strength from one another’s specialities, Manpower recently acquired COMSYS, a division of Tapfin. This play allows for the expansion of Manpower’s global footprint, increasing its service level in both the RPO and MSP space. A few years in the making, the deal was completed in early April. Kate Donovan will oversee the BPO and RPO divisions of Manpower Business Solutions, and Kip Wright will operate the MSP branch, also under Manpower Business Solutions through the Tapfin brand name. Both will report to Jonas Prising, president of the Americas for Manpower.
“The reason that it came together was largely because Manpower saw a lot of complementary capabilities around RPO and MSP space,” said Wright.
Strategic value was a driving force behind the merger. Both Manpower and COMSYS are major players in the professional services business. Through the integration process, Donovan noted, there  isn’t much overlap in terms of service offerings—they tend to be more complementary in nature on both the RPO and MSP sides.
“Manpower’s RPO space is global, more diversified, and sophisticated,” she explained. “Our client base is primarily in financial services, the homebuilding, and retail industries, and we also have defense clients. Tapfin has a nice client base in pharmaceutical and telecom, so between both companies expertise, we have every industry vertical covered.”
And MSP?
“One of the things that Tapfin has focused energy on is building out a robust and scalable infrastructure. There’s been a lot of evolution in terms of best solution capabilities for various MSP offerings, from traditional contract labor to SOW [statement of work],” said Wright. “But what we always lacked was a global footprint. The level of complement that we [both companies] bring to the table is quite amazing.”
At the center of the acquisition is the client base and how it will be affected. Clients will benefit from a greater global reach from the expanded footprint that has resulted from the merger. Donovan and Wright said that from their perspective, by joining services together, the company will be able to provide more integrated talent management, workforce planning, and a total workforce solution.
“We’ve already had a lot of success on the legacy Tapfin side, with customers that are purchasing agency-based contractor management and SOW, and expanding that to include RPO,” he explained. “I think we are going to continue to see that. Just from the announcement, we’ve seen significant interest from our clients.”
Best practices will serve as governance for the organizations. Donovan said they plan to take an overall look at the best-in-breed practices that each organization brings to the table to understand fully how to best execute and deliver service to clients.
SLAs (service level agreements) have been set up and are in place as benchmarks to measure the success of the acquisition. Wright noted that goals, objectives, timelines, schedules, and success factors will all monitor the progress of the companies. Specifically, the organizations will look at:
• Net promoter scores;
• Increase in customer satisfaction;
• Number of additional programs;
• Number of programs that upsell or cross-sell from RPO to MSP
and vice versa; and
• Aggressive overall growth.
Concluded Donovan, “Both of our businesses are looking to increase our profile in the market and increasing the visibility of Manpower Business solutions.”
Hear Jonas Prising’s view of the acquisition in an exclusive podcast at www.hrotoday.com

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